When times get stressful, it’s always smart to have some food on hand in your room. Without anything readily available, it’s likely you’ll end up eating what is convenient and appealing – cookies, chips, candy, pizza. According to Huffington Post, the average college student spends about $765 per year eating off-campus. Of that sum, 71% go out to eat or get takeout, while only 9% buy groceries. College students on a budget may find it difficult to purchase healthy things at the grocery store, as they are somewhat expensive.
Grocery Shopping Made Easy
To avoid breaking the bank, buy basics at the store and snag pricier or quick to expire items when you get food to-go from the Dining Hall. Here’s my list of go-to’s:
A few of my favorite combos using these ingredients:
- Apple or banana with peanut butter
- Pita chips with hummus
Carrots or celery with hummus
- Grilled chicken with hummus
- Microwave-cooked quinoa or rice (see below for instructions)
- Oatmeal with banana slices
- Whole wheat bread with peanut butter (bonus: top with banana slices)
- Cut up grilled chicken mixed in with quinoa or rice
To make quinoa in your dorm microwave, you’ll need water and a bowl.
Mix 1/2 cup dry quinoa with 1 cup of water, cook on high for 5 minutes. Stir, and cook for 8 minutes longer at medium (60% power). Let stand a few minutes before enjoying (recipe adapted from dummies.com). At just under 15 minutes of prep time, this makes for a great small meal or snack. Plus, quinoa is high in protein, fiber, iron, lysine and magnesium. These benefits added to dry quinoa’s has a shelf life of 2-3 years.
Stop stressing, and start snacking smart when your day is too hectic to go to the dining hall. Your waistline, and wallet, will thank you.
Real Talk: Dining Hall
There’s no doubt that everyone perceives things differently. The same in true in regard to food. When it comes to the culinary experience, beauty truly is in the eye (fork?) of the beholder. I talked to fellow students about where their campus dining hall falls short, and how it shines.