Sunday, December 8, 2013

No More Ramen! Healthy Food on a Budget

The phrase “starving college student” is often thrown around as a joke, but with the cost of living these days being a starving college student has become a reality for many.  It’s easy to use a limited budget as an excuse to eat unhealthy foods because they are cheaper, but there are many alternatives and avenues one can take in order to eat healthy food on a budget.  Here are some tips!

Buy one or two extra canned or dry food items every time you shop.  This will help to build your pantry, and will prove to be helpful when money becomes extra tight.  It’s a safe way to plan for the future, and will allow you slightly more freedom to buy quality foods when your pantry is stocked.

Be aware of the dirty dozen.  Buying organic fruits and vegetables can be a huge drain on your wallet, but should be balanced with the understanding that the pesticides that reside on fruits and vegetables we eat can be harmful!  Here is a link to a website that lets you know which fruits and vegetables to only buy organic (the dirty dozen), and which ones don’t matter as much.

Grow some of your own. Seeds are cheap and easy to buy, and growing lettuce or basil on a windowsill takes little skill and a lot of patience.  It’s worth it to save the few extra dollars that you will once your small garden takes root.  In addition to this, check out the local farmers markets.  There is the student led Organic Vegetable Project that has a station on the Chico State campus every Wednesday afternoon, and the Chico farmer’s market is every Saturday morning. 

Pack a lunch!  Carrying snacks around with you all day helps to keep you accountable to buying meals, drinks, or snacks while on the go.  Plan on having at least one smaller meal per day, as this will help save you money as well.

Bad health is more expensive than good food in the long run.  Do what you can with the resources you have, and stick with it!

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