Sometimes being a college foodie isn’t easy. You want to try new foods, experiment with new recipes, and discover new flavors, but oftentimes, it’s just not possible on your college budget. Here are a few tips on how to be a foodie, eat healthy, and stay on a budget:
- Eat Frozen Produce: Don’t be afraid of the frozen food section of the market. Some foods found in this section have a bad reputation of being packed with extra fat and sodium. However, an aisle or two also offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that have been frozen immediately after being picked. Fruits and vegetables that are frozen ensure the same great taste with all the nutrients yet at half the cost of fresh produce.
- Plan a Menu Before Shopping: A common mistake is to head to the supermarket and purchase random food without a plan. Help reduce your food waste and make a menu of your weekly meals before shopping. This way, you can incorporate two meals that need a half a can of chicken broth instead of having leftover chicken broth. Meal planning can lower the cost at the checkout line and decrease food waste.
- Stretch Your Protein: While it is cheaper to eat protein from plant sources, you may sometimes crave animal protein. One solution is to not make protein the center of your meal. Slice up one chicken breast and mix it with some rice instead of using the whole package of chicken as the main feature. Then wrap the poultry package up, stick it in the freezer, and save it for another evening.
- Spice It Up: Invest in some unique herbs, condiments, and spices. Adding a different spice to the same ol’ meal can give you a whole new perspective on the dish. So grab some spices and get creative – you never know what new tastes you can construct.
- Cut Coupons: Clipping coupons can save you a lot of money. Food companies and grocery stores provide a ton of savings through coupons in order to get you to try their products. Scan your Sunday newspaper or go online and look up your local grocery store’s coupon selection. It is a quick and easy way to save a few extra dollars on your next grocery bill.
- Try Shopping at Ethnic Stores: There are usually a few ethnic stores scattered around most communities. Stop inside and see what they have to offer. A lot of the time, they have cheaper produce than your local grocery store, and as a foodie, it offers a whole new selection of foods you may have never tried, or even seen.
Katie Nahay is a junior at Auburn University majoring in nutrition dietetics. She plans to become a registered dietician and then continue on to physician assistant’s school or continue writing in the nutrition field.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Goodman