Good Morning Green Panda Friends and Happy Monday.  Today we are featuring another great post in our “Back To School” series.  Previous posts have helped you survive your first day on your college campus, helped you find ways to save money in college, helped you find a part time job in college, and helped you learn how to budget while living life on your own.  Today’s post will help you learn how to eat on a budget while in college.

One of the biggest problems that college students encounter when they move away from home to go to college is the food crisis.  If you don’t know how to cook or how to shop on a budget then you can end up eating out and snacking on the go while you are in college.  Eating out frequently and snacking on carbs or sugar can lead to the infamous “freshman fifteen” weight gain.

The key to avoid spending money on eating out and avoid gaining weight by snacking is to learn how to eat healthy meals on a budget.  This will help you survive your college semester with both your belly and your wallet full.

Use these 5 tips to eat on a budget:

Cook in Bulk For The Week – If you are busy all week with work and school then it may be easier to eat on the go.  However eating on the go usually means eating unhealthy food and spending unnecessary money.  If you pick one day a week (i.e. Sunday) to cook 2 or 3 big meals it can last you for several days throughout the week.  On Sundays I always chop up my fruits and veggies and put them in Tupperware containers so that each morning I can just grab my prepared food and go.

Shop in Bulk and Share – If you have roommates in college it’s a smart money idea to do your shopping together instead of individually.  Buying in bulk can definitely lower your food costs, if you share the food costs you may be able to buy different types of food that you can’t afford to buy on your own.

Pack Snacks For The Day – There is nothing worse than being hungry while sitting in a classroom and trying to listen to your professor speak.  When I am hungry I can’t concentrate on anything else except getting food.  Keep a piece of fruit or a granola bar in your bag, this will help you save money on snacks and it will also make sure you don’t get hungry during classes.

Drink Lots of Water – Water makes your belly feel full.  Keeping hydrated all day will help you stay healthy and stay focused during classes.

Check Resources – There are many websites that offer recipes for cheap meals. Rachel Ray has $10 meals which allow you to cook a well balanced meal for under $10. A budget friendly cooking idea is to cook with filler foods.  Foods such as potatoes, bean sprouts, rice and pasta keep you feeling full and will also help you stay within your budget.

Check out the other posts in our Back To School series:

Saving Money in College with Saveup

How to Survive Your First Day of College

Working During College

Back to School: Life on Campus


Photo by kewl

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.