11 Tips For Eating Real Meals On A College Budget

11 Tips For Eating Real Meals On A College Budget

Because EasyMac and Ramen just don't cut it.
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College: a time period where even if you’re working a part time or full time job, you’re still in student debt, paying above-average amounts of money in rent (even with roommates) and unable to look at your bank account out of fear that it’s below $0. But one thing that you can do is eat a decent, well-balanced meal by making minimal adjustments to your college lifestyle, maintaining a routine and following these 11 tips:

1. Utilize websites like Pinterest or Yummly.

As a college student, you’re more than likely unable to come up with meal ideas or recipes off the top of your head; but by doing a few quick searches such as “easy dinners” or “quick meals” on sites like Pinterest or Yummly, you’ll find someone else has already done it for you. These sites also allow you to track the recipes you’re interested in either eating or making yourself, as well as provide the ability to save and share the ones you like.

2. Search for recipes with minimal ingredients.

In the world of cooking, the phrase “five ingredients or less” is a common and acceptable recipe type; and as you would guess, these recipes call for exactly what you’d expect: five ingredients or less. By leveraging recipes with minimal ingredients, you’ll save yourself time, energy and most importantly, money.

3. Build a library of spices, ingredients, etc.

I won’t lie and tell you that food is cheap: it’s not. But one way to make it more affordable is to little by little add spices and ingredients to your collection. These small additions, such as garlic powder, cornstarch and brown sugar, will save you money each time you’re at the grocery store because you know you already have them.

4. Use the ingredients that you already have.

Did you buy a five-pound bag of rice last week? Great, grab some fresh veggies and make stir fry. By using what you already have, you’ll not only save money but you’ll also waste less food.

5. Plan your meals once a week and make a list!

Even if it’s a quick “What should I have for dinner this week?” you’ll find yourself less stressed over food. By having a plan, you’ll be able to be more efficient in the grocery store and inevitably more cost-effective.

6. Get into a habit of shopping once a week.

Instead of running to the grocery store every time you’re low on something, make a routine out of shopping for your food. If you’ve followed Tips 1-5, you most likely already have a plan as to what you’ll be eating for the week and what ingredients you’ll need. Make a list, check it twice and get going!

7. Compare the prices of fruits and vegetables to that of junk food.


The average price of potato chips? $4.51 per 16 oz. as of June 2013. The average price of actual potatoes? $0.65 per pound.

8. Utilize less expensive ingredients in your meal choices.

Items like rice or pasta are relatively inexpensive, allowing you to easily add them to your meal plan. Proteins like pork or chicken breast are also relatively inexpensive, allowing you to add some meat to that rice or pasta. See where I’m going with this?

9. If you can, buy in bulk and freeze meat when it's on sale.



This relates back to Tip #4: you already have the meat, just take it out of the freezer and defrost it. Just remember to package the excess meat in a freezer-safe bag and mark the date on the outside.

10. If you have roommates, ask if they’d like to make it a team effort (Split the cost!)

Even just having one other roommate, friend or significant other that would be interested in making, eating and cleaning up dinner with you will help save money. That $80 grocery bill just became $40 for each of you and you can take turns cooking or shopping each week. Using apps or websites like Venmo allow you to easily pay one another, as well.

11. If you’re financially responsible, find a credit card that gives rewards for groceries.

If you’re interested in building your credit while embarking on this cost-saving, grocery tip adventure, find a credit card that gives rewards specifically for groceries. You’ll earn something back for the money you’re already spending. But remember: always pay it off in the full. Who wants to pay interest on fruits and veggies?

Cover Image Credit: Elizabeth Assaf

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle: Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay.

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying. What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense. I've heard it all, "He was cute, why didn't you like him?" "You didn't even give him a chance!" "You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous; however, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well. Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

THIS IS CRUCIAL FOR FINDING A NICE GUY. It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault. If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs." Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him. If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it. He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush. Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling. :)

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10 Summer Vibes You Need To Bump To In The Car

The type of songs that will make you wish summer never had to end.

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There is truly nothing worse than being handed the AUX cord and not knowing what to do with it. In that moment, the spotlight is on you. You, the chosen one, has the opportunity to completely amp up the mood and get people in their feels.

For me, this is the moment in which I thrive the most and I am going to make sure that anyone that reads this article does to.

Now without further ado, here are 10 songs that will for sure boost your summer music cred.

1.  "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo 

If you haven't heard this one yet, I am sorry. This up and coming artist paved her way in the music world by introducing one of the most catchy girl anthems I have heard in a while. If you ever need a little reminder that you're a bad b*tch, listen to this song. The catchy beat and independent lyrics won't let you down.

2. "The London (feat. J Cole & Travis Scott)" by Young Thug 

If you want a song that pleases absolutely everyone, this is your go-to. Three of the biggest names of rap music in one song- it does not get much better. With a vibey beat and catchy chorus, you will be singing this song in no time.

3. "I Don't Care" by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber 

I'll tell you what, I do care about this song. After quite some time without music from Bieber or Sheeran, they have come back to bless us once again. Please don't go ghost on us again boys, we missed you.

4. "You Little Beauty" by Fisher 

Now this one is for my house people. Whether you like him for his insane personality or the electric beats he produces, Fisher is one of a kind. With his new single "You Little Beauty," you will be bopping your head and waving your hands the entire time.

5. "Electric Feel" by MGMT

An oldie, but a goodie. I don't know about you, but this song makes me wanna drive down the coast with my windows down, blasting the music. You can't beat alternative songs in the summer and this one is at the top of my playlist.

6. "GRoCERIES" by Chance the Rapper 

Chance. Is. Back. That's all I need to say.

7. "Whatever You Need" by Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj

Who doesn't love a good throwback to get them amped? You can't forget the Nicki/Meek era for many reasons, but one of the main ones being the unreal collaborations we got out of it. "Whatever You Need" will always be one to remember, so don't forget to keep it in your mind this summer.

8. "Jungle" by Tash Sultana

If you love the sound of guitar, this is the song for you. Being over five minutes, this song shows the musical talent within Tash Sultana. With guitar solos sprinkled so effortless throughout and the uniqueness of her voice, you are able to teleport into a musical phenomenon with this song.

9. "Baila Baila Baila (Remix)" by Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, & J Balvin

The song literally means "Dance Dance Dance," which automatically means it's going to be a crowd pleaser. And, come on, it's summer, you can't not listen to a little Spanish music.

10. "Undrunk" by Fletcher 

Representing an artist from my very own hometown, this one is constantly blasting in my car. Fletcher is the new artist to look out for, and she's making her way up the charts quickly with this banger. It is the perfect song to belt out after a night of bad decisions and calls to your ex.

I have now blessed you all with 10 songs that will make even the biggest of music snobs get in the mood. Use them wisely.

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