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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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7 Reasons Starbucks' Coffee Is 100 Percent Superior To Dunkin Donuts Coffee

Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?

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There has been this controversial debate on whether Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts is the better option when it comes to getting one of the best coffees. As a lover of the White Chocolate Mocha, I can not begin to fathom how someone would be willing to go to Starbucks' competitor, Dunkin Donuts. Here are 5 reasons why you should kick Dunkin Donuts to the curb and let Starbucks into your life!

Study Spot

What better place is there to study than Starbucks! The comfy couches allow you to relax and do your homework peacefully.

The Holiday cups

During the Christmas season, Starbucks comes out with creative cups design for the most wonderful time of the year!

Frappuccinos> Coolatta

Frappuccinos definitely rule over the Coolattas that Dunkin provides.

More menu options

Starbucks provides way more coffee drinks than Dunkin. And the best part is that you can customize your own coffee/latte/tea. Anything you name, Starbucks has it.

The Lactose intolerants are certainly welcomed at Starbucks!

One of my friends is Lactose intolerant and she tells me that Starbucks has dairy-free options.

Best food quantity

Does Dunkin Donuts sell cake pops? I don't think so.

BEST Quality Coffee

Starbucks has the top quality coffees and lets be honest Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes burnt

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