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A College Student's Guide To Grocery Essentials For Eating Healthy On A Budget

Pro tip: If you want to eat healthy, buy healthy things

Instagram: @wildflower_medicine
Instagram: @wildflower_medicine

Eating healthy is quite a difficult task in college. You have your own apartment for the first time ever, and you are suddenly no longer subjected to the foods that your mom will let you put in the grocery store. You can buy as much ice cream, frozen pizza bites, and sugary cereals that you want!!

But if you have any inkling of a desire to eat healthily, you will quickly find out that you need to restrain yourself just a bit in the grocery store. You can definitely eat ice cream and buy fun things, but definitely not all of the time.

It takes some time to develop a healthy balance and figure out exactly what you should and should not fill your fridge with, but for people who have never eaten healthy at all, or are on a college kid's budget, a healthy grocery list can seem daunting. Here are the top ten snacks and staples that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. Peanut butter


$3/jar-ish--Peanut butter!!!!! Is!!!!!!! The!!!! Best!!!!!! Hungry after a workout at the gym? A spoonful of pb. About to go to sleep but your stomach is rumbling? A spoonful of pb. Just woke up and running late to class and don't have time to make anything but you just know that if you don't eat anything your stomach will be concaving halfway through class? A spoonful of pb. Easy.

However, make sure you don't go overboard because peanut butter is full of fats or something and you should just keep it to a healthy couple of spoonfuls a day.

2. Carrots


$2/bag--I have grown a huge appreciation for carrots during my first year of living in an apartment.

Here's why: 1.) SUPER CHEAP. If you buy the big old honkin' carrots that look like they have been directly plucked from the ground they are only about $2.00 for a bag to last the week! That's a steal.

2.) They go with ANYTHING. Carrots and peanut butter. Carrots and hummus. Carrots and yogurt. Carrots and salad. Can't go wrong. Always yummy.

3. Hummus


$3/container--Hummus is an absolute staple, for if you need something a bit salty or savory. Sometimes you just want to snack, and it makes your vegetables a bit more exciting when you have a yummy hummus to dip them into.

4. Almond milk (Unsweetened)


$2/carton--I use almond milk in every part of my breakfast! I pour some into my coffee for a healthier alternative to creamer. I splash some on top of my oatmeal for a creamier consistency. Or I even just pour a little glass of it sometimes when I want. It's an easy addition to your kitchen and makes your coffee so much better for you.

5. Apples


$1/1lb (approximately)When I was a kid my mom had a rule: If you are hungry eat an apple. If you don't want an apple, you're not really hungry.

Those are words to live by let me tell you. Sometimes you think you're hungry, but you really are just in the mood to snack. Totally different things. The apple test is a surefire way to tell the difference between the two.

6. Eggs


$2 for a dozen--Eggs for breakfast. Eggs for lunch. Eggs for dinner. Never too many eggs!! I'm not quite sure if they're super healthy, but they are definitely filling, tasty, and somewhat natural!

7. Pretzel Crisps


$4 for a BIG bag--Pretzel Crisps are my favorite snack for when I really need something salty. For me, it's hard to eat a whole lot of Pretzel Crisps at once, because there is not a whole lot in each bag. I eat like seven to ten at a time, getting my salty fix but making sure to save enough that I can munch on them for the rest of the week. Also bonus points: you can eat them while studying, because of no icky fingers!!!

8. Salsa


$3/jar--Salsa has become a big snack for me, also. I eat salsa straight out of the jar when I'm especially hungry and don't have time to make something.

9. Greek yogurt


$4-6 Depending on your grocery store/size that you buy--Plain Greek yogurt is yet another thing that, in my opinion, can be plopped onto any type of food. When you buy the plain type, it tastes just like sour cream!! So, you can use it as a substitute on a baked potato, a quesadilla, an omelet, really anything you would normally put sour cream onto. Plus, you can use it as a normal yogurt by just adding some honey or fruit into it.

10. Tea


$3/box--Hot tea is a great way to calm yourself, finish a meal, or get energized for the day. Drink green tea in the morning to get you up, or black tea in the afternoon to keep you going, or herbal tea at literally any time for something yummy!! If you don't typically like the taste of tea, I recommend anything with the word "Spice" in the title by the Celestial Seasonings brand. All of their spice teas are sweet and taste like cinnamon!!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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