One can only survive on an unlimited college meal plan for so long. The food is bland, unhealthy, and frankly, the meal plan is expensive. When you move off-campus and get off of the meal plan, you have to start doing your own grocery shopping. This can be hard for most students, especially because we're used to our parents doing the grocery shopping at home. Having done my own grocery shopping for about a month now, I've learned some tricks on how to grocery shop on a budget.
1. Make a List
Making a grocery list before you go shopping is more beneficial than you think. That way, you know EXACTLY what you need to get and you won't buy anything unnecessary. If you try to grocery shop without a list, you'll end up spending an extra $30 that you didn't need to spend.
2. Buy Generic
This is a really easy way to save money. Generic food items are usually at least $1 cheaper than brand name ones, and they taste THE SAME.
3. Don't Depend On Boxed Food, Learn How To Cook
Although it's smart to always keep a couple of mac and cheese boxes and frozen pizzas in your kitchen for when you don't want to cook, cooking a meal can help you save a lot of money. It's healthier, and it gives you plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. I like to prepare one big meal on Sunday and eat it throughout the week!
4. Focus On Buying Filling Foods Rather Than Snack Foods
For breakfast, consider switching to Greek yogurt instead of cereal. Putting more protein in your diet will keep you full for longer and make you less hungry for snacks throughout the day, which will help you save money on snack foods in the long run.