Everyone has to eat sometime. But specifically what food we ate didn't really matter to us until college. People ate school food or home-packed lunches. I certainly was one to make a not-that-tasty lunch. I would make a sandwich with just cheese and maybe salami. I would pair that with a small snack of maybe crackers, with an apple. That was my routine since the second grade.
Never did I imagine I would be dropping over five dollars on food anywhere from 1-3 times A DAY. I'm in college now and it just seems appropriate. Our cafeteria is overpriced and most of the food is not even satisfying, unless you get something completely unhealthy like the foods that imitate McDonald's fries and chicken fingers.
Especially when you are trying to find healthy food to eat, it is difficult to find a cheap option, unless it is a small snack like fruits or yogurt. They aren't filling though. And now that I'm in college, even if I cook food for the week, I forget to take it with me. So basically I'm spending money all the time and it is solely on food.
How much would the average college student save if they weren't spending everything on a decent meal? We do it all the time; when we are hanging between classes, it is something to do. "Let's grab lunch sometime" or "Let's grab coffee." Honestly, as a college student, for some strange reason, social eating is a must.
All this would be more okay if we budgeted our finances. Some people DO track how much they spend, especially on food, but most of us don't. It is the whole "I'm an adult now, I deserve it," and "treat yourself" feeling. Then there are books and things school-related we actually need that extra money for. We also may need it for clothes and other actually NECESSARY things.
A way to eliminate spending by a chunk is the obvious situation, limiting and keeping track of how much money you spend a day on food. Food IS necessary, but that doesn't mean you should spend when you have food at home. If you DON'T have food at home, make it a must to always have some food cooked so you can bring lunch with you.
If you eliminate spending, say, $10 on lunch and even coffee, it will add up to an extra $50. And that adds up and saves you an extra $200 a month. That is enough to buy a whole wardrobe! While it may not be easy, cooking definitely adds to your responsibility as an adult. Don't rely on anyone else in the house if there is no food to eat, get up and make some food! Most college students are in their 20s, so it is about time they learn how to nourish themselves.
There is no secret. We have to cut certain spending in order to have better habits as we grow older. If you get used to "meal prepping," I assure you whatever you make will probably be a lot healthier than something you can buy. Even if you do have money to spend, don't waste it. Start a savings account and possibly add to it when you can. Who knows? Saving for something could be a great motivator!