Shopping healthily on a college budget

The UVU Review offers tips for students to shop healthily while on a college budget.

Eggs and toast with a side of fresh fruit is a healthy meal made with versatile ingredients students can afford. Photo by Joshua Sperry

Paying for a university education while staying on top of everyday finances can be very difficult, especially for students. College is often a student’s first away-from-home experience and it is likely to be difficult, especially with the added pressures of managing weekly shopping and dieting. The UVU Review went around campus with this problem in mind and asked students about their experiences shopping for healthy food while on a college budget. Here is what they said:

“It’s … very difficult to eat the same thing over and over and over again … [so] you’ve got to find ways to fit some variety in,” stated UVU students Sam Arntz and Ty Meister.  Foods such as eggs, potatoes, and bread were discussed because they are versatile and complimentary.

For example, during breakfast, eggs can be used as scrambled eggs, for lunch as egg salad sandwiches, and for dinner in a carbonara or as a side. Potatoes are useful as hashbrowns in the morning, and as mashed or baked potatoes at lunch or dinner. Bread can be toasted for breakfast, used for a sandwich at lunch, and become an  appetizer for dinner. Furthermore, all of these foods can be bought in bulk at affordable prices.

While talking with students, The Review met a young mother named Abigail Baum who shared advice on shopping healthily. “I really like frozen vegetables because I let a lot of vegetables rot …[since]I forget about them. But if I keep them in the freezer …I can crumple them up and cook them however, but … [they won’t] go bad in the freezer.” 

As Baum stated, freezing or buying pre-frozen food is one of the best ways to keep healthy foods ready without spoiling them. In addition to increased longevity, healthy frozen foods are easy and fast to prepare when needed.

After shopping for groceries, we recommend that you prepare your ingredients for use. It is not necessary to spend all day making 30 plus meals for the week, but by washing, cutting, and storing each ingredient, they become more readily available.  This at-home cooking strategy can save hours later in the week, especially when planned preparation time is not available.

If you would like to learn more about dieting on a budget or preparing healthy foods, be sure to listen to the Wellness podcast where we will dive deeper into these topics and many others. You can find this podcast on Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

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