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Sep 09 2016
by Rafael Franco

6 Ways to Eat Well in College and Not Go Broke

By Rafael Franco - Sep 09 2016
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So you’re in college now, walking to your dorm after a long day of classes when, suddenly, you hear a grumble. Hungry. AGAIN. You’ve already used your meal swipes. You don’t have any money on you. Now what?

College life can be hard, and it’s even harder on an empty stomach. Mommy isn’t here to save the day anymore, so you’re all on your own. Fending for yourself can be a challenge when your resources are limited; but don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to maintain a satisfied belly economically. These are all techniques that I have either used or will use, so hopefully they can be helpful!

1. Switch to a Rollover Meal Plan

A lot of schools offer rollover meal plans, which basically allow your uneaten meals for the week (or month, however your school does that) to be saved for the following week/month. In other words, say you have a meal plan allowing 14 meals for one week. Deciding to eat only 12 meals that week would allow the two meals that you didn’t eat to be added to the following week! Pretty neat!

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2. BUY SNACKS

Like. Seriously. I can’t stress this one enough. Snacks are the ultimate life savers when on a budget. Buy yourself some granola bars or gummy snacks to satiate your hunger for a while. Oh and did I mention that snacks are pretty nifty when limited on time too? You have three classes in a row and won’t have time to go to the dining hall in between? Grab a snack.

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3. Ramen Noodles

Cheap. Delicious. Need I say more?

4. Invest in a Microwave

Uncle Ben’s microwavable rice cooks in under 2 minutes. Sign. Me. Up. Microwaves can be pretty cheap (around $30), so yes it is totally worth it. There is some quality microwavable food out there too. Not always the healthiest option, but it definitely helps your wallet out.

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5. Use Your Dorm Building’s Kitchen

Most dorm buildings have kitchens on every floor for student use. They can get pretty busy, though, and often times they need to be reserved, so check your school’s policy.

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6. Work for the Biggest Meal Plan

Some of us need our food — I get that. The biggest meal plan is tempting, and often times it’s necessary. If you’re on a budget and you ABSOLUTELY need that deluxe meal plan, get a hold of the money and it’s yours.  

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Food is great, but can seem out of reach when living the rough college life. Know that it's possible to eat economically yet delectably! Hopefully you found at least one technique that can help you maximize your dietary habits. Bon appetite!  

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Rafael Franco - University of California, Los Angeles

Rafael is an English major at University of California-Los Angeles. He is a huge New England Patriots fan, Spider-Man enthusiast, and Batman fan (hey, that rhymes). Some of his hobbies include playing the sousaphone, aka the tuba, "Netflixing", and reading. Most of all, though, he loves to write, which is why he is ecstatic to have found Fresh U! Follow him on twitter at @thatguyRAFA if you like his content!

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