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Eating Healthy in College on the Cheap

No one wants to pack on extra pounds in college, but it’s not easy to eat healthy on a strict budget. College students aren’t exactly rolling in the dough, so pricey diet plans are often out of the question. And often the worst foods for you are the cheapest and most accessible. Think about the last time you went to a fast food restaurant. How much did the calorie-laden cheeseburger cost in comparison to the grilled chicken salad?

The key is to go out to eat as little as possible, opting to buy groceries instead so you can make meals at your residence hall or apartment. It might initially seem like you are spending a lot at the grocery store, but if you compare your grocery purchases to what you would normally spend eating out, it’s almost always a bargain to go the grocery store route. What you make doesn’t have to be complicated. Low-calorie soups are cheap and ready in five minutes, and so are chicken salad or turkey wraps. If you’ve purchased a meal plan, map out the places on campus that have healthy options, and frequent them often, relying on making your own meals when you get tired of those places.

When you grocery shop, make sure you choose foods that are appropriate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Low-calorie instant oatmeal is a heart-healthy breakfast that you can quickly pop into the microwave when you need something fast. It’s also a good idea to keep plenty of fresh fruit and veggies on hand to grab on the go so you’re not tempted to grab a Snickers bar out of the vending machine between classes. Veggie burgers or veggie stir fry dishes in small portions make for healthy, low-cost lunches, and grilled fish and wild rice makes for a healthy dinner. The key is to look for sales and specials at your local grocery and capitalize on them when you can.

College is a great place to teach yourself how to cook cheap, healthy meals. You can start by going online to websites like Cooking Light and, both of which have recipes for budget-conscious people, healthy recipes and recipes that are easy to make.

Finally, make sure you drink plenty of water. Not only does water come free pretty much anywhere on campus, you can cut down on pricy bottled water by purchasing a Brita filter and refilling water bottles with it instead of constantly buying bottled water.

ebsites like Cooking Ligh

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