Eating Healthy on a College Budget

College students are notorious for their unhealthy eating habits. With all the pizza, beer, fast food and lack of exercise, it’s no wonder that 50% of 18 to 25 year old males are considered obese.

Nutritious food is often priced higher than the unhealthy stuff. Fast food is cheap and easy. It takes time to prepare at-home meals. Alcohol is always readily available. The list could go on. The thing is though, all of these things are excuses. Keeping a well balanced and nutritious diet is a lot simpler than you may think. It should also be one of your top priorities, because after all,  you are what you eat, and what you eat now affects you in both the short and long run.

If you’re ready to ditch the unhealthy eating patterns, follow these simple tips to kick start a new habit and eat well on a budget.

Drink Tap Water

Instead of drinking sodas and bottled water throughout the day, why not switch to tap water?  It’s a whole lot cheaper and is available right at your fingertips. Invest in a $25 dollar water filtration pitcher and a stainless steal water bottle and you will have clean, cheap drinking water for months.

Stop Eating Out

It is ok to go out to eat every once in a while, but if you make it too much of a habit it can cause a strain on your diet and on your wallet.  Instead of going to a restaurant and spending $12 dollars on a meal, it would be a smarter option to go to the store and spend that money on fresh ingredients. By doing this, you most likely be able to purchase the resources for 2 to 6 meals instead of just one.

Buy in Bulk

When you buy food in bulk you may be spending more upfront, but the savings will pay off.  Be sure to buy things that won’t spoil like frozen foods.  The ultimate place to buy food in bulk? Costco or Sam’s Club.

Cut the Junk

Lets face it, junk food is overpriced, provides little to no nutritional value, and it makes us fat. So, if you really think about, why should you spend so much money on it? Instead of spending this money on useless, empty “food-like products”, use the extra cash for fruits and vegetables – they make great snacks.

Cook with Friends

Instead if going out with a group of friends to grab dinner, why not invite them over for a meal?  This is the perfect way to cut cost and get a more nutritious meal. Have each person pitch in a little cash for ingredients and you all will spend very little cash.

Eat Foods that are in Season

When buying things like fruits and vegetables, be sure to buy the ones that are in season in your area. They will often be cheaper since they didn’t have to be imported or anything.

Use Coupons

Even if you don’t get the Sunday paper, you can still find great coupons in the store.  You will be surprised with the savings you can amount just by using coupons.

Watch for Promotions

Many grocery stores will have specials and promotions going on where you can find huge savings.  For example, Publix has a penny item every week. This can be anything from box of crackers to a loaf of bread.

These are just a few simple tips to help you spend less and eat better. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

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