How to Arrange for Meals While in College

While it is important to eat without spending too much money in college, remember not to starve! Also, what if you simply want variety?

Steps

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    If you live in a college dorm, you may be required to buy a meal plan. Since you likely have limited access to cooking ware, this is a good idea. But always keep spare snacks like chips, fruits, nuts, bread, jelly, coffee, tea, honey, and microwavable ramen noodles in store just for those nights when you don't feel like going to the dining hall.
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    If you are living in an apartment still consider buying a meal plan. It may cost more but it can help you in the long run. Consider your schedule. If you have a heavy course load and many activities/a job, will you still have time to cook every night and shop for ingredients frequently? Perhaps you can buy a limited meal plan and budget out a set number of meals per week.
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    Pack food from home. Taking ingredients from home (with parental permission)-can reduce the amount of time you spend shopping for them. Ask a parent to make a few dishes for you and take them to your apartment and freeze them. You can retrieve these months later. Also budget these between the number of weeks until you can go home next-decide to use this food for X number of meals per week.
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    Consider going out to eat. In excess, this will cost a lot of money, but once or twice a week-especially if one is from a fast food place and the other is carry out to save time-can really help.
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    After having done all this, count the total number of meals you plan to eat per week and subtract the total number of meals accounted for by steps 2, 3 and 4. Don't count breakfast or snacks: items like bread, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, milk, cereal, coffee, tea, honey, crackers, chips, and canned soups can be purchased in bulk cheaply.
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    After Step 5, if you still have any meals unaccounted for, consider cooking at home. If it's only three to four meals, this can be done simply. For one meal, you could simply eat ramen noodles, for another, eat breakfast for dinner-a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with cereal won't be that bad for dinner. Consider buying a crockpot. All you need to do is place spaghetti in there for one night and perhaps frozen, pre-sliced vegetables, hot sauce, and meat of your choice with pasta another night-and dinner is ready!

Tips

  • When you go shopping, create a list and buy in bulk to minimize shopping trips

Article Info

Categories: Meal Planning