As students, we all know how difficult it can be to stick to healthy foods, not to mention doing so while also being on a tight budget.
On top of a busy schedule filled with exams, assignments and of course, socializing with friends, eating healthy often ends up being at the bottom of a student’s priority list – but it doesn’t have to be!
We’ve come up with a list of tips to help you balance the demands of student life and eating healthy on a student budget, in addition to the Eating Well program that IGNITE’s student lifeline offers.
1. Plan your meals and stick to whole foods.
When it comes to eating healthy, eating whole foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and good fats is the way to go. Shop at less-costly grocery stores for foods like oatmeal, bananas, and quinoa to avoid snacking on junk when youâ€™re tempted.
2. Cook for yourself and pack a lunch
Your mom bought you those Tupperware containers for a reason, so put them to use!Â Campus food is expensive and youâ€™ll be tempted to go for the unhealthy, cheaper foods if you donâ€™t pack a healthy, and less costly lunch. Apples, oranges, and healthy protein bars are easy â€˜grab-n-goâ€™ snacks if you find yourself running late in the morning!
3.Buy produce thatâ€™s in-season or frozen
When it comes to fruits and veggies, buying in-season is an important rule to remember since grocery stores price in-season produce at lower prices. But if you really want those strawberries in the middle of winter, just make sure not to let them go to waste, and freeze them before they go bad.Â You can also stick to packaged frozen fruit and vegetables so you wonâ€™t have to worry about anything going bad.
4.Shop sales and buy in bulk
Look at sales sections, and if the products can be frozen, purchase them in bulk. This is especially important when it comes to buying meat, as it can be very expensive. Stock up on chicken breast or lean ground beef when itâ€™s on sale and store it in your freezer for when you need it.Â Preview sales happening at your grocery store online prior to going to the store, if your store offers a free points cardâ€”go for it! Youâ€™d be surprised how quickly you can earn free groceries using a points card.
Spending money on drinks is not only costly, it also typically means youâ€™re drinking extra sugar and calories. Purchasing a reusable water bottle and making use of the water fountains around campus will save you a ton of moneyâ€”not to mention keeping hydrated is important for your overall health.
Here at IGNITE we care about your health and wellness, and that can start with healthy eating. If you put these tips into action, you might just be surprised about how quickly you’ll start saving money and feeling healthier.