How college students can eat healthy on a budget

Back-to-school season is here for college students all over the country. With so many things on a college student’s mind, it is vital they do not forget about their meal planning. Not eating healthy could lead to gaining weight, the freshman fifteen, or developing other health issues. 

Reports found that 70 percent of college students gain weight and body fat by graduation. Before you search for nutritional counseling near me, our team has created this guide to help college students eat healthy on a budget

Healthy food tips for students

Set a budget

Are you going to spend money on a school’s meal plan? Are you only going to buy certain meals? Will you be cooking any of your meals? Once you have decided what you are going to do for your meals, it is time to set a budget

Create separate budgets of how much money you will spend on your home-cooked meals and eating out. A good place to start is budgeting for $100 for groceries. From there, you can increase your budget depending on where you shop or how much you eat. 

Shop smarter

Speaking of places to shop, where you buy your groceries does impact how much you spend. Some stores are more budget-friendly than others. Avoid buying groceries at your school’s store or convenience stores where food prices might be doubled. 

If you are on a tight budget, shop at these stores: 

  • Aldi

  • Costco

  • Walmart

  • Trader Joe’s

  • Sam’s Club 

  • Fair way 

Buy healthier foods

Although it may be tempting to fill your shopping cart with snacks and other goodies, make sure you are shopping smart. Your grocery list should include protein, fruits, vegetables and grains

Protein is essential for any healthy diet, even if you are vegetarian or vegan. Your body uses protein to build and repair muscles. It is also known as a great energy source. Limit your consumption of red meats if you want to eat healthily and stick to a budget. Instead of red meats, buy eggs, chicken, seafood, tofu, lentils and chickpeas. 

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can also use them for cooking meals and snacks. However, they can also be expensive. If you are on a tight budget, shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can always freeze them for later use. Also, do not forget to check the frozen food aisle to buy foods that are not in season.

Grains give your body nutrients, carbohydrates and fiber. If you are looking to save money on your daily grains, buy in bulk. It saves you money and can last longer. Some grains great for college include rice, oats and pasta. 

Meal prep 

College students have a lot to balance, like studying, going to class and maybe working. One of the best health food tips for students to save time is meal prepping. They can take one or two days a week preparing all their meals for the entire week. The key to successful meal prepping is buying everything you need for the week during your grocery shopping

Are you looking for nutritional counseling near me? 

Whether you are looking to manage your illnesses better or help your injuries recover, we can help! Our team offers nutritional counseling for everyone so they can live a healthier lifestyle. Contact us to set an appointment.