Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

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somethingfunny
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Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#1 Postby somethingfunny » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:27 am

On $100/month.

Yes, this is the food budget I'm aiming for. Now that I have my own apartment, I can buy groceries without worrying about my roommates eating them all before I get home from work. I work for Pizza Hut, so my diet currently consists of Personal Pan Pizzas and Dollar Menu fast food items. I realize this is resulting in malnutrition and weight gain....the other day I actually got a mean craving for vegetables and ended up buying a V8 at the school cafeteria. When your body's craving celery, you know you're not getting enough vitamins....

Typically when I go grocery shopping I buy things like $3 bags of 10 frozen burritos or $1 frozen Totino's Pizzas. I buy alot of Carl Buddig's Lunch Meat and cheap bread....big bags of Frosted Flakes and Wal-Mart brand Milk at $3/gallon...(finally, gas is cheaper!) I eat alot of hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and Ramen Noodles. As far as produce goes I'll get tomatoes to slice up with sandwiches, and bananas for breakfast....and other than that it generally seems too expensive for me. I know I've been able to survive on $100 worth of groceries in a given month, but I also know that I need to start eating healthier, so I can probably afford to go up to $150/month.

Please help me out....does anybody have any suggestions for the next time I go grocery shopping? Cost-efficient ways to get nutritious food...maybe some good easy recipies you've used yourself in college? Any help will be wonderful and very much appreciated!
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Miss Mary

#2 Postby Miss Mary » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:18 am

That's a dilemma. I was going to suggest ramen noodles but I see you already buy them. Good idea. Seems like you need some fresh fruit among your purchases but I know it's probably expensive. Try adding a few bananas a week. Or apples. Watch for sales. Or you could buy overly ripe bananas (I think the nutritional value is still there). My next door neighbor makes a lot of fresh fruit smoothies and buys discounted fruit. She says once you mash them up, they taste the same and fruit on sale is much cheaper.

What else.....try hard boiling a few eggs, keeping them chilled in a bowl in the fridge. They're cheap, easily eaten, when you're on the go and give you a lot of protein.

A jar of peanut butter too. Generic brand.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#3 Postby Dionne » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:28 am

Even at $150 a month.....that's less than $1.70 per meal.

Approach the problem from two directions. You need free/better food and more income. Quit Pizza Hut. Is there are Outback Steakhouse in your college town? They prefer to hire college students and they pay much better. My daughter worked her way through college at an Outback. She typically made around $100 a shift in tips and her food cost at Outback was 1/2 the menu price (if not free). It doesn't have to be an Outback.....there are other corporate restaurants.

If this isn't possible. Stop buying prepared frozen foods. Purchase chicken legs quarters by the bag...usually around .49 cents/lb. Potatoes. 3/$1.00 canned veggies. Eggs by the flat.

You might consider vitamin supplements.

Good luck.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#4 Postby somethingfunny » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:48 pm

Thank you for the advice. How do I cook chicken leg quarters? I know the ones you're talking about and I'll probably end up slicing them into sandwich meat but I don't know how to properly cook meat....I mean, I can microwave hot dogs and fry bacon and that's generally my skill limit.

Delivering for Pizza Hut is surprisingly good money. I usually leave with $40-$80 in a given night, but remember that I make $6.55/hour on base as well. I don't forsee myself making an occupation switch anytime soon...the hours are perfect for me as well.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#5 Postby Dionne » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:45 am

For sandwich meat....I would bake them. They're done when the meat is falling off the bone. About 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

I'm wondering why I still wear a tool belt? I had no idea the pizza delivery guy made that much money.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#6 Postby dizzyfish » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:42 am

Save some of that chicken meat and buy some yellow rice to go with it.

Watch your grocery stores for buy one get one sales. You can find some good deals there. Do you have produce markets/stands near you? We had one by us years ago that would mark down slightly bruised produce - it was great for making stews and soups. Those are really easy recipes too.

Canned tuna also makes for a good source of protein and can easily be made into a casserole.

If you need some recipe/cooking ideas pm me - I'll be glad to help.
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#7 Postby Miss Mary » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:27 pm

Bananas - buy them and eat one a day. They contain a lot of nutrients.
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#8 Postby Pburgh » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:01 pm

RICE, what a great idea. Salt and Pepper chicken breasts, put them in baking dish, add 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water, cover them with foil and bake them for about 1 hour at 350°.

Get a bag of frozen broccoli, peas, mixed veggies or any type of frozen veggie that you like. Mix veggies with cooked rice and diced cooked chicken. Add a can of cream of mushroom, or cream of chicken or cream of celery soup and 1/2 cup of milk. Top with cheddar cheese (or not) and bake at 375° for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. This will make several meals.

Clean and slice carrots. Put them in a glass of water and keep them in the refrigerator to munch on. These will last for over a week.

Tomatoes are way too expensive to buy to slice for sandwiches. Keep a head of lettuce in the frig to add a crisp to your sandwiches.

A great apple recipe that I make for a sweet treat is:
Slice 2 or 3 apples (any kind of apple will do)
Mix with 2 TBS of sugar or Splenda
Add 1 tsp of cinnamon
Add 1 tsp salt
Saute in teflon skillet with 1 tsp butter till tender
These are yummy.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#9 Postby Windsong » Mon May 31, 2010 12:11 pm

Greek yogurt. Lots of protein, plus dairy. If you get the ones with fruit, also counts a fruit serving. Make sure it is GREEK yogurt. Add what ever you have to to make it eatable if you don't like yogurt. It's the best bang for the buck.

Ground turkey: brown and mix with onion, plus what ever veggies are left over or on sale. Add tomato sauce or bbq sauce or both, spice up with garlic powder, parsley, and other Italian spices and serve over rice, pasta or bread ala' sloppy joe style.

Do you have an Aldi's near by? Aldi's has an excellent choice of meats, and most other grocery items at about 1/2 regular big box store prices. Every thing is excellent. I have tried it all, and no complaints.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#10 Postby Windsong » Mon May 31, 2010 12:12 pm

LOL...guess I am a couple of years late to this party... :oops:
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#11 Postby O Town » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:19 pm

Windsong wrote:LOL...guess I am a couple of years late to this party... :oops:

LOL :lol: Years..... :lol: I just thought I would pop my head in and see what was going on in here
and looked at the date.....and was like 2008???? Wow! Good tips none the less windsong. 8-)
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#12 Postby lurkey » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:17 pm

slow cooker.... you can make a lot and freeze it for later.

websites/blogs you might like:

eating organic on a food stamp budget

budget bytes

Fatwallet.com

meals on a budget results from Google
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#13 Postby ravyrn » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:05 pm

One of my favorite and easy recipes is to take the following:
1 sweet onion, cut into wedges (I do 12 wedges)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I just have a little shaker of the stuff. Buy the freeze dried minced garlic (the one w/o the liquid in it. The liquid one is meh in my opinion)
1 can of black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes and green chiles

Just put a little butter or oil in a skillet, and cook the onions on medium heat til they soften up and become caramelized. When the onions are just about done, add the garlic. Then you add the two cans, it should make multiple servings. If you want, this would be a great dish to add some of that chicken meat to.

I also add fresh spinach and sliced bell peppers to the recipe. However, I didn't include them to reduce costs. Unfortunately, most the spinach portions in the stores are way too much, and I generally always end up with some leftover that goes bad. I suppose you could freeze some of it if you choose to cook with spinach. Spinach goes great in omelets and many other dishes. Anyways, you would saute the bell peppers w/ the onions and add the spinach later on a few minutes before you add the canned veggies.

Also, if your parents are a member of Sam's Club, go shopping with them when you're able to if they're near you. I buy my meat once a month from there and freeze it and pull it out as needed. I buy my chicken breasts from there - 6 lbs for $12. I also buy my ground turkey from there (healthier than ground beef) though I don't recall the pricing as I just quit eating ground meat.

Also, where do you live? Are you able to grow a garden? If not, do you have a back patio area? You could put some plants back there and have a makeshift garden either out of flower pots or if you have access to tools, make a nice 6'x2' or so little garden bed with treated wood. I am a college student who also lives by himself and try to eat cheaply yet healthy. I live in an apartment building w/ no back patio so I can't grow anything here. However, I have a garden at my mother's who's about 10 miles away that I grow some produce in such as zucchini, yellow squash, various peppers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, eggplants, cucumber, and so much more.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#14 Postby Kalrany » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:48 pm

Some things I have not yet seen are canned beans and fozen veggies. Cheap, fast, and neutritionally useful.
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#15 Postby tolakram » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:20 pm

This thread just keeps on going. :)
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#16 Postby O Town » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:44 am

tolakram wrote:This thread just keeps on going. :)

:roflmao:
I checked in in 2010, 2 years after this thread was started! :eek: They have probably graduated by now, and married with a few kids. :lol:
Now we would tell ya to get a fit bit, and search the App Store for some great apps for eating healthy on a budget.
Sad this area of the forums doesn't get any action anymore. I was a part of making and naming this area way back when.....
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Re: Need help-- I'm a college student who needs to eat healthier

#17 Postby Kalrany » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:56 pm

I like this idea. I posted to the recipe thread in the hopes of restarting it. I think this area is a cool idea and I love the title. Thanks for helping to start it up!
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