Cooking and Grocery Stores On a Budget

College students often find it difficult to eat healthy and stay on a budget and come up with reasons, such as “I don’t have the money for groceries” or “I don’t know how to cook.” 
Here are a few ideas and recipes to consider when grocery store shopping.
Make Trader Joe’s your BEST friend.
Trader Joe’s carries health conscious foods of their own. Trader Joe’s brand ranges from snacks, frozen meals, cereals, and more. Trader Joe’s is also great when it comes to buying produce. For example, they sell bananas individually instead of by the pound for $0.19. 
Although Trader Joe’s does not often have coupons or specials, their prices are the cheapest for health foods compared to other grocery stores.  
Harris Teeter does however often have deals with a VIC card. Harris Teeter is a good place to get more popular snacks and other items as they often have buy one get one specials or money off the original price. 
Here are a few of my favorite plant-based recipes I have learned from friends and family to try:
Breakfast: Chia Seed Pudding 
Take 1 cup milk and 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, this works with any type of milk i.e. oat, almond, dairy, soy. Mix them together in a cup and put them in the refrigerator the night before. 
The next morning you will have a delicious breakfast pudding with protein, fiber, and healthy fats that will keep you sustained. You can add fruit and granola to the pudding for extra flavor.
Total Cost: $6.50 and can get multiple meals with this price. 
Lunch: Bean Salad
Rinse and mix together with your choice of beans, garbanzos, kidney, cannellini, to name a few. Add chopped celery and red onion. 
Add equal parts apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil.
Done! Wasn’t that easy?
Total cost: $5.50 and this recipe produces multiple meals. 
Dinner: Roasted Veggies with Rice
Choose your mix of vegetables, eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes (for extra protein), red peppers, squash, zucchini, eggplant, to name a few.
Chop up vegetables and toss in cooking oil of your choice and seasonings of your desire. 
Put in the oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes 
Cook however much rice to go along with the veggies.
Total cost: $10 and these ingredients will make more than one meal. 
It is true that eating healthy for a cheap price can be difficult, but there are ways to solve this problem. Find which grocery store works for you, and which recipes you can make. All of the recipes above yield more than one meal for the price of one meal at a fast food restaurant. 
Most important: Budget, budget, budget! Not just groceries, but everything you spend money on, this skill will carry you through life.

Leave a comment