Ten Tips for Grocery Shopping in College

Many students enter college without ever having grocery shopped or cooked. As a result, I know a ton of people who buy macaroni and cheese or Ramen noodles in bulk. This is probably the easiest choice, however it is neither the cheapest nor the healthiest. Students have very little time and grocery shopping is never on the top of anybody’s to-do list. Restaurants tempt us with their 50 cent wing nights, cheap pizza after 9p.m., and delivery cookies.  Even though cooking seems like a time suck and nusance, it is healthier, cheaper, and a lot more satisfying.

Here is a list of ten easy-to-do tips that are cheaper and healthier than eating out:

  1. Stop buying bottled water. Get a Brita filter and a water bottle. Though they may be somewhat more expensive to begin with, I promise they will pay off themselves. Plus this is the more environmentally friendly choice.
  2. Buy your own coffee maker. Get it ready the night before and just hit start while you get ready. This will save you an obnoxious amount of money each week. Also, you will not be tempted to buy that Starbucks pastry that always looks so yummy.
  3. Eggs are inexpensive, easy to cook, and very versatile. You can even microwave them if you want.
  4. Cereal is even easier. No cooking utensils are needed, and there are a bajillion options in every store.
  5. Chicken and rice are also versatile options. A great tip is to cook in bulk on Sunday and reheat them throughout the week. This will save you a lot of time in your busy schedule. There are microwaves located in the library and union. Use them.
  6. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a classic choice. Buy some wheat bread and your choice of nut butter and jam. Put in some Tupperware and it stays tasty all day.
  7. A box of pasta and can of sauce are very cheap. Use oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, basil or any other spice you would like to make it even tastier.
  8. Bagged veggies and hummus make a healthy, tasty option. These make great sides to stick in some Tupperware and take on campus. Hummus is easy to make in bulk and can be refrigerated.
  9. Have some fruit handy for snacking. Apples, oranges, and bananas are all fairly cheap and are great for when you are running out the door. They also are sweet and can help cure those sugar cravings. My advice is to only grab a couple bananas at a time and store them in the fridge to keep gnats away.
  10. If you really want pizza, make your own. Buy the crust and store it, and add your own toppings! This is actually really fun to do! You can also use a whole wheat Pita or tortilla to serve just one.

Lindsey Brinegar

libbrine@indiana.edu

Twitter: @lbbrinegar

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