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Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 6 years ago

Eating in college: Nutrition/budget?

Since I've moved to college, I've spent an average of $7.39/day on food and I'm eating horribly. I usually have a microwave dinner and tap water to drink for dinner, a PB&J or cold cheese sandwich for lunch, and maybe a Chewy Bar and glass of milk for breakfast.

How am I spending so much on food?! I've lost 10 lbs. since I moved here 46 days ago and I'm really skinny to start with. And I look at all of these online budgets and people claim to be able to feed a family of 4 on $10/day.

I need to know foods that I can eat for CHEAP and that will get me some nutrients. I'm starting a job at a restaurant and hope I'll be able to get some free food (I've worked in restaurants before and I know there is a time and a place for free food - not stealing! but say a customer doesn't want their dish) and money to buy better food, but I still would really like to know some things I can eat that are satisfying and cheap. Please help.

3 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's difficult to eat properly for less, if you live in North America, and if there is just one of you. The people who are feeding a family for a lot less can take advantage of sales so they can cook in bulk, they probably use a freezer a lot, and my guess is that a lot of them don't really eat all that well. However, you are wasting money on the Chewy Bar and the microwave dinner. Granola bars are mostly sugar. You might as well eat a candy bar for breakfast, as SuzQ says, for all the nutrition you get from them. Two eggs and a slice of toast probably won't cost any more and will keep you full longer. A bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of granola or any kind of whole grain cereal would be better for you and won't cost any more. I don't know what kind of microwave dinner you're getting, but you can make the same kind of thing for less from scratch. Cooking from scratch requires a little planning and there are times when you are going to eat the same thing for dinner twice in a row, but if what you made is good that isn't a problem. If you get a restaurant job and food comes with it, pick a salad. For cheap nutritious meals, think rice, eggs, beans, pasta, vegetables.

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  • 6 years ago

    What we need the most is an adea of the types of foods you like for a meal and what storage and cooking equipment you have available on hand, and if you have to keep your foods under 'lock and key' or elsewhere, eg your room

    You need to look at easy meals and be aware the costs of the meats and vegetables, fresh or frozen preferably and rationing yourself.

    Cooked, 1lb of minced beef (probaby the cheapest) can be used to make 3-4 meals if you can stretch it by eating plenty of vegetables, with potatoes, rice or pasta.

    The other thing is to set yourself 'cooking time'. Regardless of what people will say you can't make a meal in 5-10 minutes, but allow 45-60 minutes to prepare to prep and cook

    Make sure you are allowed to take home leftovers etc as in many many cases it is abused and it is regarded as Theft and can result in instant dismissal.

    Have a chat with your boss about what his policy is, some are very strict, others are generous. I once worked at a place where I could get a free breakfast and a light lunch and something off the menu at half price as long as someone else served me, either him, his wife and the main cook in the kitchen.

    I just had to eat them 'out the back', (not in front of customers)


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  • SuZQ
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    a couple of bottles of salad dressing of your choosing and salad veggies! I add hardboiled eggs, meats and cheeses to the Chef Salads and sometimes soft sweet fruits or berries. If you get the meats and cheeses on sale you can freeze them. This works for lunch and dinner!

    don't most restaurants have a meal plan for employees? Half to 1/4th of the regular cost? My kids were all wait persons or cooks and everywhere they worked they got a meal during or immediately after their shifts.

    those nutrition bars are mostly empty calories and a total waste of money, you might as well eat a candy bar. Have the least expensive meat you can get and eggs for breakfast. You will be much more satisfied. I do splurge on bacon and sausage!

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