Article by Megan Burns. Media by John Walnofer.
Plan your meals ahead to avoid overspending and overeating. Here are a few tips and tricks to planning out your meals for the week.
✴Eat Out…The Smart Way
On a broke college student budget, it is important to plan when you are going to eat out. Everyone falls into the peer pressure of going out to lunch after church, McDonalds after vespers, for pizza after sporting events, or to Joe’s Pizza’s Thursday night special. All those are great for your taste buds but terrible for your wallet. Plan ahead. Pick and chose which place you are going to splurge on for the week. Once you chose, get it to go. Many people say that restaurants give you two times the amount of food in a to go box. So, split it in half and now you have two meals!
✴Buy in Bulk
“When I am hungry for something I just make a lot of it. Then, I separate my leftovers into serving sizes and eat them throughout the week. Pasta is the best to do that with.”-Heather Henderson, Greenville student. Find some friends, and go grocery shopping together. Try to find someone with a Sam’s card and buy food in bulk to keep costs down. Have each person make a different meal, then you can mix and match to get a variety of meals throughout the week. It helps to buy different colored Tupperware so after you’ve eaten the food and washed the container, you can give it back.
✴Budget Your Flex Cash
Whether you signed up for a lot of flex dollars or not, it is still helpful to budget the money you have. There are approximately 12 weeks in the semester. Take what money you have and divide it by 12. That way, you are sure to have enough for a late night snack at the end of the semester. When you go to get a meal from the union, always get it to go. Try only eating half and saving the other half for later.
✴Save It For Later
“I knew I wasn’t hungry, but I didn’t want to waste my DC meals. So, I went and got a plate full of food. Then, I transferred it to a Tupperware container to eat later. It also helps with portion control because when you’re not as hungry you don’t take as much food.”- Carrie Baker, Greenville student. Whether you’re hungry or not, you don’t want to waste all your DC meals. Go to the DC and ask for a plate to go. Take it back to you room and transfer it to a Tupperware container, and eat it later. Sometimes classes don’t work well with lunch hours, but this way, you can eat whenever you want.
Search Pinterest or browse the App Store for extra help. There are multiple apps to help you plan out your meals. Pinterest offers a lot of great recipes and ways to eat for cheap. If you’re really missing home, pull out some old family recipes to make for friends.