Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Eating on a budget

NEW HOLLAND, PA - MARCH 27: Chrystal Kennery (...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I’m in college, and although I have a job, money is still tight. Although I have loans for tuition, I still pay for gas, club fees, bills, and of course FOOD. Food is an expense in college that will never go away.

I was so excited to move away from the dorm atmosphere this year to get away from dorm food, and get a chance to cook my own food, but my experiences have not been all positive. First, cooking for one is not only hard to have a balanced meal, but also expensive. If I buy single servings of an item, it is usually more expensive, and if I cook a whole side, I always have leftovers which I usually don’t end up eating. Basically, it is not only hard to find food to cook on a cheap budget, but also expensive. You CAN eat inexpensively at college, but it usually consists of Ramon noodles, mac and cheese, soup and other cheap food items. To eat balanced meals, this is not the case. The other day, I cooked veggies, chicken and a baked potato and this meal cost me almost 8 dollars. Now that may not seem like a lot to you, but 8 dollars for one meal for one person. That’s a lot!

So now after having a kitchen to cook in, and loving to cook, I am deciding to go back to getting a meal plan for next semester. With the meal plan, although they do not always have to best food, I am looking forward to eating more balanced meals, and actually being able to eat more. This sounds bad but because food is so expensive, I would just cook certain meals, and then either not eat this semester, or skip out on meals to save money.

Basically, this meal plan next semester with 10 meals a week with be very beneficial and I am excited to try something new with my busy lifestyle 🙂

Torie Nicholas

  1. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience “cooking for one”. I really don’t think cooking for one has to be expensive. My husband and I cook for “two” and eat very inexpensively. The key is to be willing to eat leftovers for multiple days and/or freezing extra portions. Did you have a freezer available to you at the sorority house? You can buy a package of boneless chicken breasts and get 8 meals out of it easily. Add rice, and some canned green beans and you are all set. Making chili is also a great way to stretch the dollar if you minimize the meat and put in some great beans and veggies.

  2. I do have a freezer and it has been a big help to freeze leftovers! Also, when I come home, my mom has leftovers frozen for me to bring back food.

  3. Torie
    I cook for one all the time.
    If a recipe serves 4; I have leftovers which is good so that means I don’t have to actually be cooking all the time. I might eat 2 consecutive meals on 2 consecutive nights and then freeze the rest for next week or the week after or share the rest with someone else the following week.

Leave a Reply