Welcome back to another school year Stags. As summer slowly turns into fall and classes begin to dole out more and more work, a healthy, active lifestyle becomes more and more important in order to keep stress levels from skyrocketing. Although eating healthy can be difficult in college for many reasons, monetary reasons shouldn’t be one. Here are some ways to get the most out of your food money without sacrificing health.
- Freeze fruit for later
The cheapest way to store fruits like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries is to purchase them in bulk while they are in season and then freeze them. This keeps the fruits fresher for longer amounts of time, saving you from buying subpar choices of fruits during offseason for exorbitant prices. Alternatively, if you don’t have a lot of room in your freezer, you can always find bags of pre-frozen mixed fruits in the freezer aisle of most grocery stores that are much easier to fit into the micro fridges that reside in most dorm rooms.
- Don’t be afraid to shop store brand
Many stores, like Stop and Shop, offer store brand items for many products like pasta, bread, cereal and milk that are usually significantly cheaper than their name brand counterparts. According to Forbes, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice quality when you switch to store brand either, as many of these value store brand items are of equal or higher quality than their corresponding name brand product.
- Whole grains are your friend
Yes, the white bread and the regular pasta does taste better to many, but does it have the same nutritional value as whole grain bread and pasta? Not at all. Products made from whole wheat flour have higher fiber contents and higher levels of vitamins B-1, B-3 and B-5 when compared to products made from white flour, according to SF Gate, a healthy living and news website based out of the Bay Area in California. So although it may taste better, it is best to avoid products made with only white flour.
- Prepare meals ahead of time
This suggestion applies more to juniors and seniors with kitchens who may not be relying on a meal plan. The best way to prepare meals ahead of time is to have in mind what you want to eat for the whole week when you go food shopping. That way, you can take into account sales and utilize as many coupons as possible to make the most out of your week’s worth of groceries. The United States Department of Agriculture also encourages consumers to eat before shopping, as food shopping on an empty stomach can lead to unhealthy impulse purchases.
For those underclassmen who count on Sodexo and the Barone dining hall for most of their meals, there is a link on the my.fairfield homepage that brings up the menu for the week, which can be used to find the healthiest options possible.