Balancing Your Diet and Your Budget
When meeting with students who are having issues with overspending, one of the first things I look at is how much of their total meal expenses are from meals out versus meals cooked at home. As college students, it’s awfully hard to find time to cook a meal when you’re trying to balance studying, extracurricular activities, work, etc. As a result, it’s very convenient to just run through the drive through and be on your way. If you’re not careful, these spending habits add up quickly and you might find yourself breaking your budget. Fortunately for you, food is often one of the items you have the most control over and it’s a lot easier to cut back on than you think. Today, we’ll be taking a look at three easy steps to help you cut down on overspending on food.
When you go to the grocery store, do you bring along a list that you made beforehand or just shop as you go? Keeping track of what you need can help you avoid impulse purchases and also help you with your budget estimates. Lastly, if you’re anything like me, it’ll help you make sure you don’t forget anything while you’re shopping!
In addition, you might find it helpful to shop around at different places to find the best price. A helpful resource we have on campus that I’d encourage you to utilize is Cats’ Cupboard! They are our local on campus food pantry and the only requirement is that you’re a K-State student! For more information, be sure to check out their website: https://www.k-state.edu/cats-cupboard/.
Meal prep isn’t just for those gym rats you see all over social media and can help you save time and money on your meals! Meal prep involves cooking all your meals beforehand, typically for the next week or so. This allows you to buy in bulk which can help save you money. In addition, you’ll be a lot less likely to splurge and go to Chipotle when you know you’ve got a meal cooked for you back home that shouldn’t go to waste. Meal prep can also help you manage your time better by preparing your meals beforehand so you don’t have to spend 20-30 minutes each day trying to throw together your meals! Here are some helpful links you can use to start meal prepping:
- Getting started: http://www.mealprephaven.com/blog-1/2015/9/21/meal-prepping-101-for-beginners
- Recipes/ Instructions:
Eating Healthy on a Budget:
Lastly, be sure to come to our Eating Healthy on a Budget Workshop on October 8th from 4:30pm-5:30pm in Union Room 227! You’ll have the awesome opportunity to learn ways you can cut down on your meal spending and win some awesome prizes!
Hopefully this has all been helpful in teaching you ways you can save some money on your meals. If you have any other questions be sure to schedule a free appointment with us at Powercat Financial via: http://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/.
Peer Counselor II
302 K-State Student Union, Third Floor
918 N. 17th Street
Manhattan, KS 66506-2800