College Food Shopping 101
College students are notorious for being broke partiers who stay up all night playing video games while eating the bare minimum. Being in that stereotype I've learned to adapt. Controlling your money wisely is a very unique characteristic for being 22 and dumb. Although it has taken me some time to figure out how to completely manage my money it helps when you don't go out for every meal. Eating out is a definite way to run you wallet dry and leave your stomach aching for more food when your pockets are empty. In order to keep yourself on track and eating somewhat healthy I have some advice to give.
1. Don't eat out: We all know how easy it is to run over to Chipotle or McDonald's and grab food when you don't want to have to go out, buy the food, then come home and make it. But in reality, what would cost you $ 10 dollars at your local sandwich shop, really would cost you 5 dollars at a grocery store and you'd be able to make more than one meal with. For example, my girlfriend loves to go out to Noodles N Company and eat all the pasta her little heart can desire. But in actuality, I can go to Wal-Mart and buy the pasta and Alfredo sauce and maybe even some garlic bread for $ 4. This is the difference between a $ 16 dollar meal between the both of us, but now only 4 dollars.
2. Stay away from the sweets: So you've made it to the store, but now you actually have to know what to buy. While being on a budget you soon learn to realize what you can make two dinners for price-wise, you can get for one box of fruit roll-ups. These boxes are designed to attract your attention and have you grabbing a $ 7 box when you can be can $ 7 worth the meet and potatoes. I'm not preaching healthy, I'm preaching smart. In order to get the biggest bang for your buck buy food that's going to fill you up for hours, not 20 minutes. Staying away from brand names also helps in the long run. Many grocery stores offer great value brand items which are significantly less than your average name brand product.
Though just two suggestions, the process of not eating out and staying away from the name brand sweets and etc. will leave you more time for weekend money rather than scraping any bit of food together just so you don't have to mooch off your roommate.