The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

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February 23, 2024

Eating healthy can be hard on college budget

Eating healthy is a challenge even when you have all the time in the world. But when you’re on the run, making good choices can be almost impossible.

I recently found myself making a lot of excuses for my poor eating habits. I was going out to eat on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day, and paying for it dearly both on the scale and in my wallet.

I made the excuse that I didn’t have time to cook myself dinner because I only had 30-40 minutes for a break. Most of the time that meant going to Tickle’s Deli or Picasso’s for lunch. That was sometimes followed by a dinner date to El Toro Loco or Khao Thai.

Now that I’ve realized that this routine is extreme, I started making plans. I make food plans so that I have an organized schedule for how much time I have to eat and what I’m going to eat. I still go out to dinner with my boyfriend, but now if I do I try to only eat half of the monstrous serving they feed you and save the rest for my lunch the next day.

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Instead of eating a plate of pasta – something that would cost $2 to make at home – I save my carbs for lunch and instead order something that I wouldn’t normally make at home.

Making food ahead of time cuts down on my cooking time during the week. It’s a great tool for saving time, calories and cash.

I buy a lot of my food at Sam’s Club and freeze it. Then when I’m ready to eat, I just have to grill, fry or bake it for 10-20 minutes. Buying in bulk makes my meals on average $3 or less. When I was a sophomore, my three roommates and I split a Sam’s membership. By splitting the cost four ways we get two cards and only pay $10 a year.

Once a month I buy 10 pounds of chicken breast, take it home, marinate it and freeze it in serving size portions. In the morning I can leave for class and take the chicken out to thaw, then when I come back to my apartment for lunch I can put it on the George Foreman for 10 minutes and boil some quinoa. At that point I have a really healthy meal and it only took 10 minutes to make – the same amount of time it would take to drive to Arby’s and back.

The amount of time I have to spare hasn’t increased at all, but my checking account output has. And my caloric intake has decreased.

I feel better about myself now that I’m eating less greasy, fast food. But I’m most proud of myself for making better choices.

 

BRIANNA WOODS

[email protected]

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