Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saving Money on Food

One thing that hits a lot of people when they first come to college is the realization that no one is cooking for you anymore (those with meal plans need not read on). Well seeing as your body and mind need food, you may as well learn how to shop without going broke before the end of the semester. Here are a few ways I manage to save money at the store while still eating nutritional meals.

1. Pantry Staples
Every pantry should have a few essential things. Rice, pasta, flour, bread, peanut butter, dried (or canned) beans of all varieties (easy protein and costs next to nothing), and jugs of oil (olive, veg. etc) and vinegar.

2. Spices
While salt and pepper really can go a long way, don't be afraid to spend a few bucks on other more "exotic" flavors like cumin, oregano, and even Tony's creole seasoning can be the difference between sub par and delicious.

3. Meat
Buy actually raw meat and freeze the individual pieces. Flat iron steak, chicken breast tenders and ground turkey are usually what I buy, and 3-4 meals can come from each of those packages. Frozen fish is also cheap and easy to prepare (look for red bags of salmon and tilapia at Wal-Mart)

4. Vegetables
Try to buy your produce t a farmer's market if possible (there are several vendors that set up around Tyler) and try to buy things that are in season so ensure the best price. Remember fresh vegetables can be frozen too for a later date.

5. Drink Water!
Not only is it something a lot of us don't get enough of, but it's (mostly) free.

Not a cook? Check out sites like and for easy to follow recipes. Also, try and track down a local church that has issued something along the lines of a member's cookbook. There are always great things to be found here.

Remember, not only is eating at home healthier, but you also save money for that next big night out or that next trip home.

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