Cooking on a Budget while in College

Ah, it is finally time to settle into life as a college student. You know what this means, right? Lectures, studying all night and classes all day and of course the parties! Okay, maybe not so much the parties, but you get the idea. The one thing you will have to do is figure out how to cook and eat on a college student budget. Read on for a few tips.

Crock pot

One of these appliances can save you from living on Top Ramen and peanut butter for the next few years. You can throw just about anything into a crock pot and have it come out delicious. Well, this is true if you follow some sort of basic recipe, of course. The biggest reason a crock pot is so nice is that you can fix an entire meal in one pot and have minimal clean up! The second best thing about crock pots is that you can toss all of your ingredients in, turn it on and then walk away. Imagine coming in after a long day of classes and/or work and having a hot meal waiting for you! You do not need to buy expensive foods to create a mouthwatering meal with a crock pot. Some simple veggies like carrots, potatoes and onions mixed with some ground beef is the start of a beef stew you’ll never forget! 

Shop the sales

No matter your financial state, it can pay off big time to keep an eye on sales. Shop discount stores if you are close to one for incredible deals on canned foods and staples like beans and pastas. One thing to keep in mind, don’t buy more than you can use relatively soon. It can be tempting to buy an absurd amount of something because the sale is really good. It is fine to stock up on certain foods, but others will become stale or expire before you can get it used up.

Joint effort

In order to save money, consider hosting potluck dinners or just get a few friends together and cook a meal together. Have each person bring a dish or ingredients to contribute to make a dish and have fun! These gatherings can become a regular event each week or several times a month. You can apply this idea to ordering pizza too! Aside from saving money, mealtime is just more enjoyable when shared with friends. One more tip here: after the meal is over and clean up is complete, you might sit down and try to get some studying done with the group.

College life can be stressful enough without having to worry about how to cook and eat on a limited budget. Unless you are lucky enough to work in a restaurant between classes, then buying groceries and preparing meals is something you will have to do. Invest in a good crock pot, gather your friends together and cook ins and always shop the sales.