Healthy Eating on a College Budget

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Every college student or high school senior has heard of the stereotypical weight gain associated with first-year college students. One of the main issues students face is trying to save money while eating as much as possible. Fast food is cheap food, but not healthy food. Consuming too much of it can result in unwanted weight gain and other unforeseen problems. Healthy eating on a budget may seem difficult, but the ultimate benefits for your body outweigh the costs.

There are plenty of stores in the Stevens Point area that offer reasonably priced and healthy food. Walmart, Aldi, Kmart and Trigs. Some of these stores may be more expensive, which is why you need to pick and choose what produce you need from where. For me, a one-stop trip would be to Walmart. I focus on buying fresh produce and actively preparing it, so it doesn’t spoil. I also cook a meal each weekend that will last until the end of the following week. It’s easy and quick to eat between classes and leaves me feeling full to get through the day.

Alyssa’s homemade vegan bean enchiladas.

So why is it so important to eat healthy? Our bodies rely on us to put food into it that will fuel it and give it the proper nutrients to be healthy and happy. When we feed our bodies processed foods made with chemicals, our bodies do not know how to process it, and we can be left feeling constantly hungry. Therefore, eating more processed foods on a regular basis will leave us continuously hungry, which can result in weight gain.

Vegan stuffed mushrooms.

College is also a time to try new things, so why not food? My first year of college I decided to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. I’ve found it to be the easiest and best decision I have made so far. The campus cafeterias – in the Dreyfus University Center, and Upper and Lower DeBot – have plenty of options for me to confidently make healthy choices. Eventually, after becoming a vegetarian, I made the choice to stop eating dairy and became a vegan. Removing dairy and meat from my diet was the ultimate way to develop my health. Shopping vegan, I buy food such as beans, rice, produce and other snacks in bulk.

Vegan strawberry cheesecake.

I save just as much money eating vegan, but I do not base my diet on how much I have to spend. Putting my health first is the most important part, and buying off-brand and bulk products allows me to save money. Healthy eating in college is one of the best ways to develop yourself not only physically, but mentally as well.


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