Do you count the money you are left with every time you pay for that burger or pizza? Yes, we all do that and by us, I mean us, the students. It’s hard to pay for all the daily expenses, the private tutor that we need to pass the course and then eat healthily and not only healthy something cheap too while simultaneously you are not getting enough sleep because of loads of assignments and quizzes and presentations. In all this, surviving on a tight budget becomes a bit of a challenge. It’s not easy being a student, let’s all agree to that.
According to a study it has been observed that students gain almost 10 pounds at the end of their degree, and this weight is not a healthy weight, it is the junk food weight. No matter how much they say, we all know that junk food is not healthy but you might be thinking that you are not left with any other choice because you cannot afford that healthy stuff. Well, let me tell you, you can. How we will just find that out.
First things first, you need to free yourself from the addiction to junk food. You might need to get a little bit more active to get your healthy food but that is all just worth it. Junk food might be very addictive and easy to get but it is killing your health and you certainly do not want that.
So, next time you go grocery shopping keep these things in mind.
1. Don’t over buy stuff
You might think that you will eat everything that you are buying just like you tell your private tutor that you will do the homework but who are we lying to. We all know half or some percentage of it will go to the dustbin. That is not a very healthy choice. It would be better if you buy in small batches. Be loyal to the grocery list you made at home because that is all you need.
2. Have control over your week
You might need a little extra minute for this but you need to start planning your week. That’s how I started it. Plan your week ahead, what do you need, what food you are going to eat, and then buy things. You can buy ingredients that are repeated in two or three meals. So, it’s healthy and money saving too.
3. Switch to fresh foods
I know it’s hard to find time to cook when you have like ten assignments due, but you can always make a fresh salad of vegetables. Cooked and packed food might look cheaper but if dig deep into the prices per ounces and other details it comes out to be more expensive than fresh food. So, switch to fresh food, start cooking and be healthy.
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4. Make your own lunch
Remember when your mother used to pack all healthy snacks for your lunch. Why don’t you do it now? Instead of getting a burger or fried nuggets for lunch just eat something healthy. You can always pack some sandwiches, or fruits or salad or anything you prepared at home. You can even keep some nuts or almonds and other dried fruits. Those will do the job too.
5. Breaking the myth about frozen vegetables
You must have heard that frozen vegetables and fruits are not healthy. But the truth is that these vegetables and fruits are frozen when they are at the peak of their ripeness and contain the most nutrients. Frozen vegetables are especially helpful in winters when fresh vegetables are limited and relatively more expensive. So, there is no way we can afford that cans us.
6. Proteins, proteins, and proteins
Carbohydrates get digested quickly and you start to feel hungry very quickly, however proteins take much longer to digest and they are not even expensive. A dozen of eggs cost around $2, giving you a week’s amount of protein. Many other protein products like chicken thighs, Greek yogurt, canned tuna, black beans, cottage cheese and peanut butter are also easy in the pocket.
Beef is also a useful source of protein but it gets a little expensive, same as the fish, you may find some cheap types of fish but they are not good for your health. So, it would be better to stick with chicken and eggs.
7. Learn some tricks
You can learn some easy tricks in cooking the top being seasoning. If your private tutor is polite enough he might even help you with this. It can make a significant difference to your food and turn some plain vegetables into a delicious dish and it won’t even cost you much. Garlic, chili, cumin seeds and roasting your vegetables can give you the taste you want.
So, these are the basic tips you need for a healthy diet in a student budget. It would be better if you get your roommate into the same routine too because you don’t want to get distracted with all those cheesy pizzas, juicy burgers and crispy chicken nuggets. Did that water your mouth? That was a test.
Emma Alex is a self-proclaimed fitness advocate who devotes a majority of his free time catching up with the latest fitness trends in the wellness industry