6. Eating Healthy on a Budget

As a student, learning to budget can be challenging at times. When you think about textbooks, living expenses, transportation, and having a social life, it seems like your funds could be stretched thin. In addition to this, being able to afford the healthier options at the grocery store can also become a difficult task. This often leads to buying affordable foods or opting for a fast-food restaurant. However, with just a few smart strategies, eating healthy on a budget can be achieved.

  • Make a Weekly Game Plan
    Before planning out a grocery list, decide what meals you want to make for the week. This will help you know what ingredients you need to buy and ensure you’re getting nutritious and balanced meals for the week.

    If you’re in need of some inspiration for some recipes to try check out the MyPlate Kitchen.
  • Create a Grocery List
    Once you have your game plan for the week, preparing a grocery list is essential to staying organized and avoiding spending extra money on foods you don’t necessarily need. A great tip is to organize your list into the different food groups to make your trip to the grocery store as efficient as possible.
  • Know the Budget-Friendly Options from Each Food Group
    From buying “in season” produce to low-cost protein foods, each aisle in the grocery store has budget-friendly options for you to consider.
    Check out the link from MyPlate which offers you low-cost options for every aisle and food group.
  • Understand and Compare Unit Prices
    Knowing what the unit price means and comparing it to other options is the best method for eating healthy on a college student budget. Although you may think the smaller packages are giving you the best value for money, when you start comparing unit prices, you may soon realize that the larger packages could be the cheaper option.
    Check out the MyPlate link which provides a breakdown of understanding the price tag of what is on a grocery shelf:
  • Take Advantage of Coupons
    Take the time to look for special offers and coupons at your local grocery store. Deals are always out there, with flyers, online, and even apps nowadays, be on the lookout. You never know how much you might save.


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Ch. 6 - Nutrition by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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