Affordable Meal Plan for Students

The good eating program has a positive impact on our mental, physical and financial health. Healthy food is essential to a lifetime of wellness. It nourishes mind and body and builds community and friendships around many lunch tables.

But, what happens when you are college broke and don’t have enough money for all the expenses that come your way? Almost every student has found himself in this situation and knows how hard it is to eat well under these circumstances.

But, organizing meals around fresh pulses, vegetables and fruits can be surprisingly cheap. It can actually become economical with just a few tricks. So, we have designed a strategy, and meal plan for students that will make preparing food and sit down to it feels like a luxury. With our guide, investing in your well-being is easy.

Keep reading to know more.

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1. Plan Ahead

This is the essential and the most basic strategy. Plan your meals weekly, and after a while, you can create an eating program for more than one week. For example, determining what food you will consume and store for later usage, can help you to make a monthly plan.

That way you will save money and time by cutting down all the time spent wondering what to prepare for lunch today, last-minute purchases, last-minute grocery runs. Try to choose recipes with ingredients that overlap.  And when you have time, use it to marinate meats, chop veggies and batch cooking grains.

2. Choose Different Meals

Every week, you should try one new recipe. That way your cheap meals will look fancier, and you will keep a variety and spark in your eating program. For example, you could choose ethnic food from different places in the world and prepare it.

It is a fantastic idea for all ages, and you will have fun learning more about meals from other countries. Let your roommate or a partner pick a new region and then cook its most famous dish.

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3. Work Your Pantry

Your fridge and cabinets should be stocked with versatile ingredients. That way you can throw them together at any time and cook hearty, quick dinner or lunches. Our favorites are high quality canned fish, whole grains such as faro or quinoa, nuts, olive oil, eggs and tomato sauce.

Also, you should shop for the freezer section. Get some healthy greens like chard and kale which come chopped and trimmed. That is great because you won’t have to spend time preparing them. You could purchase packaged filets, but make sure they have been frozen when they are fresh.

4. Don’t Eat Out

We know that buying some fast food and save the time in preparing meals is tempting, but that is not healthy, and you will spend more money buying restaurant or street meals. Instead, you should focus on cooking the right, healthy food at home.

It is more affordable, and you can be sure that ingredients are all high quality. With these options, you will be more likely to prepare dishes by yourself, rather than eating out.

5. Repeat Breakfasts

The most important meal of the day is breakfast, but unfortunately, most students skip it. You are much more likely to enjoy a healthy snack if you have a few of them that you habitually prepare and rotate throughout the week.

All you have to do is select one or two to make in bulk for five to seven days. That way you will begin your day fueled, regardless of how chaotic your morning will be. Lastly, if you want to experience the power of meal planning every week, you should check out the ​review of home chef meal delivery service. They are offering student discounts for their healthy and easy-to-follow recipes.

Student Discount

6. Cook More Vegetarian Meals

Vegetarian proteins are more affordable than animal ones. Find some good recipes that include whole grains, tofu, lentils, beans and you will notice savings on your grocery bill. We don’t need to mention that this food is very nutritious.

And when you are a student, it is essential to consume vitamins and minerals every day. That way you will retain your energy, improve your memory, and generally feel better. You can also keep a little herb garden in your kitchen and pick it whenever you want to cook something.

7. Learn to Use Seasonings

You can turn a bowl of plain vegetables into a delicious dish at minimal cost when you know how to season properly. Adding cumin, chili, or garlic can transform a stew or soup, and roasting veggies with herbs and thyme will radically improve them.

Cinnamon is fantastic when added to roasting sweet potatoes and brilliant on porridge. It is excellent for curbing sugar cravings and amazing for blood sugar regulation. So, the seasoning will not only add a flavor to your meal, but it is also good for your health.

8. Choose Your Sweets

Instead of consuming baked prepackaged goods, you should eat simple ice cream, naturally sweet fruit smoothies and high-quality chocolate. Cut out empty and excessive carbs and go for pure choices so you can feed the cravings.

Did you know that dark chocolate is nutritious? It can improve your heart health, cognitive function, prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and it includes high antioxidant content. So, place it in your snack pyramid next to fresh peaches, feta cheese, and water.

9. Process Your Food

Make your own versions of cereal, instead of buying processed food. Staple-like homemade salad dressing is cheap, luxurious and straightforward as it uses ingredients you already have in the kitchen. 

You should try homemade granola with yogurt or milk and frozen and fresh fruit for breakfast. That is easy to prepare, beautiful and delicious. Don’t forget homemade hummus which is the main meal for Mediterranean dishes.

Process Your Food

Meal Plan

We have singled out these cheap, easy meals that can get you through the week on a limited budget.

Breakfast

  • Porridge is filling, very affordable and you can add whatever you want to it.
  • Another great meal for breakfast is two egg omelet which provides you with a fantastic source of protein.
  • You can also make pancakes as a sweet treat, plus the ingredients are incredibly cheap.
  • Fruit salad is a delicious option.
  • Lunch

  • Soup is the best way to get you through the day. Use canned tomatoes, dried herbs, carrots, celery, and onion with stock, and you will get delicious, filling meal.
  • Falafel is an obvious choice, as it includes cheap ingredients and it is easy to prepare.
  • Pasta is student’s favorite easy-to-make, an affordable dish which you can prepare for dinner too.
  • Dinner

  • Use budget friendly rice and combine it with tomato-based curries. That will make an excellent dish.
  • Lasagnas and pasta bakes can be shared between roommates or frozen and stored for later usage.
  • One pot dishes like beany bakes, stews and jambalaya are ideal.
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    ​Conclusion

    When it comes to student life, money is one of the most forefront issues for most. But, consuming healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive. Having a proper meal plan is excellent for saving time, staying healthy, and what’s important, it will save you money. With our fantastic strategy, you will be able to create a budget that is realistic and reduce your expenses without sacrificing.