Being on a tight budget at college or university doesn’t mean you can’t make healthy food choices. Most colleges and universities will have a student health and wellbeing programme, get involved. Additionally, you can follow these 5 tips to discover how you can eat healthily every day of the week without breaking the bank!
1. Avoid takeaways!
With multiple deadlines, busy social life and perhaps even a part-time job, it’s easy to fall into the trap of prioritising convenience over health when it comes to cooking a meal after a long day. Not only are most takeaways considerably unhealthy, but they can also be quite expensive! Swap your favourite takeaway for an equally as tasty homemade recipe like vegetable stir fry or a curry from scratch – you will be able to pack in the vegetables with these options rather than pack on the pounds!
2. Make your own packed lunch
Another form of convenience that many students take advantage of is grabbing lunch on the go from cafés and coffee shops around campus, or meal deals from local supermarkets. Most of these options can be quite costly overtime and there are much cheaper and healthier alternatives you can utilise. A great example of this is making your own packed lunch the night before you have university. You can get creative and make colourful salads using plenty of vegetables and low fat dressings, or use whole-wheat tortillas to create tasty and filling wraps in just a few minutes. The choices are endless!
3. Choose healthy revision snacks
When it comes to spending long nights in the library cramming in revision for exams, avoid the temptation to snack on unhealthy food items like crisps and chocolate. Choose healthier options like fruit and nuts which are much more nutritional and will give you the energy to keep on studying. Be prepared and bring these foods to the library with you so you do not get tempted to make use of unhealthy vending machines late at night when the shops are shut!
4. Swap jars of sauces for a healthier alternative
Many students make use of jars of sauces, like pasta sauce, to whip up quick meals which require minimal effort. Most of these pre-made sauces are very high in sugar and there are much healthier alternative ways you can create the same dishes in just as little time. You can buy tins of chopped tomatoes (which are often more than half the price of most pre-made jars – and also one of your five a day), combine with chopped vegetables, add a few herbs, season, and you have a basic, tasty pasta sauce. Also, make large batches and freeze to use on another day!
5. Keep an eye on your alcohol intake
A lot of social events at university, particularly late at night, can involve drinking lots and lots of alcohol. If you are someone who loves socialising and going out every weekend, keep a watch on how much you are actually drinking – alcohol can be fattening when consumed in large amounts due to the high number of calories in each drink. Avoid going out too often, regularly drink water to keep you hydrated throughout the night, and switch to non-alcoholic alternatives when you have reached your limit.