Long hours at school lead to inevitable hunger. With so many options surrounding us, especially if you go to school downtown like I do, it can get difficult to manage budget eating and resisting spending copious amounts of unnecessary money on food. Over the years, I’ve learned some tips that can help any student avoid food debt!
1. Food Prep
The most full proof way to manage budget eating is to simply bring your own food from home!
Use small zip-locks and tubberwares to store your favourite snacks and pull those out the next time you get a pang of hunger at school.
2. Student Discounts
If you’re going to do all this work, you might as well get something out of it! Restaurants near schools usually cater to their client base, and offer student discounts with the demonstration of your student I.D. card.
You’ll find that even a five percent discount can make a difference at the end of the week. Find which restaurants near your school cater to students, and get your discounts!
When budget eating, coupons are essential. Although often overlooked, coupons can help you save a ton of money when buying full meals.
They usually come in booklets, and give a large variety of options from place to place. Next time you get a coupon flyer in the mail, don’t disregard it so easily!
4. Plan your week
Budget eating at school requires that you know yourself just how much money you can afford on food from week to week. Understand your budget before starting the week, and try to plan which days you’ll be spending on food at school.
By doing this, you can limit yourself and avoid the excess spending that comes with spontaneity.
5. Drink Lots Of Water
A lot of the time, we mistaken thirst for hunger. There are water fountains all over your schools campus!
Buy yourself a reusable water bottle and keep it on you all day long for refills. This way, you’ll avoid spending money on food when you weren’t even hungry to begin with.
6. Cash Over Credit
Credit cards are a risky commodity among students. Credit cards make us feel like we haven’t actually spent any money at all, whereas cash can be a little bit harder to hand over.
This poses a problem for students attempting to budget eat; we abuse our credit cards! On a day where you plan to eat a meal that you’ve prepped, keep your credit card at home and far, far away from trouble.
7. Frozen Food
If you live on campus, or independently, and have the responsibility of doing your own groceries from week to week, buy frozen produce! While fresh may seem like the better option, it altogether spoils faster and ends up costing more.
Frozen allows you to buy more, and do more, simply because you can keep it for longer in your freezer. Frozen veggies are a fraction of the cost of fresh ones, and make it way easier to meal prep.
8. Splurge Day!
Budget eating at school should come with some reward. After all, we need some level of motivation for avoiding spending on delicious looking food everyday.
Pick a day in the week, and give yourself a splurge! Buy yourself that over priced sandwich you’d been thinking about all week. It’ll taste better knowing you didn’t break your bank all week to reach this point.