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The Best Diet For College Kids On A Budget

The Best Diet For College Kids On A Budget

A diet for college kids typically consists of microwavable foods like easy mac and ramen noodles. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live this way. 

In fact, there’s a diet that is perfect for a college kid on a budget. 

Fruits and Vegetables

Whether they’re frozen or fresh, they are affordable in a diet for college kids on a diet. Fruits have natural sugar that gives you longer lasting energy than refined sugar.


Fruits and vegetables go with just about anything and eating them will make you feel so much healthier. Instead of reaching for that bag of Doritos, chop some vegetables into a salad with your favorite dressing and have at it. 

Whole Grains

Working more whole grains into your diet will be easier on your diet, and healthier for your body. Buying grains in bulk is the best option for those who want to go big on the savings. 


Lucky for you, there are many whole grain options to the foods you’re already eating. I made the switch from regular bread to whole grain and not only was it cheaper, but it also made me more full than what I was already used to. 


You have plenty of options when it comes to oats. Cereal is my favorite option for a morning snack when I don’t feel like cooking, but you can also go with granola bars and muffins. 


Speaking from experience, the best sources of protein, steak, pork chops, are extremely pricey. However, there are cheaper options that you wouldn’t even suspect.


One cup of milk is equal to 8 grams of protein and is a perfect ingredient to incorporate into your diet. Beans, peanut butter, cheese, and whole nuts all contain enough protein for you to place in your diet. 

Brown Rice

No diet for college kids can be complete without brown rice. A one-pound bag costs just under $2 and will pair great with your ramen noodles. 

This versatile food can be used in side dishes, salads, or fried rice, casseroles, soups, and stews. 



A bag of microwavable popcorn may cost a lot, but since you’ll be spending an entire semester at school, the best thing to do is buy your popcorn in bulk so it’ll last you. 

You don’t have to the traditional route of a microwavable bag either, instead, you can opt for grabbing a bag of plain kernels.

They’re still microwavable and you can add your own butter an salt because let me tell you, some of those bags that claim they’re butter are absolute liars. 


Sweet Potatoes 

I just started incorporating sweet potatoes into my own diet and they’re highly beneficial. They are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and they help regulate insulin something that regular potatoes don’t offer. 

The versatility of sweet potatoes is pretty insane. Combine them with beans and rice to make a veggie burrito or substitute them for a healthier version of french fries. 



Canned tuna is often on sale for under $2. I find tuna to be valuable for lunch dishes when you don’t feel like investing in the time to cook a meal. My favorite is to make a tuna salad that takes like 15 minutes. 

Tuna is a high source of protein on the right side of cheap. It’s easy to cook and takes no time at all. It’s one of the best items to incorporate in a diet for college kids on a budget. 

Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is another source of protein that can be used in a number of ways. It can be used as a quick snack or utilized in a delicious smoothie. 


I especially recommend yogurt if you’re into making your own smoothies. I do this at home and it’s an awesome late-night snack before bed that leaves you feeling less full in the morning. 


Eggs are actually the best ingredient in a diet for college kids on a budget. Eggs are rich in protein and incredibly cheap to find at a local grocery, farmers market, supermarket, even in CVS and Rite Aid. 

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You can eat them scrambled or sunny side up and use them as ingredients in other dishes. My favorite thing to cook with eggs is pancakes, simple and easy to make on the cheap side. 

If done right, then pancakes can be a great substitute for your traditional breakfast. You can also utilize eggs for almost any kind of dessert you can imagine. 


Pasta or spaghetti is great for any college student on a budget. It’s not hard to make and is a nice departure from your typical college meals. 


Making pasta is only limited by your imagination so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients. Consider adding onions, garlic, and bell peppers from a local store for cheap.

 Deli Sandwiches

Sure, you can just wander to your local campus market and buy one, but if you’re on a meal plan, you know that those credits come in handy later in the semester. 


Buying a sandwich is going to be more expensive than buying the ingredients yourself. Doing so will allow you to make multiple sandwiches for the same price. 

Pair it with tuna or sliced deli meat if you want to keep up with your protein intake. As for the vegetarians, you can load up with raw or frozen vegetables for your desired taste. 

Protein Shakes And Smoothies

Protein shakes and smoothies can be a great supplement for a whole meal in a diet for college kids. You don’t have to splurge on expensive protein powder to get a decent amount. 


All you have to do is add protein-rich almonds or yogurt to get the right amount you desire. Milk and ice cream are also great substitutes for protein powder as well due to the dairy ingredients. 

I would recommend using frozen fruits as opposed to using fresh fruits because they’ll last longer and taste better cold anyway. 

A perfect diet for college kids on a budget doesn’t exist, but at the end of the day, it comes down to what works best for you. Do you have any diet tips? Comment below and let us know if these tips help at all!