Special Feature

picture of vegetables in grocery store

Food insecurity is a challenge many college students face. Learn how you can balance a tight budget with good nutrition.

Approximately 30% of college students face some form of food insecurity according to data from the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFA). Budgeting sometimes becomes a priority over meeting nutritional needs, leading to the consumption of highly processed foods. However, with a little planning and creativity, balancing a budget with nutritional content can be achieved. 

Check out these tips to learn more: 

- Take inventory of current food items in your house

Look for recipes using items you already have on hand. Choosemyplate.gov/myplatekitchen is a great resource for healthy recipes. Don’t forget to write down the ingredients on your grocery list before going to the store!

- Purchase fruits and veggies that are in season

In-season produce tends to be cheaper and more flavorful! Foods for the fall season include apples, sweet potatoes and cabbage.

- Don’t be discouraged from buying canned fruit or veggies

The nutrition factor is the same as buying fresh produce but at a fraction of the cost. However, pay attention to the label. Choose items that say “100% juice - not from concentrate” or “low sodium.” If these items aren’t available, the salt can be rinsed off by running the contents under some water.

- Get protein from plant sources instead of animal sources

High-quality, low-cost plant proteins include garbanzo beans or chickpeas, lentils, large white beans, pinto beans and soybeans or edamame. Eating them provides a great opportunity to use canned veggies such as corn, as combining beans and grains provides us with complete proteins and other important nutrients.

- Double the recipe so you have enough for leftovers

As students, we’re busy and don’t need to spend every day in the kitchen. We have GPAs to worry about! Saving leftovers decreases our need to buy fast food while still providing us with our daily nutrients.

As you can see, eating healthy on a budget is not impossible. Practicing good nutritional habits now can save you money for immediate needs like books and tuition. More importantly, it can save you thousands on healthcare in the future.

Join the Student Rec & Wellness Center (SRWC) and Beach Pride Events for “Grocery Games: The Budget Battle”, a student-led challenge inspired by the idea of creating a tasteful, balanced meal on a $10 budget. Learn how to choose ingredients that can be used to prepare flavorful and nutritional meals on a limited budget, and vote for your favorite student-prepared meal. Attendees will get the opportunity to win a $100 grocery store gift card!

For more information, please visit asicsulb.org.

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