Off-campus living will make a man out of you or a responsible young adult at very least. When I first got word that I would be living off campus I had plans of ordering pizza pies and chinese takeout in large portions throughout the week. Eating leftovers on alternate days to be “ money savvy”.
Somewhere between a shrinking account and a growing waistband I came to my senses. The original plan had not been sensible in the least. In order to survive off-campus, more than basic culinary skills would have to be acquired.
I sought the advice of my older sister Simone Belle a nurse practitioner and graduate of New York University’s School of Nursing. Someone who understands what it means to be a struggling college student trying to juggle more than a few things with limited resources.
We narrowed down the dining goals to three major components: Affordability, healthy choices and timeliness.
There are some items that you may want to add to the cart right away. By design these items are usually placed near the entrance of the store and located on the exterior of the aisle with “great deal” signage decorated around it. Resist the urge to be tempted by first creating a grocery list prior to shopping. Junk food items not only add up in cost but are unhealthy. When in the store go down you list of needed items ensuring that you have all the ingredients to make a solid meal. Then when your list is complete add a few of those wants as treat. This will drastically cut your grocery bill.
When prepping healthy meals it is important to create a diverse offering on the plate. According to the American Cancer Society and United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDA) “it is recommended to eat a wide variety foods to best obtain the appropriate protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains”. While fresh vegetables may be best. Simone tailors the message for young adults “Frozen vegetables are a perfect choice for college students because fresh vegetables might spoil before use and canned vegetables hold very little nutritional value”
Time is often one of the hardest adjustments for off campus students, as meals take considerably longer to prepare than swiping for a meal at the dining hall. It is definitely a challenge learning to adjust to cooking at home while your friends are on their way to the dining halls. Damaris Dunn senior at SUNY Oswego living in the Village Commons agrees, “ What you have to realize is that when others are heading to the dining halls, that is your time to head home to your kitchen. Bring a friend over too! I hate cooking for one person so I always invite a group of friends to enjoy a good meal too”
These are all tips that have led to better eating habits that are both healthy and reasonable with in my current college lifestyle. With some luck these tips will help you have a healthy, fit figure to go along with good grades by semester end. Who knows you may even brag as I do now about how “culinary savvy” you have become.
- Bon Appetite !