Tips for Eating on a College Student Budget

Posted: July 13, 2018 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 2 minutes

students walking in the rotundaOne of the challenges of moving to college is learning how to eat on a college budget. As a student, when you're paying for school, fees, books, car, gas, rent, utilities, phone bills, and Netflix, it can be hard to make that paycheck stretch!

“Not only is it important for your body to eat healthy in college, it's important for your brain,” said Kyrsten Harper, dance education major. “One of the most important things that helped me eat a balanced meal was planning my lunch for the next day. Sometimes lunch can be the hardest meal when you’re spending your on campus.”

Here are some great ways to get the most bang for your buck:

Cook At Home

Now that you are away from home it is going to be tempting to head over to the closest fast food restaurant more often than not. The cost of going out too often will add up pretty quickly, so set up a budget of how often you should eat out every month and how much you have to spend on groceries.

Keep It Simple

Now that you are on your own it is tempting to buy a whole lot of fancy and expensive ingredients. You will want to avoid purchasing small products that expire quickly or do not last long. Invest your money in long-lasting food items so you can stretch them over more extended periods of time like peanut butter, mac & cheese, and cereal. This will lower the number of times you have to buy things at the store so you can save more money.


When preparing to go to the grocery store, it's not a bad idea to check out the local papers and store magazines to obtain lower prices on items you are buying. Using coupons allows you to buy more things that may last you longer periods of time but at a lower price.  

Meal Plans

Most institutions offer meal plans on campus. Meal plans provide a wide array of food options throughout the day that you can eat and hopefully will keep you from eating off campus too much. SUU has meal plan options that allow students to pick what is best for them. To check out the selection of meal plans and retailers such as Chick-Fil-A and Papa Johns, visit the SUU Dining website.

Team Up with Roommates

Coordinating grocery shopping with your roommates is a perfect way to save money. If you and your roommates have the same taste in food then while you are at the store you can split specific items between each of you. You can then all enjoy your favorite things to eat but do not have to pay the full cost of them.

Eating on a budget is part of the college lifestyle, but thanks to Cedar City and SUU, it doesn't mean you have to eat ramen every day. There are plenty of healthy and budget-friendly ways to eat while attending SUU.

This article was published more than 5 years ago and might contain outdated information or broken links. As a result, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Tags: Student Blog Campus Resources

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