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You Don’t Have to be a Starving Student in College Student Housing: Eat Sensibly on a Budget

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college student housingThe full kitchens in our Manhattan college student housing facilities are there for a purpose. Dining out can be student’s budget buster, and if you try to go the junk food route on the cheap, you’ll get empty calories and put on weight. Follow these sensible suggestions to eat healthy and thrive during your precious college years:

Keep the Firing Synapses Fueled

Eat and stock nutritious foods that are filling and sources of proteins that replenish those brain cells you need to succeed. To counter punch that paunch, go for foods that make you feel full longer. Those would be pastas, peanut butter, cheese, beans and meats.

Also, food with a high water content–watermelon and strawberries, lettuce and tomatoes, apples and pears–provide you with the natural sugars, mineral salts and amino acids you use up during your hectic day of cramming and running between classes. Also, if you reach for hydrating foods after exercising, you can save money on expensive and sugary sports drinks.

Shop Sensibly and From a List

When looking for alternatives to college student housing meals, be on the lookout for supermarket bargains and sales. Don’t be too proud to clip coupons and organize your shopping effort as if you were preparing for a quiz.  Shop with your roommate and from a carefully negotiated list. Food that is shared is less likely to be wasted.  Follow these four basic shopping tips to form habits that will benefit you beyond your college days:

  1. Junk the junk food: If soda (either regular or diet), snacks, prepackaged meals and processed foods are a big part of your diet, you are not eating healthy. Deny or drastically cut back on those cravings and your body will thank you. You’ll also save money.
  2. Be faithful to your shopping list:  The impulse to toss that tempting budget busting item into your shopping cart can be overwhelming unless you stick to your shopping list. You can also overcome impulse buying if you don’t shop on an empty stomach.
  3. Beware of supermarket tactics:  Seek out your bargains above and below eye level on the supermarket shelves. People tend to grab the most expensive food products if they don’t have to bend or reach. Look up and down for the generic brands that are the same quality, but cost less.
  4. Read the product label ingredients:  Most packaged or processed foods have high levels of hidden sugar. Look for high-percentage ingredients like corn syrup, molasses, can juice, fructose, dextrose, brown rice syrup, and buy something else. Stay away from instant mashed potatoes, white bread, canned soups and vegetables, sugary cereals and refined pasta.

Find Free Food Beyond College Student Housing

Finally, you can always find a free meal away from college student housing. Be on the lookout for on- and off-campus functions that offer free food and a temporary respite from all that healthy eating.  After all, there’s no need to be totally monastic. These are your college years. Enjoy them!

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