Thriving on a College Budget

I know from personal experience that living off-campus is one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining a healthy diet with a limited budget. How can you avoid overspending on nutrition when you’re on campus morning to night and have to bring all your food with you? The trick is preparation and awareness of the resources available to you.

Let’s Talk Tupperware

The most versatile way to bring full meals to campus is plastic or glass containers. A microwave- friendly container can be heated directly in one of UCSD’s many public microwaves located in HDH markets and dining facilities, Price Center, and Commuter Lounges. One approach to storing food is to bring a cooler bag with you to school, especially useful for those bringing two or more meals. Those not wanting to drag around an extra bag can utilize communal refrigerators in the Revelle, ERC and Marshall Commuter Lounges.

Stash Your Snacks

Snacks like nuts, fruit, and granola bars are easy to buy in bulk and bring with you to school. But one even easier way is to stash a supply of non-perishable snacks in rentable lockers on campus. Students can rent out a locker in PC or RIMAC for $15 or $20 per quarter, respectively. Some Commuter Lounges rent lockers as well. I split the cost of a RIMAC locker with a roommate and keep a box of protein bars there so that I never have to worry about snacks after a workout!

Focus on Free Food

It’s important to get involved on your campus, for the free food if nothing else! Many student org events and info sessions use free food to draw attendees and are happening all the time! You can scope out possible snack sources by browsing UCSD event calendars or even student-run resources like the UCSD Free Food Brigade on Facebook.

What tricks do you use to keep your stomach happy and your wallet full? Let us know in the comments!

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