When I became a junior in college, I stopped paying for my campus’ meal plan. Letting go of the meal plan was something of a bittersweet parting. I was saving nearly 100 a month, but I was missing out on all my cafeteria favorites, like the grilled-to-order burgers and the greasy but finger-lickin’ good chicken basket. Unlike many college campuses, Trinity University boasted a pretty decent cafeteria. I especially pined for the cafeteria’s ”comfort food” line, which served up home-made favorites like chicken-fried steak and mac ‘n’ cheese. But I consoled myself with the fact that I was nearly 500 dollars richer, and headed to the local grocery store to pick up some….hmm, what fitted into my budget? Now that my food wasn’t being paid by my college tution, I had to fork up my own funds to get a meal. Looked like I could only afford Ramen noodles.
But that was okay. I figured the all-Ramen noodle diet was a principle part of the college student’s existence. But does it have to be? There’s only a few ways you can spice up limp noodles and smallish gray chunks of “meat.” But never fear! Before you reach for that one dollar cup-a-soup, check out Whole Food’s weekly and very informative newsletter, The Whole Deal. The Whole Deals lets you know of money-saving grocery tips, so you don’t have to rely on noodles every other night the way I did. I found their recent article, “10 money-saving tips for shopping” useful, especially during this holiday season. I really appreciated their last tip, “Buy some baked goods.” As they mention, sometimes it’s better to “buy time than to buy all the ingredients to make [baked goods] from scratch.” I have to admit, between my internship and work, I didn’t have the time (or the requisite kitchen supplies) to make an apple pie. First of all, I needed a whisk, and I didn’t think a table spoon or a plastic knife I’d taken from McDonald’s would work. And Whole Food’s baked pies are more srumptious than anything I could come up with!
So remember to check out Whole Food’s newsletter for some more handy tips to stretch your dollar and add some variety to your menu. They also offer handy coupons like this one, both through the Campus Clipper and their own website. Happy Holidays (and put down that pack of noddles)!
-Written by Megan Soyars, Campus Clipper Blogger