Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas For College Students


Whats the national debate that is going around right now? Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas For College Students of course! Everyone’s on it – news, libraries and even our universities are trying to find a solution for easy healthy lunch ideas for college students.
Don’t stress over finding easy healthy lunch ideas for college students. I used to be that student who brought the same sandwich to school every day… until I discovered how much I could save money and eat better lunches by bringing my own food! This post will teach you how to save money on your lunches and provide you with easy healthy lunch ideas for college students.

Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas For College Students

Eating healthy on a budget is hard for anyone, but specifically college students. In this post, we’re sharing our best healthy college meals and tips for budgeting and meal planning.

healthy meals for college students

College is an interesting time. There are so many changes and opportunities to learn about yourself. Most college kids are very intimidated when it comes to cooking. You go from mom and dad making your meals, to 100% dorm food, to holy shit I have to feed myself AND feed myself on a budget.

My $40 Weekly Budget

The three of us knew the basics of how to cook grains on the stove, meat in the oven, veggies in a pan, etc. and I remember allotting myself $40 a week for groceries and meal prepping every weekend before meal prep was a thing all over the internet.

Speaking of the internet, blogs weren’t even a thing yet and neither was Pinterest– two major resources for recipes and meal inspiration today. If you’re a college kid today, consider yourself lucky with the amazing technology and resources we have! Don’t know how to make chili? Google it! Out of brown rice? Buy it off Amazon and get it in 12 hours. NUTS.

I remember when my little brother went to college, he called me and asked me if I could teach him how to make a handful of meals that wouldn’t take him all day to make, were healthier options, and inexpensive. I loved spending time with him, teaching him, and sharing tips and tricks.

Good news, my brother cooks healthy meals all by himself now. I figured, why not share all the tips and tricks I taught him and used myself. If you’re just starting your healthy food budgeting journey, welcome! I hope this helps 🙂

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Set a budget + Make a Plan 

I am so thankful that I learned how to budget at a young age (thanks Dad). I know it doesn’t always come naturally to some people, but the more you practice the easier it is!

Figure out how much you can afford to spend on groceries, make a budget, and try and stick to your budget. I would budget $40 a week for groceries knowing that I would meal prep meals for the whole week.

Budgeting Tip!

Choose recipes that can share ingredients such as overnight oatmeal + oatmeal cookies OR chicken pad Thai + baked chicken so that I could buy things in bulk to save cash.

I would also budget out some cash-money for going out. I tried to save by not eating out a ton during college and I if I were to do it all over again, I would have gone out a bit more. I would have set more extra cash aside for more happy hours and dinners out with friends!

Where You Shop Matters

At FFF, we shop a couple of different places for a few different reasons. Some places have better prices like Trader Joes and Fresh Thyme. Where some places have better produce Lunds and Byerlys and Whole Foods.

We also try and make one trip a month to Costco to save money on our bulk items like oatmeal, flour, chocolate chips, paper towels, olive oil, etc. You have to figure out what stores are closest to you and what makes sense!

Shop The Sale

Sale prices are a lifesaver. Go to the grocery store with a semi-open mind. If a recipe calls for red bell peppers, but green peppers are on sale for 99 cents –> DO IT. It’s ok to swap out similar ingredients, especially if you can save a couple of bucks!

Buying Bulk Items Is Cheaper

Bulk items can save you SO much when you’re on a budget. Try to buy all of your staple items in bulk, that way you will be able to spend your budgeted grocery money on specialty items more often. I made you a list below to give you an idea of my staple bulk items:

  • Oatmeal
  • Olive Oil
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Flour
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Chicken (I buy a ton of chicken and freeze it!)

Healthy College Meals That Won’t Bust Your Budget

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