Higher education brings forth higher costs. Among the many expenses that college entails, food expenses is a category that is easiest to develop frugal habits. During freshmen and sophomore years, I paid $1500 per semester for a campus meal plan. Now, I've opted out of that meal plan and chose to cook. And so, every weekend, I'd take the campus bus to the local Waldbaum's.

Since I just cleared my fridge, let's take a look of my grocery receipt that has covered my eating necessities for the past 2 weeks:

From the list above (didn't add tax and such), I can last at least 2 weeks which rounds off to about $25 per week.
Eating on campus averages $6.00 per meal at 3 times a day and 7 days a week = $126 per week.


Keep in mind that I can actually spend less if I chose eliminate the junk food, which would also benefit my health. It is possible even to survive on just $10,or less, per week if I just ate pasta!! My diet is considered luxurious compared to the possibilities out there.

Even after stressing the amount of money that can be saved for food, there are still reasons that college students refuse to cook:

  • Lazyness: "Why cook when I can just go to the dining hall?"
  • Busy class schedule: "I have no time to go back to my dorm to cook."
  • Waking up late: "Class starts in 10 minutes. Guess I'll skip breakfast."
  • Avoidance: "I don't know how to cook."
Time is money. Spending a little more time to prepare food has changed my budget, drastically.

Then again, there are dorm housing fees...


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