Skip The Vending Machine: Eat Healthy In College

Keeping healthy in college is tricky and it is hard to find time between classes, cramming for exams and studying to plan and prepare healthy meals.

During my freshman days, a wise professor once imparted some wisdom to a very early political science class that I employed throughout college.

I hope you find the story valuable in your quest to stay healthy while making ends meet – we all know in college that is no easy task.

So… a young man sat slumped at his desk with a bag of Hot Cheetos on his lap. As the professor spoke, the student munched and crunched – his fingers getting more orange with each bite.

This particular professor was a real stickler for eating in class. Upon either hearing the crunching or smelling the undeniable Cheetos smell, the professor stopped the lecture to quiz the student on his eating habits.

“Why are you eating that at this hour?” the professor asked.

“Coz I am in college and broke and this is all I can afford,” the student replied.

To that the professor asked the student how much the offending snack cost.

The student pondered the question and came back with the reply of just under $2.

To that the professor replied, “If you would have gone to the store and bought a box of cereal and a gallon on milk it would have cost you about $5 and you would have breakfast for a week.”

The student looked a little embarrassed, returned the bright orange delights to his backpack for later consumption and the lecture went on.

However, it did leave a lasting impression on me.

I had often brought my lunch or dinner from one of the many vending machines scattered around campus. These below average “meals”  of a chocolate bar, chips or bag of gummi bears would leave me feeling hungry a few hours later and would cost me a small fortune every time I needed a snack.

A great way to save money in college is to make the time to shop at a grocery store and grab a supply of cheap eats that will keep you going through the long hours in the library and back-to-back classes.

Here are some good ideas for healthy eating on budget

  • Make sure you allocate time during the week to visit the grocery store so you always have food at hand and won’t need to buy expensive and unhealthy snacks from vending machines.
  • Get together with roommates and brainstorm some meals you all like to eat. Make a big batch of whatever it is, and then you can all take leftovers with you to school.
  • Always have snacks in your backpack. Eating a piece of fruit or a granola bar to tide you over until you get home is much more healthy and works out less expensive than opting for a bag of chips/chocolate bar.


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2 thoughts on “Skip The Vending Machine: Eat Healthy In College

  1. Great post. I’ve found that literally leaving all financial means at home can really help curb the temptation to buy vending machine food when I’m out. That, and just making sure to eat enough at home. A full pound of beef with four eggs usually does it 🙂

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