Eating Healthy (For The Extremely Poor College Student) - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 12-07-2008, 01:54 PM
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Is there a book titled that? LOL!

So, in an ideal world, I would eat all organic, whole, vegetarian foods

and be in perfect health, but this is evidentially not a ideal world yet.

Anyway, my question is, does anyone know of a few (or a lot)

of healthy veggie foods that are SUPER cheap and REALLY easy and quick to make?

If you could just list any ideas or resources like books or websites I would appreciate it soooo much.
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#2 Old 12-07-2008, 02:46 PM
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What appliances do you have access to at school?





Crock pot



Cooking utensils


This will influence what kind of recommendations we can make.

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#3 Old 12-07-2008, 06:06 PM
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Raw fruits and veggies.

I make about 80 bucks a month these days (horrible, I know) and have very little to spend on food.

I've found that raw fruits, veggies, and unprepared food is so much cheaper!
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#4 Old 12-07-2008, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gear Shifter View Post

Raw fruits and veggies.

I make about 80 bucks a month these days (horrible, I know) and have very little to spend on food.

I've found that raw fruits, veggies, and unprepared food is so much cheaper!

I too have found that by putting in a little bit more effort I can save a lot of money and make food taste soooo much better!

I do find that a lot of people on VB recommend the 'fake' meats but I find them expensive and have yet to try them. Basically they take away any savings I make from not buying meat.

I eat a lot of pasta and rice based foods because they are dirt cheap. Plus you can turn them into any style dish you want with ease!
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#5 Old 12-07-2008, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger View Post

What appliances do you have access to at school?





Crock pot



Cooking utensils


This will influence what kind of recommendations we can make.


I have a stove, oven, microwave, pots, pans and the like in my apartment. Mostly hand-me-downs and not particularly sophisticated, but yeah.
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#6 Old 12-07-2008, 06:52 PM
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fresh produce is the way to go. Rice and beans are also cheap. You can get some tortillas from a Mexican market and a big bag of rice from an Asian market, boom!
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#7 Old 12-08-2008, 01:08 AM
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I'm a massive tightarse so I'm all for beans, lentils and rice. I buy a big bag of dried beans for $3.50 from a wholefoods shop and it last me a few months. You just soak them overnight and boil them until soft. You could fry an onion, garlic, chilli, tomato and add the beans. Serve it with rice and you have a meal that would last you a few days and cost hardly anything. The same with lentils. I make dahl (google a recipe) and eat it with rice or bread wraps.

The trick with being poor is to buy in bulk when you can afford it and be organised with your cooking. Make big batches and eat the leftovers. Also, try to shop at small local places. My local vietnamese supermarket has things for a third of the price. Markets often have things cheap veg at the end of the day.

If you are not a great cook there are plently of good ready made veg sauces for pretty cheap. Just bulk them out with beans/veges to make them healthier.
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#8 Old 12-08-2008, 03:59 AM
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oatmeal! very good for you, and versatile. You can add fruits and sugars and whatnot for different tasting meals. There's different types of oatmeal too. I've made them all in the microwave without issue, so don't feel like you can only get the instant kind

I'm recently having Irish style. I get a pound of it for 2.75, it cooks up great. I keep it in my desk at work, I have it often.
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#9 Old 12-08-2008, 05:56 AM
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Jars of pasta sauce

Nut butter (P. butter is usually cheaper, buy it all depends on your personal taste)

Beans (I like to keep both bags of dried & some canned on hand at all times)



A block or two of cheddar cheese

Frozen veggies (If you have a freezer? They are sometimes much cheaper than fresh, depending on the seasonal thing)

Fresh veggies (Whatever is in season will be cheapest. Just go with what's on sale)

Canned tomatoe products (I like to keep some rotel type tomatoes on hand, as well as some diced tomatoes)

Loaf of good whole wheat bread (No, this does not have to be expensive)

Flour/corn tortillas (Whichever you prefer)

Seasonings (Some of my favs.:Cumin, Taco Seasoning, Tony Chachere's Creole, Salt & Pepper, Red chili flakes, chili powder)

A couple condiments (Salsa, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, vinegar & olive oil, stir fry sauce, tamari/soy sauce, ketchup)

Hummus (Now, you could make your own, but with being in college you may not have the time to deal with it)

Tortilla chips

Pita chips

Oatmeal (As nykoelle already suggested)

Dozen of eggs

Oriental Ramen noodles

From this items, you now have the makings for:

Black bean tacos/nachos

Hummus wraps

Bean & cheese burritos


Scrambled egg burritos (either for breakfast or dinner)

Veggie sandwich

Taco Soup

Veggie chili (Onions & peppers are usually always cheap on the grocery)

Red beans & rice

Veggie Quesadillas

Tuna 'ish type salad sandwiches/wraps (Made with canned chickpeas)

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Veggie stir-fry with rice

Fried rice

Noodles with julienned veggies (Use the ramen for this)

Well, okay you get the idea.

With a small amount of groceries you can come up with lots of different variations of food.

Maybe this will help to get you started.
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#10 Old 12-08-2008, 01:54 PM
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Yea beans, Tomatoes, Peanut Butter, Jelly, oriental Ramen Noodles( I live on those) Rice, Bread Cheese, Cucumbers, eggs, cream of wheat
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#11 Old 12-08-2008, 02:12 PM
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Fresh produce! It's more work to prepare meals but it is definitley cheaper. My vegetable staples are broccoli, carrots, onions, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and corn.

Oh and bean burritos are cheap and super easy. I just buy canned refried beans and whole wheat tortillas. And then there is always spaghetti.
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#12 Old 12-08-2008, 05:07 PM
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Wow, everyone's saying to buy fresh produce but my experience as a grad student has been the opposite. I can buy fresh broccoli on sale for 1.99 a pound, throw some of that away after cleaning, and possibly have spoilage if I don't use it all in time. Or I can buy a one-pound bag of frozen broccoli on sale for 1.00, take only what I need out of the freezer when I need it, have no waste, and get the same nutrition (sometimes frozen is even more nutritious than fresh). As a single person, and especially one on a budget, frozen veggies can really be a lifesaver.
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#13 Old 12-08-2008, 06:29 PM
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Thanks SOOO much for all the ideas! This is really great yall! Thanks. :]
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#14 Old 12-08-2008, 06:50 PM
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i agree digger, regarding buying frozen foods...often it is cheaper...there tends to be great deals on them regularly...and can be more healthy, as they are flash frozen.

They are super easy to incorporate into your meals, just heat and eat.

In general, keep an eye out for major deals in the groc. store..there should be specials each week on fruits, for example. Get as much as you think you will use.

SOups are awesome...they are flexible, you can put in whatever you want or have on hand....veggies, pasta, rice, etc.

Keep veggie boullion on can use it to flavor rice, couscous, etc.

Check out the ethnic grocery stores...their prices can be much cheaper.

Do you have a customer card for your usual grocery store? they usually will give you special pricing if you have their card.
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#15 Old 12-08-2008, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by flvegnewbie View Post


Hummus (Now, you could make your own, but with being in college you may not have the time to deal with it).

In this case, the time vs. cost factor does NOT work out...

Using garbanzos I cooked from dry (purchased in bulk) I can make about 4 CUPS of hummus for about 25 cents.

Lasts WAY longer than pre-made, I can season as I like, and it tastes INCREDIBLY different and MUCH better than the mondo-expensivio little cups you buy...

If you are on a budget, hummus is a great option but only if you make it yourself!

Soak the garbanzos over night.

Cook them the next evening while studying. Store in the fridge in their cooking broth.

Make into hummus the next day.

Use for sandwiches or dip for at least a week or so... (It freezes pretty well too).
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#16 Old 12-10-2008, 09:30 PM
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even though it might not be the most nutritionally sound, though pretty healthy, peanut butter or soy butter can be an awesome option for a snack or a sandwich or even in oatmeal and will keep you full for longer, which is important (coming from a college student, i hate to eat a meal and be hungry 30 minutes later). and if you get the family sized peanut butters, its cheaper per oz. and lasts sooo long.
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#17 Old 12-11-2008, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

have you looked into a dinner share? where you make dinner one night for a group (something cheap, like vegetarian chili for example), then other people in your group are assigned the other nights? That way you can only make one dish without having to eat left overs all week long (the same thing can get dull) to cut down on expense.

i did that in college. now, i have to deal with making one thing and eatting it all week to save. ugh.

we used to do that too when i was in college, and it worked out pretty well. all the cooks were family living in the same house, though. there were four of us on the roster, so friday became "you're on your own" day. that's a good idea if the other people are veggie or willing to work with a veg.

"Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity." Â George Carlin
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#18 Old 12-12-2008, 05:10 AM
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there's this book called Student vegetarian most quickest cheap meals.


I'm gee ting one too
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