Going to college is an interesting, exciting, and agonizing time of any person’s life, because he or she is entering the real world of life. So what about things to eat which are economical and easy to prepare when you are on the way, because you are running late for your Biology class which starts in 10 minutes. Here are a few tips for some economical and easy ways to eat on the go.
Depending if you are dorming or living off campus with or without roommates will decide what kind of budget and alternate sources which may or may not be available to you for food and amenities needed to give yourself a satisfactory meal and under a tight budget.
Dorming: Need more shelf life products, canned goods, pre-made meals, and bread. Invest in a small refrigerator. Splitting the costs with your roommate will give you some benefit. Both of you can benefit from the little refer. Join together and buy the essentials you will both need daily, a can opener, plastic utensils, gallon ziploc size bags, quart ziploc size bags, medium sized glad-ware, bonus size condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, small tub of margarine, mustard, pepper, salt, and mayonnaise more economical), and paper products. Small pots, fry pan, and a hot single stove is another thing worth purchasing. Dorm areas at times will have a small area with a microwave in the area. Store these pots and things in a under bed container, out of the way and organized. Organization is key in keeping things organized and clean where it can be found in a dorm room. Hint: Prepack your utensils, wrap either a spoon, knife, and or fork together with a napkin and rubber band it around. This will save time and effort, once you and your roommate have a stash. This is applicable if you have an insatiable hunger or no meal plan for the college you are attending.
In a standard 14 x 14 dorm room, you will have enough room for two beds, a small closet, two small desks, and two small 3-4 drawer dressers. A mini refrigerator can fit in between the beds, desks, or near the dressers.
Apartment: Anything goes, depending upon your budget and of course space still. If you have a roommate or two, groceries can be split 2-3 ways and cooking too. This way there is a better chance for your budget to last longer and the meals can stretch if everyone pitches in to help the household. The following items are good to have in the household. Can opener, ziploc bags in gallon and quart size, glad-ware, plastic utensils, paper products, and condiments and or seasonings. Other utensils or appliances are optional of course. Toasters, toast ovens, crock pots, tongs, and ladles will greatly depend on budget and space.
Always remember too, you can add more to your meal if you prepare ahead of time. For example, you get home at 5:30 after your last class or session. Before you shower or do your normal routine of opening up your laptop, put two eggs in a pot with water and turn on the stove to boil the eggs. While you are doing your normal regiment, the eggs will be boiling and in no time done so you can make your lunch for the next day. Whatever happens, preparation is key to the success of having pre-made lunches.
Here is a grocery shopping list to buy whether in a dorm room or not.
*Luncheables are packets of prepacked meats, crackers, cheese, pizza, hot dogs, just about anything you can eat on the go. The packest are normally on sale for a reasonable price for a person to afford. Some packs also include a juice pack for you as well. This is easy, quick, and easy to clean up.
*Chef Boy R Dee (Microwaveable Go canisters) and Campbell Soup to Go ( many variations) – this item already has its own container so no need to pack. The cost of this item ranges from $1.25 each to $3.00 for 3, depending on the sale you may be able to get this item for less. These helpful, convenient, and cost effective. Pop one in before you go and eat on the way. Another thing to consider is the cost, stores normally have store sales or specials which make the cost lower for you to afford.
*Canned vegetables are easy to heat up and add to any small on the go meal. The cost of this item could be 2 for $0.88 or less, depending on the current sales running in the stores near you or the sales ad in the papers. Saimin (listed below) boiled and later sauteed in a sliver of margarine. Add a can of sweet peas or corn and pepper. Presto, an easy quick meal to tag along.
*Corned Beef Hash – pack in medium sized gladware or pack as a sandwich in a ziploc bag.
This is a handy dish and not too bad tasting either. Pop a can in and split with your roommate, ready to go hash. You can also if time allows make hash patties to make a sandwich for the next day. The cost of this item ranges from $1.25 to $2.39 each. If you have a wholesale card for a membership store, such as Costco, check out the cost for a case versus each can.
*Loaf of Bread, peanut butter, jelly, sandwich meats, bologne, and sliced cheese of your choice.
This is sandwich heaven here. Prepping and making a sandwich is probably the fastest and easiest of things to do. Spread peanut butter and jelly on to slices of bread and yes, you have a sandwich ready to pack in a ziploc bag. Another is spread some mayo and mustard on two slices of bread and slap on the cheese and meat of choice. Ye ha, you got a ready made meal. If you have enough time to make a grill cheese sandwich. Take two slices of bread, spray non-stick spray on the pan, and start frying. Easy and quick, prep and cook time is 15 minutes or less. Or try a fried bologna sandwich with cheese. Fry the bologna first and fry on the side the two slices of bread. Then add the cheese to one side of the bread and flip the bologna on top of the cheese and other slice of bread. There you go, a fried bologna cheese sandwich, prep time is 25 minutes or less. Depending on how high you set the burner.
The cost for the various items listed above ranges from $1.00 to $4.50, depending on where you are buying your groceries from or sales running. Look if there is a local bread maker near by, which sell loafs of bread in the general stores. The store may contain good deals on bread, $1.25 a loaf of bread.
*Hot Pockets comes in a variety of choices. Heat and serve. Take on the go while running. Roast beef and cheese is great with celery sticks. This item is awesomely priced at Walmart for $0.98 each. Walmart has a selection of the Hot Pockets.
*Pre-cut vegetables namely carrot and celery sticks are an easy snack to pack in a ziploc bag and add to a sandwich meal or snack on in the middle of a waiting time between classes. Normally these are sold in the produce area of a store. The price range for this item ranges from $1.75 to $2.50.
*Dinty Moore and other brands have ready made meals in a package. Stew, turkey and stuffing, pot roast and vegetables are just a few. Heat and serve. Take a pre-packed fork, spoon, or knife kit and eat on the go. The wonderful thing is this will be a full meal and satisfy your hunger while on a tight budget. The cost of this meal ranges from $1.50 to $2.50.
*Michelina’s or Lean Cuisine Frozen Entree’s. These handy meals in a box are microwaveable and can be easily transported either in the same container or another small gladware container with a pre-packed utensil kit. Michelina’s and Lean Cuisine may sound expensive, but this is not so. These frozen meals go on sale at least once a month for about 2 for $3.00 or 4 for $6.00. This depends on the store and the time of the sales.
*Tuna on the go packets, come in a variety with crackers or bread. Mix in the packet and enjoy. This is a handy snack or meal in a package and the cost ranges from $1.50 to $2.50 at the most.
*Saimin and Noodle packages from Somen or Noha has different varieties of saimin packages which you can add water, add soup base and season packet from package and microwave for 4-5 minutes depending on the brand and type of ramen package. Ready to eat after that, just use a pre-packed utensil set or chopsticks if you have them. The cost of this item ranges from $0.33 each to $5.00 for 24 count. Walmart always has a good sale and selection of saimin. Also check your local stores, Longs or CVS will have good sales on saimin.
*Miso soup, is another type of soup which is also easy to prepare and eat. Brands such as Nihon can be found in the oriental section of the grocery store. Miso soup is great for the cold days or mornings, especially if you are coming down with a cold. Depending if the store you shop at has an oriental section, will decide on the cost. The cost of this item ranges from $2.50 to $5.00, depending on where you buy the product from and the quantity in the package.
*Eggs is perfect, get a dozen or a six pack. Boil to make egg sandwiches, fry to make fried egg sandwiches, or boil eggs and eat just like that with some salt and pepper. The cost range of the eggs varies on the market and current ads running in the sales newspapers.
*Fruit cups are easy to chill, carry, and devour. Pickup your favorite fruit cups from the grocery store. A variety of pineapple, peaches, apples, and fruit cocktail are available for purchase. Pickup a pack and go.
*Cheese & Macaroni in a cup to go. If you have a wholesale membership at a Costco or Sams Club, you can pickup a case for a minimal amount of $10 and under. Simply pop the lid of the microwaveable cup, add water, and microwave for the set time needed to cook. Quick, easy, and no clean up required.
*Snacks are a great filler, Sunchips, Pretzels, crackers, Smart popcorn, and other healthier options will suppress the hunger for now or add a bonus to a soup or sandwich meal. The cost ranges from $0.99 and up, depending on the quantity, packaging, and where you purchase these products.