Cheap Eats

Warning! If you want tips for high quality dining, you should consider looking elsewhere. May I recommend the Food Network?

No doubt about it, Food Network offers up some pretty tasty tips and mouth-watering recipes. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to feast like kings. At least not on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps one of the most practical skills I’ve learned in college is how to eat super cheap and super fast. Let me just say upfront that this meal plan is probably not even remotely healthy. You’ve been warned.

Menu for a typical day:

Breakfast: 3-4 spoonfuls of Yoplait creamy harvest peach yogurt. The container lasts a week or two and only costs a couple bucks. 1 mug of tea if I’m feeling extravagant.

~Money saver: Absolutely DO NOT buy Starbucks. You might be tired, you might be tempted, but the price tag just isn’t worth it. It’ll drain you faster than you can say, “hey, this coffee is burned!” Just say no. In fact, you should probably avoid coffee shops all together.

Lunch: Unnecessary. Perhaps a granola bar, or a Great Value pop tart if you really can’t silence the rumbling. Fill up on water, it’s free. If you’re the kind of person who likes eating, I recommend the dollar menu. Mickey D’s does a good job, if you can stomach the grease.

Dinner: Keep it simple. Some nights a can of Allen’s sweet corn and a serving or two of chicken flavored stuffing will hit the spot. You can even get name brand stuffing. It’s that cheap. If you’re looking for substance, try Ramen noodles. I’ve never seen someone go broke on Ramen. Wash it all down with some more water.

~Money saver: No matter what your friends say, don’t go out! Going out is the death of any tightwad’s budget. If you really want that going out sensation, take your bowl of stuffing and go eat it on your porch. See? Every bit as good as a restaurant.

SPLURGE: (every good diet plan needs a splurge) My splurge? Ice cream. If you’re in Columbia, I highly recommend Sparky’s on 9th Street. They have great homemade flavors. Last night I had their peach champagne ice cream. Last week I had their white russian flavor…and honey lavender. If you’re more of a fan of chains (shame on you!) and want to spend even more (since that’s what we all want), I’d go for Cold Stone. College students- don’t break the bank! Go to Cold Stone on Tuesdays and it’s buy one get one free with a student ID. Bring a friend and split the bill.

And there you have it, my cheap eats. Of course, my roommates sometimes tell me that if I don’t eat a real meal eventually, I’m going to die. But I figure eventually I’m going to die either way. No sweat!

Then again, if you want some legitimate tips on how to eat real meals without going for broke, check out this out. It’s a really nifty website with great ideas for all kinds of cheap meals, snacks, and desserts. Try the beef burgundy! Mmm!

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About Nicole

Daughter of God, wife, mother, volunteer youth leader, substitute teacher, aspiring writer, rabbit owner, nature lover. These are some of my titles.
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