6 Ways to Save Money on Food

By Alyssa Laffitte on January 10, 2019

We college students have a tendency to spend way too much money on food. We are busy, so it’s way too easy to drop tons of money on quick and easy fast food, because it’s convenient. Most of us would say that the majority of our money goes to food. But this is not good! In this article, we’ll discuss ways to save money on food as college students.

Image via Isorepublic.com

Meal plan and prep

An easy way to save money is to plan your meals in advance. A lot of the time, we college students spend a lot of money on food because we want to grab something quick and easy. Unfortunately, this is an unsustainable habit for both your wallet and your health. If you plan your meals, you won’t need to grab junk food, because you will already know what you’ll eat for your next meal. For extra bonus points, prep your meals in advance, too! It will save you so much time and money. I would recommend that you set aside one day every week to prepare your meals for the next few days. This way, you will have food ready to go when you are hungry, and you won’t have to resort to a quick and unhealthy fast food. By planning and preparing your meals in advance, you will save lots of money on food.

Pack your lunches

The easiest way to waste money on food is to buy your lunch every day. It’s convenient, but again, it’s not sustainable for your body or your wallet. Instead, pack your lunches. Chances are, the lunches you pack will be healthier and cheaper. If you need ideas on what to pack for your lunch, do a quick Google or Pinterest search. In other words, packing your lunches will help you spend less money on food.

Limit the number of times you eat out per week

It’s no secret that eating out is very expensive. We college students spend too much money on the convenience of having something quick and easy to eat. However, you will save a substantial amount of money if you limit the number of times you eat out every week. Rather than eat out, cook more of your own meals. Cooking is not only healthier, but it is much better for your wallet. Eating out is convenient, but limiting yourself to only a few times a week will save you lots of money.

Use your student discount

Using a student discount is a good way to spend less money on food. As a student, you will likely be able to get a discount at most restaurants, especially if you are in a college town. Of course, it’s better to pack a lunch rather than eat out. But if you must eat out, try to get a student discount. I would recommend doing your research to find out which restaurants in your area offer the best discounts. It’s also good to know if they have discounts on certain days or certain times. All in all, it’s a good idea to use a student discount if you eat out.

Take advantage of rewards programs

Some restaurants and grocery stores have a membership program that will reward you for spending money there. The trick is to join these programs at stores that you already shop at; if you aren’t already a regular customer, it won’t be worth it. If you shop there enough, you will soon get discounts or other perks that will help you save money. In other words, in stores you already shop at, you should definitely take advantage of these rewards programs because they will help you spend less money on food.

Look out for promotions of your favorite stores and restaurants

Similarly, another great way to spend less money on food is to constantly be on the lookout for promotions. You should always be looking out promotions for your local grocery store and for your favorite restaurants. For example, grocery store “BOGOs” (buy one get one) are especially useful for products that don’t expire, such as paper products. This way, you can treat yourself while also saving money. You can find these promotions with a quick Google search, or on an app. (It’s a good idea to download your local grocery store’s app, as you will likely be notified of good promotions!) Promotions will definitely help you spend less money on food.

Going out to eat all the time is very convenient, since you can get food quickly and easily. This is tempting for us busy college students. However, these outings can add up, and we need to save as much money as we can. If you plan your meals in advance and take advantage of promotions, you will save tons of money on food.

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