10 Ways To Make Dinner On A Budget

The next installment of our budgeting series tackles the last meal of the day. Sometimes you don’t have time to make a big dinner between the end of classes and the beginning of the night shift. Nonetheless, it’s very important to make time to eat at regular intervals. So here are some great ideas for making your evening meal worth the time.

10. Potatoes ($0.73 / lb.)

Recipe: Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

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Potatoes have been a side and dinnertime staple for a very long time, and for good reason. They’re cheap, full of nutrients, and can be prepared a thousand different ways. They’re also a great source of potassium!

9. Pasta ($1.19 / lb.)

Recipe: Ground Turkey Bolognese

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Who doesn’t love pasta? It’s a great staple that can be made in a variety of different shapes and with a variety of sauces. There’s a ton of reasons to load up your pantry with pasta – not the least of which is that it’s filled with complex carbohydrates. These kinds of carbohydrates that let’s you stay fuller for longer.

8. Beans ($1.34 / lb.)

Recipe: Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

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Beans are another wonderful addition that can be added to salads or soups, or even making them the biggest part of your meal, like with burritos!

7. Canned Tuna ($1.49 – $1.89 / lb.)

Recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad

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Canned tuna is a very easy way to sneak protein into your diet, and it’s super easy to store (at least before you open it). This super fish can help lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, and increase energy. So, basically the main three things that stressed-out college students need.

6. Flank Steak ($7.27 / lb.)

Recipe: Korean-Style Beef Tacos

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This next ingredient is a little more spendy, but who says you can’t treat yourself some of the time? This is one of the leanest parts of the cow, and you can it at a great bargain if you keep your eyes peeled. This kind of meat can give you an iron boost, increase vitamin B-12, and help your metabolism.

5. Carrots ($1 / lb.)

Recipe: Spiced Carrot Fritters

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This is another great staple in your salad and veggie trays! Carrots can boost your immune system, reduce cholesterol, and improve digestion!

4. Chicken ($3.18 / lb.)

Recipe: Spinach, Chickpea, and Chickpea Pitas

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Chicken is delicious and cheap and easy to freeze, so it’s in a million different recipes. Many of which are used every day by college students. The benefits of chicken are the cholesterol control (depending on how you prepare it), a reduced risk of cancer, and blood pressure control.

3. Tilapia ($3.51 / lb.)

Recipe: Tilapia with Sweet Potato Cakes

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Tilapia is a great white fish to fill your freezer with and it’s a nice change if you’re sick of chicken. Tilapia can help you boost immune system, increase bone strength, and improve hair health.

2. Ground Beef ($3.50 / lb.)

Recipe: Tex Mex Meat Loaf

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This is another great protein option for college students, and beef tacos are a favorite of nearly everyone. This red meat option has lots of protein, full of B vitamins and can help boost iron levels.

 

1. Sticky Rice ($0.35 / lb.)

Recipe: Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

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Need some fast energy? Sticky rice is your answer! This long grain can also help skin health and lower high blood pressure.

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10 Quick Tips About Eating Healthy At College

You’re definitely ignoring at least six assignments in order to read this. Let’s not waste any time and get you closer to eating healthy – and quickly – in college.

10. Eat High-Quality Junk Food

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Look, we know it’s incredibly hard to ignore the siren call of late night runs to Taco Bell. You’re actually probably not going to be able to cut out junk food entirely. Stop lying to yourself.

Instead, focus on making your favorite comfort foods with quality ingredients. Small bargains like that will take the stress out of eating healthy, and you’ll do a lot better than demanding perfection.

9. Try Intermittent Fasting

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Sometimes you don’t have the time or money to eat three square a day. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of advantages to regularly eating less at dinner-time.

Intermittent fasting isn’t starving yourself. That is really unhealthy. It breaks down like this: five days a month you eat two meals, the first around 200 calories and the second around 300. On non-fasting days, you don’t pig out but you don’t have to restrict calories.

Studies have found that this practice can decrease risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

8. Store Up With Healthy Snacks

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Be prepared for your busy day, and store up with healthy snacks. Some of our favorites include:

  • low-sodium jerky
  • trail mix
  • pumpkin seeds
  • Greek yogurt & granola
  • tuna & crackers

…and many more!

7. Plan Meals Into Your Busy Day

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Do you worry about making it to every meal while the cafeteria is still open? Maybe you’ve got a six-hour block of classes and you don’t know how to make it work? No worries!

You need to eat regularly – but fit it into your schedule. Take a pencil to your day, and work out the times where you know you can get some food.

6. Sneak Protein Into Every Meal

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That doesn’t necessarily mean adding meat to every meal either! You can go the quick version by finding a protein powder you like and incorporating it into your diet. Or you can work on substituting common grocery items like pasta for other protein-packed grains or beans!

Buzzfeed did a great piece on this here.

5. Use your hand as a portion guide

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If you’re stuck in the cafeteria and waiting to be served by a student-worker, it’s not practical to whip out a measuring cup to check your portions. However, you probably already have the tools you need.

The following diagram was taken Lifehacker as a very rough guide as to use your hand as a portion guide. Once you find out how much you need to eat, it can be breeze!

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4. Take advantage of free fruit

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If you have a meal plan, you’ll be getting most of your food from the school cafeteria. Everywhere’s different, but a lot of these places will offer fruits like apples and oranges that you can add to your meal. Be sure to take one or two extras in your bag if you can.

It’s an easy way to make sure you have a healthy snack in your pocket for those long study sessions, and it won’t cost you (more) money.

3. Try cutting out fruit juice & soda

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It’s hard to say ‘no’ to, but fruit juice & soda will put on extra calories that you simply don’t need. They’re pumped full of extra sugar and all kinds of processed grossness. Focus on staying hydrated instead. Speaking of which…

2. Keep a reusable water bottle with youfunny reusable bottle gif

Look, nobody needs to waste money on plastic water bottles when you can keep a reusable one (preferably aluminum) on hand. A reusable one is unique to you, durable, and is all around healthier for you.

1. Take advantage of frozen fruits & veggies

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Budgeting in fresh fruits and vegetables are important, but sometimes it’s just not in the cards. For an alternative, be sure to take advantage of the frozen section sale near you!

They’ll stay fresh for much longer, and you can incorporate them in a never of cheap and healthy meals for weeks to come.

10 Ways To Make Lunch On A Budget

Whether you have all the time in the world to make a delicious midday meal, or you’re trying to rush through a lunch break, it’s hard to deny the siren’s call of fast food. But when you’re trying to be healthy and save money, it’s hard to know where to start.

You can fear no more, because here on ten creative ways to make the most of your lunchtime, without slowing down with greasy food.

10. Turkey Burger with Veggies

Recipe: Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers

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This is a protein-packed and totally delicious way to make lunch at home. Pair with a bags full of fresh vegetables, and you’ve got a simple way to make the rest of your afternoon fly by!

9. Fresh Salad

Recipes: 50 Simple Salads

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With just a little bit of future planning, anybody can have a delicious and healthy lunch with all manner of colors and flavors. It doesn’t have to cost an arm-and-a-leg, either, because shopping while certain vegetables are in season and on sale will help a lot.

8. Turkey Wrap

Recipe: Instant Turkey Wrap

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This is a great option for people entirely too used to eating desk lunches. Pack it full of colorful spinach and tomatoes and you’re good to go!

7. Vegetable Omelet

Recipe: Veggie Stuffed Omelet

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This won’t exactly fly in the office kitchen, but it is possible if you’re able to eat lunch at home. It’s also perfect if you have a propensity for breakfast at technically inappropriate times – as all the best people do.

6. Protein-packed oatmeal

Recipe: Sunday Morning Oatmeal

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Okay, the secret’s out – I genuinely love all kinds of breakfast food and I couldn’t care less what time of day it is. Since oatmeal is a staple of my meals, it’s perfectly acceptable as a protein-packed lunch option. You can add all kinds of goodies from your kitchen, but you can use the recipe above for some added kick or some peanut butter for added protein.

5. Re-Purpose Leftovers

No recipe for this one, because I hope that you are able to incorporate healthy eating into all your meals – including the ones eaten at home. For this, it’s just a matter of portion-control.

Make several extra servings of a healthy dinner, and save them in the refrigerator for a delicious meal with practically no prep time. This is also a great economic option because you don’t have to keep buying a variety of ingredients for lunch-only foods. Just stock up on the things you make for dinner!

4. Keep it Simplekeep-it-simple-blog-image

Okay, last one with a guideline before we get back into the recipes. When you’re looking for other recipes and ideas on how to make healthy lunches – simplicity is key. As long as you’ve got a handful of vegetables and proteins together, you can throw pretty much anything together and it’ll work.

Don’t freak out about it. You don’t have to throw together anything elaborate for something to be healthy.

Just breathe.

3. BLATs (Bacon – Lettuce – Avocado – Tomato) Sandwiches

Recipe

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Need some fresh sandwich advice? Make a change to the classic BLT by adding avocado, a nationally recognized superfood.

Okay, it’s not that but it is delicious and is a fresh change and it’s good for you.

2. Make a soup

Recipe: Sweet Potato – Peanut Bisque 

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This another recipe that can easily double as a dinner-and-then-leftovers lunch, or a lunch that can go on for another few days. Either way, it makes delicious use of healthy ingredients to make a filling meal.

1. Make A Salad With Slightly More Complicated Ingredients.

Recipe: Egg Salad

egg-salad Who said a salad only has to consist of vegetables? You can also switch things up by making creamy kinds of salads with all kinds of veggies on the side.

What’s your favorite workday lunch recipe?

10 Ways To Make Breakfast On A Budget

It’s incredibly easy to ignore the most important meal of the day with a college student’s schedule. To be completely honest, it’s much easier to ignore with a college student’s budget.

However, I’m here to prove that you can have delicious breakfasts every day without breaking the bank. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even like a few of them.

10. Black Beans ($1.50 / can)

Recipe: Black Bean Breakfast Bowl

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Black beans are a great addition to any soup or salad, but mixing some in with eggs, fruits, and veggies in a bowl makes for a filling breakfast.

These beans are packed with carbs and fiber, and other nutrients. They’re also a great source of vegan protein with very little fat.

9. Chicken Breast ($2.99 / lb.)

Recipe: Chicken & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

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If you want a little heartier meal, baking some chicken breast and making a sandwich is the perfect solution.

Chicken has lots of healthy protein, and has been linked to losing weight, cholesterol control, blood pressure control, and a reduced risk of cancer.

8. Oatmeal ($1 / lb. in bulk)

Recipe: Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie 

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Oatmeal is a great way to start the day because of it’s high amounts of soluble fiber. This helps you feel fuller for longer, and therefore can help prevent overeating later in the day.

It can also contains calcium and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.

7. Salmon ($2.50 / 14.75 – oz. can)

Recipe: Baked Salmon

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Salmon isn’t the first food that immediately comes to mind when you think of breakfast, but it’s actually quite good for you. It has a lot of protein and vitamins, but most important is the omega-3 fatty acids. These can improve brain, heart and joint function.

6. Greek Yogurt ($1.50 / unit)

Recipe: Greek Yogurt Pancakes

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Greek yogurt is a little tart, but it’s something that can get you ready for the rest of the day. Greek yogurt has twice the protein as normal yogurt, as well as probiotic cultures.

5. Brown Rice ($2 / lb.)

Recipe: Brown Rice Breakfast Porridge

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If you’re tired of making oatmeal in the morning, brown rice might be a nice change of pace. It’s high in antioxidants and high in fiber.

4. Bananas  ($2 / bunch)

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

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Bananas are an easy snack or smoothie ingredient, but eating it as a regular part of your diet can help a lot. It’s full of potassium and mood-boosting B9 and tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin.

3. Pumpkin (~$2.50 / 15- oz. can)

Recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

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They’re not just for lattes and holiday pies anymore! Adding actual pumpkin to your diet can improve heart health and lower your risk of cancer.

2. Sweet Potatoes ($1 / lb.)

Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash

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This is another unlikely breakfast ingredient. Sweet potatoes can be baked or served up in a hash. It can also help steady blood sugar and boost immunity.

`. Apples ($0.75 / unit)

Recipe: No Bake Apple Pie Protein Bars

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I hope you appreciate how hard I’m trying to keep from using the cliche you’re thinking of right now. Apples are another great snack for later in the day, but is also perfectly comfortable at the breakfast table.

Apples can reduce your risk for diabetes, boost heart health, and prevent gallstones.

A Student’s Guide to Couponing

So you moved into a new (okay new to you) apartment and getting hit with bills left and right. You’re finally free of the mandated meal plan but you don’t know how to do this on a budget. What can you do?

The answer to this question is simple: coupons. And I’m not talking about those ladies with the crazy-eyes in front of you with a binder of coupons and two carts of groceries. Believe it or not, not everyone has a huge basement to hold that excess stuff, and you shouldn’t buy anything you don’t need just because you have a coupon.

So what do you need? The Ten Commandments of Couponing should help:

  1. You are in charge of picking what ingredients you need before you go to the store.

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I’m sure you’ve heard people harping about meal planning before but I promise – this will save you so much time and money. Not only are you not left a bunch of odd ingredients that you have no idea how to bring together into something edible, but you won’t have to throw away food you forgot to eat.

But you should also look at what kinds of food you’re using most often, and use coupons to stock up! Look for things that can keep for a long time but you use as part of your daily diet. Typically sales go in 12 week cycles so you only need to buy enough for 12 weeks.

2. You should eat something before you go to the store.  

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Never, I repeat, never buy groceries on an empty stomach. You will inevitably buy tons of snacks (probably unhealthy) that you do not need. Or worse, you’ll buy a bunch of food that you won’t eat before they go bad and you’ll just throw away your money.

Grab a quick snack out the door instead.

3. Pick your favorite coupon sources.

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This is where you’re going to have to take self-actualized action. Most people get access to coupons from the inserts in a news subscription, or through junk mail. But when you’re a student (especially if you live on a campus) you’re not getting those.

Instead, start exploring printable coupons or apps that let you access a digital version of the ads your local stores send out. I recommend Krazy Koupon Lady or Flippd for your phone.

4. Set a time limit to how much time you spend planning

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You might be noticing that at this point we haven’t even left for the store yet. If you’re anything like me, you might be tempted to spend all your time in the ‘planning’ stage.

Instead, limit yourself to a certain time each week to look through your organized coupons, and make your game plan. Then get out and get going!

5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.

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Once you get your paper coupons in order, it’s really tempting to put things on your list that you don’t really need. I mean, nobody wants to lose money on that killer sale.

Resist this temptation. Any money that can stay in your pocket is money that you can use on more useful experiences.

6. Make a pricebook.

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If you’re sticking to your local grocery stores, it might be helpful to write down the usual prices of the things you keep buying (eggs, milk, apples, etc.). Keeping this on-hand will help you judge the value of a particular sale from week to week.

7. Consider getting a Sunday newspaper subscription.

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If you’re planning on staying at a particular address for a while, you’ll get a lot more value out of the paper inserts coming in the Sunday paper. You’ll have a lot better access than what’s printable online, and you can help the news industry.

Plus who doesn’t love getting stuff in the mail?

8. Get organized. 

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You don’t need to go crazy, but keep your coupons organized by store at least. Having them easily on hand will save you a lot of trouble and heartache when you’re going up and down the aisles.

9. Learn the ‘Couponing Code’

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This will vary greatly between the kind of stores you frequent, but you should familiar yourself with couponing code.

Examples would be BOGO (Buy 1 item, Get 1 FREE!), B1G1 (Buy 1 item, Get 1 FREE!), ECBs (CVS Extra Bucks rewards). Look for stackable coupons, or a price-match gurantee.

10. Don’t stop at grocery stores!

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Once you’ve got this down for grocery stores, don’t stop there! Drugstores can do some really great sales, and put out a lot of sale inserts.

Once you’ve got this down, have some fun with your saved money!

Welcome to Nutrition Matters

Welcome to the blog for Nutrition Matters!

If you’re a student at George Fox University, Nutrition Matters exists to teach you more about how to live a healthy life through equipping you with the knowledge and skills that you need. We’re going to feature the stories of great food from students, chefs, and education professionals in order to celebrate health.

This program was created from a grant from Bob’s Red Mill, and our university president Dr. Robin Baker laid out our mandate with  “It is our goal to be – and to be known as – the premier university for health in the U.S., both in terms of the academic preparation of healthcare professionals and in outcomes of good health for our students…This grant allows us to develop a multi-faceted approach to inform the entire campus community on the benefits of good nutrition.”

Stay tuned to learn more about local food sources for students, recipe highlights, and other nutrition tips, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.