How I Afford To Eat So Well On A College Budget

A question I often get from people is “how can you afford to eat so well on a college budget?” Honestly, this past summer was the first time where I actually had to pay for my own groceries and it was an eye-opening experience for me. Throughout these last few months, I’ve found ways to eat well but also save money. Everyone chooses to spend money on the things they value, and I value good food. Here’s how I make the most of every dollar and afford to eat so well on a college budget.

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Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Buffalo wings are one of my favorite foods. I’m actually pretty sure I could drink buffalo sauce out of the bottle if I was presented with the opportunity. But let’s be real, hitting up Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner probably isn’t the best decision for my wallet and my tummy. So I’ve decided to compromise with these buffalo chicken stuffed peppers. They’re spicy, cheesy, and taste just as good as buffalo wings. Plus they’re a nice way to get my buffalo fix in without sacrificing everything I’ve worked hard for. It’s a win-win, right?

The sweetness of the peppers adds a nice contrast to the spiciness of the buffalo sauce. For this recipe, you can use whatever sweet peppers you’d like, but I prefer red, orange, or yellow because they tend to be sweeter than green. This recipe also calls for 2 cups of shredded chicken. I find it easiest to pick up a rotisserie chicken and just shred that yourself, but you can totally cook your own chicken as well. You can also substitute 1 lb of cooked ground chicken, but I prefer the texture of shredded better. Whatever floats your boat. Continue reading

Penne with Italian Sausage + Creamy Tomato Sauce

My mom has been making this pasta for as long as I can remember. I’m fairly certain that I’ve asked her to make it for it for most of my birthday dinners and I will stand by the fact that if I were ever on death row, this would be my requested last meal. So when I moved into my very first big-girl apartment with a real kitchen, I knew I had to make it.

But the thing is, I haven’t eaten pasta in months. According to all the photo evidence I have, the last time I ate pasta was a plate of spaghetti + meatballs in September of last year. You know, because of the whole low-carb thing. But then I was introduced to Banza, a company that makes pasta out of chickpeas. That means more protein + less carbs than regular pasta, so I figured I would at least give them a shot.

I’ve made some changes to my mom’s original recipe, but most of it has stayed the same. Continue reading

Low-Carb Mini Eggplant Pizzas

I love pizza. Like, if I could eat it for every single meal of the day, I would. And honestly, even bad pizza is good pizza to me (I’m talking $5.99 pizzas from that sketchy place close to campus and Jack’s frozen pizzas). But since discovering the fact that excess carbs don’t exactly sit very well with me, I’ve tried to cut back on my pizza consumption. But let’s be real– that’s nearly impossible, especially as a college student (drunk pizza, anyone?). While I cannot confidently say that I could make these mini eggplant pizzas after a few drinks, I do think they satisfy my pizza craving without killing my insides.  Continue reading

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is seriously one of my favorite versatile fridge staples. It’s quickly made, easy to store, and can be eaten as a snack or meal. You can put it between bread to make a sandwich, eat it with crackers, or just scoop it straight out of the container. One of the best things about chicken salad is that it’s relatively healthy, and can be made even healthier with swaps like avocado oil mayo and organic chicken.

I’ve also come to realize that chicken salad can easily be made in my dorm room. In all honesty, I’ll steal a few chicken breasts, pieces of celery, and sliced onions from the dining hall, mix them with the mayo, mustard, & Greek yogurt I already have in my dorm room, and I have an on-the-go lunch or healthy snack when I need it. Also, if you don’t steal food from the dining hall you’re not living life to the fullest. Just saying. Adapted from my mom’s original recipe (let’s be real, when are my recipes not adapted from something my mom has made?), here’s my very own recipe for chicken salad. Continue reading

These Meal-Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Are The Answer to All Your Breakfast Problems

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a mother that made sure we ate breakfast every day before school. Most of the time, this would entail her making some form of hot breakfast, whether that be scrambled eggs or Cream of Wheat. (Is that even a thing anymore?) It was never anything super fancy, but it was always substantial enough to get me through until lunch. Once I got to high school, though, she got clever and started prepping breakfast sandwiches for the week to be stored in the freezer and microwaved in the morning. We could just go in the freezer, grab a sandwich, heat it up, and go. Honestly, I ate those on the drive to school. Every. Single. Day. Because let’s be real, I woke up 15 minutes before I needed to leave. Ah, high school.

Now, I appreciate the effort my mom put into ensuring that our tummies were full before school. I also appreciate (arguably more) that her recipe for breakfast sandwiches is super easy + versatile, because now I can make them in college. I’ve decided to share the recipe with you all, incase you want an easy, hot breakfast for the days you wake up 15 minutes before you need to leave.IMG_1535.JPG Continue reading