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Food and Recipes Discuss cooking, your favourite foods, and share recipes here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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College Grocery Shopping - February 18th 2014, 11:04 PM

Hi guys,

For those of you in college/were in college, what kinds of things would you buy when you went grocery shopping? I'm still in a dorm and while they have little kitchens here to cook in, they're usually being used or I'm too lazy so I eat in my dorm a lot.
I mostly eat cereal right now and occasionally top ramen. I need foods that are cheap. Any suggestions would help.


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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 19th 2014, 12:14 AM

I have a fridge/freezer and microwave in my room and I brought a toaster with me.

Pretty much anything that's non-perishable. I'm seriously surviving on granola bars, soup (make sure you get the cans with the pull tabs unless you have a can opener), trail mix, and peanut butter sandwiches. You can try Easy Mac too, I didn't like it, though. I also have fruit cups, applesauce cups, Poptarts, crackers, and pouches of tuna. If you have access to a freezer (and you're sure nobody will eat your food), you can try frozen dinners.


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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 19th 2014, 06:37 PM

I'm not in college but I figured I'd offer some suggestions. You could have sandwiches, there's lots of cheap sandwich meat. Soup in a can, protein bars, and it might also be good to keep fruit around. It's healthy and easy to just grab when you're a little hungry.
   
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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 19th 2014, 07:14 PM

All things frozen and dried! Frozen veg, frozen meat, frozen potatoes, pasta, rice etc.

I usually have the same few meals often, not much variety but it means I don't have to buy lots of different things at once.
- Pasta (buy various sauces and add frozen meat/veg to bulk it up)
- Curry (buy the ready made sauces and use frozen chicken)
- Beans on toast (add cheese to make it fancier or even hotdogs chopped up)
- Soup (as everybody else has said, tinned soup is quick, easy and cheap to make)
- Cheesy fish bake (white fish fillets, cover them in soft cheese and tinned tomatoes and have with some veg.)
- Tomato and basil tuna (Frozen tuna steak with pasta sauce, I eat it with rice, pasta or veg)
- Pasta bakes

If you need any recipes for these (like the cheesy fish bake) then just shoot me a message
   
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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 20th 2014, 11:38 AM

Hey Nicole,

If your dorm has a small fridge/freezer that can help a lot.

  • Raw veggies- Cutting raw veggies up and putting them in containers or plastic bags can help.
  • Any canned food is also good to have, you can store them in shelves or in a box to the side.
    Some canned food you may like:
    1. Tuna, sardines, salmon
    2. Soups- Tomato, Mushroom, Vegetable, Chicken Noodle
    3. Veggies
    4. Fruit
    5. Meat
  • Packaged popcorn- if your dorm has a microwave you can pop some popcorn and put some in bags or containers for a later snack.
  • Cooked Meat- You can buy pre-made meats already where you don't need to cook it.
Another thing to look into is see if a store nearby is offering a percentage off just for students. Coupons are also very useful to use, saves you some money.


I hope this helps you. I know how hard it is to find foods to eat and very cheap.


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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 20th 2014, 01:29 PM

When I lived in my dorm I had a microwave and a fridge/freeze (small. very small). We weren't allowed to have a toaster but I recently found out about some things you can cook in a microwave that would have been really helpful for me freshman year.

You can cook the typical things like frozen meals in a microwave. I used to make pasta a lot. Sometimes the water boils over but it's not too bad if you have paper towels. Then I would buy the really cheap cans of plain tomato sauce and eat that. My roommate this year informed me that you can actually cook baked potatoes and hot dogs in the microwave and I've discovered I actually prefer potatoes that way and the hot dogs are mostly good in the microwave (if you cook them for like, 15 seconds but they have to be precooked hot dogs?). Also, easy mac. The little cups are a little more expensive but they're tons easier because no dishes.

Granola bars, nature valley bars, all of that stuff works too. Microwave pizza. Basically just microwave anything. And if you have enough cooling room fresh vegetables and fruit.



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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 21st 2014, 11:58 PM

I recommend you Delia Smith's 'One is Fun', a wonderful cookbook on how to make very cheap meals on a budget. The good news is, you can buy it 'used in good/v.good condition' on Amazon for next to nothing plus a couple of s' postage. It's published by Coronet Books, a real win.



   
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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 23rd 2014, 01:02 AM

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have a fridge with a freezer and a microwave.


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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 24th 2014, 06:28 PM

Living (and eating) in a college dorm is difficult because of how restrictive it is, especially when it comes to nutrition. While processed foods seem like the easy way to use as few appliances as possible and have a "good" meal, this is how a lot of students end up gaining a significant amount of weight. I'd caution against eating a lot of processed foods.

Fruit and vegetables are easy foods to store and prepare. For most fruit, you don't even need to refrigerate them. These are healthy alternatives that don't require much effort to store and prepare. Moreover, canned vegetables and fruits are also a good alternative - and they tend to be cheaper than fresh fruit and vegetables, and they last longer.


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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 24th 2014, 09:45 PM

Farmer's markets are super a source of fresh fruit and vegetable bargains, far cheaper than any store in town. Arrive about an hour before they finish trading for the day and you should be almost given stuff for little to no cost to yourself.



   
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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 25th 2014, 11:45 AM

Seeds are really good! Healthy and cheaper than nuts and you can eat them anywhere. No preperation and there's a huge range to choose from all with different flavours. If you check this site you can regualrly find vouchers for Holland & Barrett and they're even cheaper. I've become an addict.

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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 25th 2014, 02:18 PM

Also chick peas and other pulses are really cheap and really healthy
   
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Re: College Grocery Shopping - February 26th 2014, 09:15 AM

Trying going to a nearby grocer and stocking up. You can usually get some microwave lunches. I also eat a lot of peanutbutter on random things; crackers, rice cakes, even sweet foods. Just finding different combinations. Bagels are also good to have, as they're flexible per what meal.


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