Students eat healthy on a budget
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Campus News, Health

Students eat healthy on a budget

Published 9/13/16


Kasidee Webb

TNE Writer

Healthy eating can be expensive, and being a full-time college student makes it more complicated to eat healthier meals. Living on campus, students have limited food choices. On NSU’s campus, the meal plan choices of food are Chick-fil-A, WOW, Miss Annie’s, Flo’s, Pizza Hut, The Grill and the cafeteria. There are not too many choices for healthy foods.

Living off or on campus should not discourage a student from eating healthy. Being a college student and wanting to eat healthy is not impossible to do on a budget. There are multiple ways to make better decisions with making healthy meals for an affordable price.

Most cooking devices are not allowed in the campus dorm room. Open foil-cooking devices such as electric burners and toasters are not permitted. These devices give off heat and could catch fire. However, coffee makers, microwaves and slow cookers are allowed in a dorm room. There are multiple healthy meal suggestions that are made strictly in a slow cooker, including chicken, roast and vegetables.

“My favorite Crock-Pot meal is chicken tacos,” said Maecie Smith, Whitesboro junior. “It’s easy, affordable, healthy and absolutely delicious.”

Cooking chicken tacos in a slow cooker is simple. Take a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and place them in the slow cooker with one can of tomatoes, taco seasoning and seasoning preferences such as salt, pepper and garlic. Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for three to four hours. After the chicken is cooked, cut the chicken up with a knife or shred it with a mixer. To dress the taco, use a low carb tortilla that can be heated in a microwave, add mozzarella cheese and low fat sour cream. This recipe is a healthy, easy and affordable meal to make whether a student lives on or off campus.

Most people think eating healthy can be pricey. However, there are different meals that can be made on a budget. Planning out each meal in advance will help save money. For example, sit down and make a list of healthy foods, and then pick out which ones are the cheapest and best tasting. Green beans, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, lettuce and broccoli are all sold for an affordable price. Each of the vegetable listed are less than $2 a piece at a local grocery store. Meats can be pricy depending on how much and where it is being bought. Chicken, ground turkey and roast are healthy choices to choose on a budget. Buying meats in a bigger bulk is cheaper than buying one item at a time. For example, at a local Walmart, a pack of chicken breasts can be bought in frozen bags for around $5, or chicken breasts that are already thawed can be bought in quantities of six or seven breasts for less than $10. Lean ground turkey can be purchased for less than $4 a package. A roast, depending on the brand and size, can be purchased for no more than $5. Each of the vegetables and meats listed can all be cooked in a slow cooker.

“I try to pick wisely on my food choices, but living in the dorms makes it hard to eat healthier,” said Lauren Stratton, Keys sophomore. “I am definitely getting a Crock-Pot and going to start cooking my meals in advance so I can eat heathier.”

Living off campus, students have an advantage with cooking because of the appliances that are available at home.

“When I lived on campus, I was definitely smart about my meal choices,” said Courtney Roth, Sapulpa senior. “I made different healthy Crock-Pot meals, and I stayed stocked up on healthy frozen microwavable meals that I ate when I was in a hurry. Now that I live off campus, it’s definitely easier to cook, because I have a stove and an oven, but I still make most of my healthy meals in the Crock-Pot.”


Take a moment and think about all of the money that has been spent on fast-food because it’s easier than eating healthy. Slow cooker meals are easy and affordable. Any student can make breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks by using a slow cooker or a microwave. A student can spend more money on eating out than he or she would by purchasing food at a local grocery store and eating healthier right from a dorm room or the kitchen at home. 

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