College Food: How to Avoid Starving Each Semester

college fund for college food

The world of college is an interesting one. You sort of know what to expect, but at the same time you don’t. If you happen to be like myself, you probably walked through the doors of education with at least one pitiful thought going through your head: How am I supposed to even pay for this?

Scholarships and grants aside, college has become insanely costly for those looking to make a difference in their life. Depending on the major of choice, students are forced to pay for mountains of textbooks and school supplies, along with an assortment of fees that are most certainly questionable.

But somehow in the end, you manage to pull it off. You get your apartment/dorm, your classes, your laptop, your clothing, etc. Miraculously, you manage to afford everything with the help of your wonky financial aid and your trusty piggy bank. You feel proud for only about a moment until you realize you’ve forgotten about one basic necessity.


Five star restaurants are out of the question, and let’s be honest with ourselves here… dorms aren’t exactly equipped to prepare a hearty feast, and apartments can be pricy. Somehow, one way or another, you have to find food to eat. But you have to find it through budgeting, right? Most of us don’t have the luxury of enrolling into college with a wad of cash at our disposal. Instead, we’re forced to scrape by and live each week by the paycheck. For just a few years, we have to live like paupers, roaming the aisles of the grocery store, longingly staring at shelves and shelves of food we can’t afford or make. So for just a ‘short’ time, we have to make some sacrifices. We have to eat like the stereotypical college student.

Here’s how:

1. Buy Ramen

Image by amanda on Flickr

The best comfort food away from home if I ever knew one. Nobody ever promised that we’d be super healthy throughout our college journey, so might as well stock up on the cheap noodles. Don’t forget to snag an electric tea kettle for heating!

Note: Works well on rainy days when you’re seeking to reevaluate all your life choices.

2. Buy Lunchables

Image by Megan Squire on Flickr

Sorry kids. But a college student has to eat something. Just think. Mini pizzas and bite sized candy bars. It’s enough to soothe anyone into thinking back to the good ol’ days when school used to be fun.

3. Buy Donuts

Image by Salim Verji

At your local grocery store, you can usually pick up at least one of these for a measly 0.69 cents. Sadly, you’re going to have to make up for this donut binging by perpetually brushing your poor abused teeth. Still, we can all agree that it’s a cheap breakfast choice, yes?

4. Buy Smart Ones Thin Crust Pizzas (Pepperoni)

Image by theimpulsivebuy on Flickr

Whenever I’ve gone out to buy random microwaveable pizzas in the past, I’ve always come back disappointed. They always remind me a little too much of those disgusting square pizzas they used to serve back in elementary school (you know what I’m talking about if you fall in the same age range). Recently, I’ve discovered a brand that doesn’t actually suck. The flavor’s good, the price is decent, and it’s ready to eat in 2 minutes! Yay for Smart Ones Pizza!

5. Buy Cream of Wheat


“Please sir. I want some more.” –Oliver Twist

Right. So the stuff looks a lot like slop, but it does have its benefits. For starters, it actually does provide you a great source of calcium and iron. Secondly, you can whip it up using either milk or water—a great thing to know if you’re running low on dairy. And lastly, when paired with raw sugar, Cream of Wheat can surprisingly become pretty damn filling and satisfying.

Note: Great alternative to greasy late night snacks.

6. Buy Pop-Tarts

Image by yum9me on Flickr

Just in case you dislike donuts and all. Can’t go wrong with Pop-Tarts. Microwave them, toast them, or just eat them natural. These delicious pastries are about as convenient as Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.

7. Buy Tupperware

Image by Amancay Maahs on Flickr

Nope. Not food. But pretty handy for food. For those familiar with meal plans and dorms in college, having a few good containers of these can really help out. Stick those leftovers from the cafeteria right into your little fridge and study away.

See? You’re already well on your way to making it through the upcoming fall semester. When it’s all over, make a beeline for your bed, bury yourself under layers of blankets and sheets, and attempt some hardcore hibernation (that saves money too).

Feature Image: Tax Credits, Creative Commons

Andrea Carter
Hi there! I'm a recent graduate from the University of Las Vegas. I majored in English, and am currently poking around with the idea of copywriting in my spare time. For the most part I specialize mainly in fiction, but have a blast cooking up fun articles for others to enjoy!
  • Digna Delgado

    Im sorry, but you are giving very very unhealthy advise. PLEASE, buy fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, eggs, cheese, beans, whole grain bread, for example. Your diet is bad for your health and dont tell me you have to do it because its cheap… there are healthier cheap choices, its your health!!!

    • Andrea

      I’m sorry you feel that way. This wasn’t meant to be a full on diet plan. They were meant only as small things to eat when you’re cramming for study time. It was also meant to be mostly for humor by the tone of the article. My apologies if you didn’t read it that way.

      • Digna Delgado

        It’s ok, don’t apologize, I’m also sorry if you felt bad. I was just worried about your health. I hope you eat more than ramen, doughnuts and lunchables. And I can say that the tupperware is a VERY good idea. Keep writing 🙂