Eating Healthy on a Student Budget

Eating a healthy, nutritious and diverse diet is key to doing well in school (that, and not slacking off when you are supposed to be studying). There is nothing more detrimental to your brain power than eating junk food all day.

It is therefore incredibly important for students to eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts and seeds. These things will all help you focus more, increase your reaction time, and score better on exams and tests. They’ll give you more energy and help you look better, too!

Eating healthy is often seen as a budget buster, despite it’s benefits, especially for students who are already counting pennies. 

healthy food student budget

This myth has been somewhat dispelled but not completely, and not if you are looking at organic or fair trade foods (those things are very expensive). There are ways to save money on nutrition, so here are a few things you can do:

Use Your Student Discount Card

Do you have a discount card through your college? If so use it! Check to see which grocery stores in your area offer a student discount with the card (or otherwise) and take advantage.

There are far too many people who let these discounts go to waste and you may end up regretting it when you are no longer a student.

Even if you only get 10% off of your groceries, if you spend $300/month on groceries you are saving $360 per year!

Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are usually a great place to take advantage of steeply discounted fruits and vegetables. Avoid the other stalls (breads, etc) as they are usually marked up quite a bit higher than the grocery store, but you can also negotiate the price at farmers markets usually.

If you are looking for organic food be aware that many local farms cannot afford to have the “certified organic” label but ask if they are spray free; often, they will be and you can save some money on them since they aren’t stamped with the organic label.

Buy What is In Season

Food is so expensive when it is not in season. Have you ever tried buying blueberries in the winter? Yeah, they are pricey! That’s because they have to be shipped in from all over the world which adds to the cost (and removes some of the nutritional value).

Buy buying what is in season to eat, it will save you a lot of money and also be far healthier. Who wants to eat food which has been sitting on trucks and boats for weeks on end, with rats and other vermin around them?

Plus, the food that is in season (and usually a little more local) is much tastier, since it ripens on the tree or plant instead of in the grocery store.


Don’t forgo healthy eating because of a budget. It’s really important to be healthy so you can excel!


Eating Healthy on a Student Budget — 11 Comments

  1. Great point about buying what’s in season. Blueberries really are a great example of that. I’m paying about 1/2 as much now, in the summer, than I would otherwise pay in the winter. It all adds up!

  2. That’s really true about diet correlating with brain activity. Some people think they are stupid but really they just aren’t meeting the basics:

    Diet, hydration, sleep, exercise.

  3. We spend extra on food. Organics, fresh fruit and veggies, etc. I know we do too. But, I would rather do that than save a few dollars and not know exactly what I’m getting. However, we are out of all consumer debt, so we can afford to do so. A lot of our shopping is done at Aldi. I don’t know if they have them in Canada, but I would highly recommend checking them out.

  4. Trying to eat more fruit in season is the way to go for us. Sometimes I find the farmers markets are a bit pricey but maybe I don’t hit them enough to know which ones have the better deals.

  5. Meals is definitely one of my variety one main concerns when it comes to investing. I really like it and I really like being a proper and balanced person. Completely value any additional splurge!

  6. Never even thought to show my student id for discounts! That’s an awesome idea! Unfortunately, I’m not sure of many places that would accept it… I’ll need to try, though. Secondarily, I’ve found that I can eat healthily and quite well if I just cook at home. My one budgetary weakness is eating out too often. If I can just cut back on that… :)

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