Wednesday, July 11, 2018

how to eat off $20 a week in college!

Hey guys! I recently tried a new challenge -spending just $20 a week in food. I've found many of my college friends try to save money on food by eating ramen, pizza, and popcorn all week.  Looking at you, Brad from Pie Apple Chi.* So I tried to not buy  junk food, but to actually cook fairly nutritious, follow the MyPlate, 3 meals a day. I'm premed, after all! If you enjoy these with a glass of lemonade or juice, you should be able to get your daily servings of the My Plate groups in.

 I made one person meals, live in a college town in Texas, and I found it surprisingly easy to stick to the budget. I never had to resort to ramen!

*name and fraternity have been changed to protect identity­čśé
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Here's what I bought:

1 extra large package Mexican Cheese  (6 cups! (2.99))
3 large Avocados (.89 each!)
1 can Rotel/Diced tomatoes with green Chiles (.89)
1 can Black Beans (.89
1 can Refried Beans (.89)
1 can corn (.79)
1 jar mayo (2.09)
1 loaf of Bread (.99)
8 Eggs(.89)
1 12 oz bag Rotini Pasta (1.09)
12 pack Tortillas (1.69)
American Slices of Cheese (2.29)
1 LARGE Red Bell pepper (1.05)
Butter (.99)
1 grapefruit (.79)
I used my store customer loyalty card and the total with the discount was $19.66. Now, let's get cooking!

In the spirit of full disclosure- I already had half a package of frozen hamburger meat, pickle relish, and taco seasoning, which I used in some of the meals. Half of an avocado lasts a day or two in the fridge when the pit is left in and it's tightly wrapped in clingwrap then set in Tupperware. I did not skip breakfasts because: 
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Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Toad in the hole
  • Lunch:  Bean and Cheese Burritos Make 1/4 the recipe. Save the leftover half cans of Rotel and refried beans. I ended up with six burritos, and I added some ground beef to mine. I ate one for lunch and froze the rest.
  • Dinner - Bean and cheese burrito with avocado slices
Day 2:
  • Breakfast : One half  of the grapefruit (this is my busy day, so I didn't want a big breakfast)
  • Lunch: Elevated grilled cheese-  one slice american cheese, sliced avocado, and Mexican cheese.
  • Dinner: 6 ounces rotini pasta, the leftover grapefruit half sliced, Texas Toast if you have garlic
Day 3: 


  • Breakfast: Cheese Toast.
  • Lunch: I halved this recipe for Pasta Salad using the leftover rotini, and Rotel. I didn't use the ranch powder as that is pricey, and I already had pickle relish and salt on hand. I used a little less than half the bell pepper. Save the half. THIS MAKES SOO MUCH, even halved. And it's delicious!
  • Dinner - Mexican Casserole don't forget to set the tool to just one person!
Day 4




  • Breakfast: Omelette- add some diced red bell pepper , mexican cheese, ground beef or bacon if you have it on hand, salt and pepper.
  • Lunch-  Leftover pasta salad and Mexican Casserole.
  • Dinner: Spread leftover refried beans or black beans on leftover tortillas. Add leftover corn, cheese, scrambled egg, and whatever else you have on hand!


  • Day 5:
    Day 6:
    • Breakfast: Fried egg
    • Lunch: Bean and Cheese Burrito from the freezer
    • Dinner: Stuffed Bell pepper. Take the leftover 1/2 bell pepper. Fill with some black beans or ground beef. Add a little rotel, salsa - whatever you have on hand. top with cheese and cook in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes, covered in foil.
     Day 7:

    • Ok, you got me here. My church has free breakfast for students so I usually eat that on Sundays.
    • Lunch: Diner Sandwich: 2 slices American cheese between 2 slices white bread. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich and cook, flipping once, until golden. Serve with ketchup. I know you have some ketchup packets lying around! 
    • Dinner- Breakfast for dinner! Make your favorite breakfast from this week.
    We did it!! Let me know how this plan works for you!

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