One of the joys of moving away from home is having the ability to do whatever you want, including choosing what to eat.
With plenty of on-campus options in the MavAve, the dining center and surrounding restaurants, there are tasty options everywhere. While it may seem OK to drop a couple of dollars on Chick-fil-A here and a few bucks at Einstein Bros. Bagels there, it adds up at the end of the week, month, and year depending on how often you frequent these places.
We can keep our stomachs — and our wallets — full if we take time to pack our own lunches.
The first reason seems obvious, but it does help save money in the long run. Buying ingredients and meal prepping isn’t always the most fun way to spend a weekend, but it reduces stress on us later in the week. When crunched for time, we often turn to fast food for an easy, comforting option. We have the option to reach into our fridges and grab something healthy we can enjoy that will help fuel us to get through our long days. It teaches us to become savvier shoppers so in the future, we have the skills to shop for healthy food.
Packing our own lunches also allows us to be in control of what we eat. Students tend to rely on Ramen, pasta and sandwiches galore. While these options shouldn’t be dismissed, it is more than enough carbs. Fruits and vegetables not only make a great on-the-go snack, but it’s easy to make a variety of salads that can spice up your daily menu. Produce can be fairly cheap at certain grocery stores, which helps us not break the bank and gives us the nutrients we need to remain healthy.
Packing a lunch makes it easy to take food on the go. An insulated lunchbox that can fit into a backpack can keep food cold all day long, making it easy to grab something to eat in the middle of your study session. An already-prepped meal waiting in the fridge is something we can grab during a quick stop back at our dorms or apartments. Students have packed schedules full of classes, clubs and activities, but we cannot neglect time to eat. Having something that’s readily available saves a lot of time and stress.
Before reaching for microwave Mac and Cheese cups, think about other options. We’re not saying we shouldn’t treat ourselves to a meal now and then, but we should consider packing our food more often. It’s a valuable skill that will treat us well now and be beneficial down the road long after we graduate. By fostering our minds now with nutrients and life skills, we can thank our healthy selves later.