Monday, January 31, 2011

Top Tips for Students on Eating Well and Staying Fit While Saving Money

Student life can make eating well difficult. The combination of study, work, and social commitments are overwhelming. It is no wonder that many students, living away from home for the first time, neglect their health during this time in their lives. For those undertaking study in Australia and unfamiliar with produce and the lifestyle in Australia, the following list will offer valuable tips for maintaining your health while keeping to a budget. Eating well and keeping fit enhance your mental concentration and improve the effectiveness of your study sessions.

Student eating
Photo: analytik

Health Basics

  • Eat a large variety of foods. Make sure you incorporate foods from different food groups. Keep fats and oils to a minimum and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Limit the bad foods. Junk foods are best consumed occasionally. Try and avoid consuming large amounts of salt, sugar, and alcohol.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water.
  • Get fit. Walk everywhere if you can and have a strenuous exercise session at least three times a week.

Managing Your Food

  • Plan your meals with a basic meal plan that you can alternate at short notice. Keep a ready supply of the main ingredients in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Frozen soups, frozen pasta sauces, pasta, rice, canned fish and lentils are all great ingredients for a simple and easy meal.
  • Make use of the internet to find easy recipes. There are many blogs and sites with ready recipes and handy suggestions.
  • Buy in bulk with housemates and friends where possible. Remember that generic brand items, bought in bulk, work out to be much cheaper.
  • Cook and eat with friends. This means you can buy in bulk and enjoy the cooking process as a social activity at the same time.
  • Cook in bulk and freeze. Soups, pasta sauces, burger patties, and lentil curries are some foods that store very well in the freezer. Having a complete meal ready to be heated up means you'll be more motivated to eat healthfully at home. Vegetables can be washed, bagged in serving sizes, and frozen.
  • Develop your own fast food. Fast food is expensive for what it is, and will often leave you hungry an hour after the meal due to lack of nutrients. You can develop your own nutritious fast foods. Consider quick and healthy menu items such as wholemeal noodles, fresh cereal, muesli, rolled oats, fruit, wholemeal sandwiches and wraps, and quick salads made from canned fish.
  • Keep an eye out for discounts. Clearance fruit, vegetables and meat and supermarket specials are excellent purchases.
  • One pot dishes are fantastic for those short on time. Keep a collection of recipes for one pot dishes. They are also great for freezing.
  • Make use of the cafeteria. Australian universities and schools usually have very reasonably priced food in their cafeterias, suitable for student budgets.
  • Buy fruit and vegetables in season. In season fruit and vegetables mean lower prices, and they tend to be more nutritious than those out of season.
  • Buy at markets when you can. The prices at markets are usually much cheaper, especially for fruits and vegetables.
  • Buy at discount supermarkets. There are quite a few discount supermarkets in Australia that offer generic brand or end of cycle products. You can find excellent deals at these supermarkets.
  • Grow your own. You can grow you own vegetables and herbs in very small spaces, with very little maintenance required.
  • Scour the internet for coupons. Seek and you will find. There are many excellent deals on the internet, such as group coupons, promotional discount cnupons, and other special deals on fresh and packaged food.

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