Grocery Shopping: College Style

College is busy. Like really, really, really busy.  Hence why I took basically a semester long break from Hangry Hannah, buuuuut I’m back with TONS of exciting things coming your way (and I’m pumped to say the least)!!

Did I mention college was busy? Because it is.  Between classes, extracurriculars, trying to have a social life, squeezing in a lil self care, working out, staying in contact with your family + friends back home, getting some sleep here and there… it seems never ending.  And on top of all the chaos, we’re supposed to feed ourselves, grocery shop, and cook for one?!  I know, I know, it seems damn near impossible to shop for healthy foods for one person that will last more than a few days while also ballin’ on a budget.  It definitely takes some experimenting because our taste buds and favorite stores are all different, but I’ve come up with some tips that have really helped me maintain a healthy diet, not go broke, and make minimal trips to the grocery store – check em out below!

 

  1. My breakfast staples that last and that you can find cheap:
    • Eggs – these babies are SO versatile (scrambled, omelettes, sunny side up on some avo toast) plus packed with nutrients (protein, iron, vitamins, minerals, and more) and they last in the fridge up to 5 weeks.
    • Cereal/Granola – a childhood favorite that will simply never go out of style (plus it’ll last in the pantry for up to 6 months)! I love throwing my go-to’s (any and all of the Purely Elizabeth granolas, Trader Joe’s Purple Maize Flakes, and Barbara’s Pumpkin Puffins (seasonal))  in a bowl with a banana or blueberries and some nut butter.
    • Oats – another pantry staple of mine that lasts up to 2 YEARS!  I love classic oatmeal on a chilly, rainy morning (always make with almond milk instead of water for a creamier experience) or basic overnight oats on warmer days – simply put a 1/2 cup of oats + 1/2 almond milk (can vary depending on how thick/thin you like it) + 2 tbps of nut butter + whatever toppings you fancy (cinnamon, cacao nibs, all-natural cocoa powder, chia/hemp/flax seeds, any fruit), shake it all up in a leftover nut butter jar and store in the fridge overnight.
  2. Frozen produce: it’s cheaper, lasts foreva, and has so many different uses (smoothies, bowls, frozen veggies are an easy side).  Frozen produce items that are always on my list include mixed berries, brussels sprouts, spinach, coconut, pineapple, and mango.  Most frozen produce lasts up to 10 months.
  3. Freeze dat bread!! No matter what, when unloading my groceries I always pop my bread in the freezer – I don’t know when will I’m going to use it or how much and unfrozen bread molds way too easily.  Plus, most toasters have a defrost button which makes for quick toast or sandwich prep.  Putting your loaf in the freezer changes it’s shelf life from 1 week to 6 months.
  4. When possible, buy in bulk.  For foods that you love so much you eat once a day or multiple times a week (for me: sweet potatoes which last up to 2 weeks, avos which can last up to 1 week when placed in the fridge, bell peppers which last up to 2 weeks) buy a big pack, just make sure these are foods that won’t go bad too fast.
  5. Always buy frozen meet + fish.  This is a no brainer: meat goes bad fast and let’s be honest, you’re probs not baking a fresh chicken breast every single night of the week.  Plus, frozen protein is usually cheaper and lasts up to 4 months.  You’ll want to make sure you thaw your fish or meat before cooking (8-10 hours in the fridge).  For me, frozen meat + fish go hand in hand with meal prep: thaw + cook the whole package or enough for dinner each night of the week.
  6. Grab some grains! Quinoa is a huge staple in my diet – it’s so versatile (bowls, as a side with a veggie + meat/fish, breakfast bowls), it’s so easy to make (put 2 parts water + 1 part quinoa (1/3 cup) in a pot and bring to a boil, once boiling reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for ~15 minutes), and it lasts for up to 1 year in the pantry.  Other yummy grains to try if quinoa isn’t your thing include brown rice, lentils, or farro.
  7. Pick snacks that last: nuts, dried fruit, bars (my favs include RX, Go Macro, and Perfect Bars when I need a quick meal replacement), and popcorn. These are simple grab and go’s that will last in the pantry for up to 3 months.
  8. Spice it up baby!! Spices are something to invest in once that will last you forever aka up to 4 years (my go to’s: Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning, Trader Joe’s Seasoning Salt, pumpkin pie spice (when in season), a good Italian blend, red pepper flakes, Himalayan pink salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric).  Spices add to coffee, matcha, meats + fish, roasted veggies, smoothies, eggs, toast, and so much more.

 

Well, there ya have it folks: a list of my tips + tricks to healthily grocery shop for one while not breakin’ the bank and not going to the store super often. Enjoy, comment, DM on Insta or Facebook, shoot me an email – I want to hear from YOU!

Stay hangry people!

-Hangry Hannah

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