College Connect: Saving money in college: smart grocery shopping

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Sabella Scalise Head shot[2]

By Sabella Scalise

In college, the first year away from my parents meant freedom, no curfew and no rules. A childhood dream come true. But college is not a dream. It is reality.

College can be where a student does his or her first grocery trip alone. Ramen noodles anyone? Meal plans in dorms spoil students for their time living on campus, but once living off campus, the simple shopping list changes.

I thought shopping meant buying whatever I wanted and was craving that week. I ended up starving at school because I didn’t buy food for on-the-go meals. I spent more money on campus to get proper nutrition while I was studying or in between classes. This was on top of extra groceries for food that went expired. I’ve learned grocery shopping for an average student without a meal plan should be around every two weeks and with a budget in mind.

Grocery shopping smart is a student’s first step to saving money on this necessity:

  • Actually plan out your grocery list. Be strategic with your basic five food groups but give yourself one or two items you can treat yourself too.
  • Grocery shop to your schedule. If you are in class or on-the-go during those meal times, shop for it. You’ll save way more money than buying food on campus or eating out.
  • Learn how fast food goes. Items like lettuce, strawberries and bananas have a short shelf life so beware and eat items like that first in your week, wasted food is wasted money.
  • Learn how to freeze. Prepare large meals and let them last you throughout the week.
  • The Internet is your best friend. The best place to find cool recipes and life-hacks to help you survive grocery shopping on a budget.


Sabella Scalise is a student at Arizona State University

SABEW - Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University

555 North Central Ave, Suite 406 E, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1248


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