Restaurants around Jonesboro offer cheap eats, discounts
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 17:10
There are many great things about being in college. Students can broaden their education, meet new people and have opportunities opened up to them that they would never get elsewhere. However there are some drawbacks; lack of money and poor diet choices being amongst them. Yet it is possible to afford to eat good food, but also cheaply as a college student.
While not everyone is a gourmet chef, the best way to save money on food is to cook it at home. It doesn’t take much to learn how to boil some pasta or fry some eggs, and just having a refrigerator stocked with lunch meat for sandwiches and milk for cereal is always a good fallback plan.
Some students may not be lucky enough to have access to a kitchen while going to school, but there are solutions. Plan ahead and invest in a microwave, mini fridge and other small appliances. It is a worthwhile investment that can be used beyond the college years. Make oatmeal, popcorn and frozen dinners. It may not be five-star cuisine, but it is filling.
Nikki Logan, a sophomore English major of Harrison, said she takes turns cooking with her roommates.
“We have a fully furnished kitchen, but we use the microwave and the stove most of the time, usually for pizza or something easy,” she said.
When eating out is the only option, it is usually cheaper during lunch hour than dinnertime. Many fast food places also apply discounts to menu items during specific times. These vary from place to place, so scope out local fast food restaurants for promos and advertisements for these times. Logan said she only goes out to eat for special occasions.
“If we do go out it’s at fast food places that take A-State discounts,” Logan said.
Get a to-go box at a restaurant instead of trying to eat the entire meal. Leaving food on the plate doesn’t save money. In fact, many dietitians recommend dividing restaurant meals in half, eating one half and taking the other home for later, because of the large portions that are served with high calorie amounts.
Universities can also have policies about applying money to your account to use at the food court and stores on campus. It may not save money, but if funds are tight that money is always set aside for food.
Carrying snacks around is a good way to prevent impulse spending. Buying a bulk box of snack crackers at the grocery store can actually cost less than buying a single candy bar at some convenience stores and will yield more snacks. Fruit or other easy-to-carry items from the cafeteria serve as great snacks in between meals.
One of the hardest parts about being in college is the lack of time, but planning ahead can make prep-time for cooking much easier. Amanda Layer, a graduate student studying communication disorders of Rector, said she prepares meals at least every two weeks and has them ready to go in a pinch. She also said she will often have a sandwich at home as a quick and easy meal that doesn’t break the bank.
One size doesn’t necessarily fit all and that goes for cafeteria meal plans as well. Know what options your university provides for meal plans. Asuke Morimoto, a senior political science major of Tokyo, opted for a cheaper block meal plan than the full meal plan offered at A-State.
“A full meal plan requires me to eat at the caf almost every meal. A block plan gives me more flexibility,” she said. “It gives me a choice of going to the cafeteria or cooking at home. Saving money is all balance.”