Eating on a Budget

Why is money called dough? Because we all knead it! While this joke is hilarious, empty wallets and empty stomachs are not something to kid about. After our freshman year of
college, most of us lose the unlimited meal plan, so eating and cooking on a budget becomes a necessity. Lucky for you, I have
some tips and tricks that will help ease your worries and save you some money.

    ALDI is Your Best Friend

    • ALDI is a unique grocery store that has food humorously identical to the name brands you find at places like Publix and Walmart.
    • Everything is very affordable; you can get a loaf of bread for 89 cents or a gallon of milk for $3 (in comparison to Publix and Walmart’s $5).
    • There is an ALDI conveniently located on McFarland, so saving money is just around the corner.

When In Doubt, List it Out

    • Always make a grocery list, and stick to it! Try to have your meals planned out for the week so you know what you are going to need to avoid aimlessly walking up and down the aisles.
    • Check the sales ads before you shop at a store; most stores will have them posted on their websites (ex. Publix, Target, ALDI).
    • Southern Savers is an amazing website that has store ads and coupons for each week, explaining how to get the best deals.  

Bang for your Buck

There are plenty of ways to take a food item and use it in multiple recipes throughout the week. Below I shared some of my favorites:

    • One of the best ways my family makes food last is by getting a Publix rotisserie chicken to eat. Once we’ve eaten that for a day, I cut up the rest and use it to make so many other meals: chicken pot pie, chicken salad, chicken fajitas, chicken enchiladas, or even putting it in a soup.
    • Pasta is great because you can buy a package of pasta and use it with so many different sauces or recipes.
    • Potatoes are essential to keeping me happy, and you can use them more than one way. I often like to make potato skins one day, and save the insides for mashed potatoes the next night.
    • Tacos are not only delicious but also very versatile. After you eat tacos for a day, freeze your leftover meat and use it for something else later on- my personal favorite is taco soup.
    • Almost every week my mother uses our leftover food to make a pot of soup. Tacos call for taco soup, chicken is typically used in our tortellini soup, and you can even take all your leftover veggies (that I know y’all are eating to stay healthy) and add them in! Add a bouillon cube or some chicken broth and let it cook (it is best when you let it simmer in a crockpot all day!).

Bonus Bite

  • Don’t ever shop for groceries when you are hungry- you will end up with everything you are craving at that moment and will go way over budget.

Eating on a budget seems difficult, but it is actually easier than you’d think! It also challenges you to be creative with your cooking.

If you have any other tips or recipes to share feel free to leave them below!


 Gameday-Ready Potato Skins

  1. Wash potatoes and poke holes throughout each one
  2. Put these in the microwave, 2 minutes on each side (or until you can easily poke it with a fork)
  3. Take them out of the microwave and cut each potato in half, then let them cool for a few minutes
  4. Spoon out the insides of the potatoes (saving that for mashed potatoes later on!) **Be careful not to rip the skin
  5. Fill a skillet with a generous amount of oil on high
  6. Fry your potato skins on each side until they are brown and crisp
  7. Remove them and let the potatoes cool and drain.
  8. Fill the skins with cheese to the top and sprinkle on some bacon bits
  9. Bake for 10 minutes on 325 or microwave them for 30 seconds to 1 minute



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