Navigating the grocery store was a shock when I went to college. I grew up with my mom buying everything for the household, and suddenly I was alone and struggling to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner a reality. How did I create a budget? What’s the deal with leftovers? Just like everything in college, grocery shopping was a learning curve and I made plenty of mistakes along the way.
During my freshman year I had no concept of budgeting when it came to grocery shopping. Even though I was able to find a paid internship on campus, I still had to embrace frugality. Food was a high priority in my food budget, but once I added on the price of textbooks and transportation home for the weekend, I couldn’t justify spending money on expensive teas.
At my college, all freshman and sophomore students were required to have a meal plan, but that still didn’t stop the majority of us from stocking our tiny mini fridges with our favorite essentials. We were also not allowed to have hot pots, slow cookers, or rice makers in our room, so we got crafty with healthy microwaveable meals and to-go containers of lettuce from the dining hall.