The Frugal Foodie: Smart Shopping

Bringing a lunch from home might feel elementary, but it is a surefire way to save money, especially if you live off campus. In order to save money while packing lunches, be careful to buy a variety offoods when grocery shopping that can be used throughout the week. Shopping List:

1 head lettuce- $1.49

1 seeded cucumber- $0.99

1 cooking onion- about $1.39

1 tomato- about $2.89

1 green pepper- about $1.49

2 bananas- about $0.39

3 empire apples- about $2.68

Wegmans baby carrots, 16 ounces- $0.99

Thomas’ Sahara Whole Wheat Pita Pockets- $2.99

Wegmans whole wheat bread- $1.99

Wegmans sliced mozzarella cheese- $2.99

2 Wegmans blended yogurts- $1.00

1 can StarKist Tuna- $0.89

1 can Wegmans tomato soup- $0.79

Wegmans Fat Free Parmesan Italian dressing- $1.69

Quaker original rice cakes- $1.99

Bulk sliced almonds, 2 ounces- $1.12

Total: about $27.67

Total per meal: about $5.50

To put this into perspective, an average on-campus meal might cost about $7-8 when consisting of a sandwich, a bag of chips or a yogurt and a fruit. Here are a few meals that you can make given just the ingredients on that shopping list:

Day 1

Pita sandwich with hummus, cucumber, pepper slices, lettuce and some salt and pepper

Yogurt topped with 1 crumbled rice cake, a banana and cinnamon (optional)

Day 2

A handful of shredded lettuce, topped with thinly sliced carrots, cucumber, onion, a sprinkle of sliced almonds and Parmesan Italian dressing

Rice cake and hummus


Day 3

Grilled cheese made with whole wheat bread, mozzarella and tomato slices

Can of tomato soup


Day 4

Tuna sandwich made with whole wheat bread, lettuce and onion

Assorted vegetables with Parmesan Italian dressing for dipping

Yogurt topped with some sliced almonds, banana and cinnamon     (optional)

Day 5 

Pita topped with mozzarella and tomato slices, microwaved for 30 seconds

Assorted sliced vegetables with hummus