T Nation

College Food


hey guys. im gonna finally be dependent on getting my on food when i head to college in 2 months for my junior year and i need some help on what foods i should get. i know some of the basic foods, but im still unsure of some of the essentials.

im just gonna list what i know i should get when i go shopping for the first time. tell me if i get something worng and getting specific on the type of food will be helpful too.

-lettuce, spinach, avocados, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, celery
-brown rice, oatmeal (rolled oats), red potatoes?, whole wheat bread,
-lentils, apples, bananas, blueberries (frozen or fresh?), strawberries,
-almonds, macadamia nuts!, natural peanut butter, walnuts, yogurt (any cheap kinds?)
-eggs, eggs, eggs, chicken, grass fed beef, fish (any cheap kinds?),
-sprouts, 100% fruit juice to go in smoothies, tea, oregeno,
-Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

i already got my whey and casein, fish oil, multi vitamin and vitamin C containers.

my budget will be decent, but please nothing too expensive for a college student.

thanks for help


Ostrich tastes amazing and has a good macro profile. Other than that, it looks good.


despite living with my parents still(kill me, please) I have been cooking for myself for the last 2 years, at least. One thing i have learned is that food goes bad quickly, very quickly, even if it is in the refrigerator. So, try and go to the store twice a week and buy a limited amount of veggies and fruit each time.

Don't stockpile them unless you go through them fast. If there is a meat sale, cook up part of it and freeze the rest. I have thrown away countless amounts of meat and veggies just because i am too lazy to cook them up when i should.

With that said i have no food in my house, therefore tomorrow i am going to buy

chicken, beef, cottage cheese, NF milk, nuts, natty peanut butter, olive oil, eggs(4 dozen), oats, bananas, avocado's and broccoli. If i need any other type of fruit or veggie i will make a special trip down to the strore and buy a limited quantity.


interesting. i know that eggs are essential and i eat them often, but i read somewhere on the forums that the egg yolk should not be eaten a good amount of the time due to something thats in it or something else..., i dunno for sure. ive never not eaten it but the question is, next year im gonna eat a shit ton of them so should i only consume the egg whites for 50% of the eggs i cook or what?

also, im gonna assume you dont eat shit foods, and only eat "the good stuff". im not quite sure how to correctly word this, but how much better has your training been since you first started buying your own food? like how well your body transformed to fit your goals, how quickly your strength went up, or size (once again based on your goals).

thanks for the input


real men eat the whole egg. other options including buying a cartong of egg whites and using a ratio of 1 cup egg whites to one egg.


Just the eggs.


If you find a good deal on beef or chicken, stock up and put it in the freezer.


Something that has worked for me this summer is planning my meals out a week in advance on a whiteboard, usually on Sundays. Then I go to the store later that day with a list of what I need for the week. It keeps my grocery costs down, I buy only what I need, and I know exactly what I need so I don't spend a bunch of time at the store. There are a few articles under the nutrition section that give advice for food shopping planning. I think one is by Mike Roussell, IIRC.


The trick in the college setting is to stockpile those foods you absolutely will eat everyday, and then just shop for a few fresh vegetables/fruits every week. I recommend shopping around, since the college budget is often not as great as one likes. Try shopping at like Costco or my personal favorite Winco, since you can get a lot of the foods you eat all the time for a very low price. Bulk food shopping is a must. Invest in some personal containers that you can store dry foods for a while. Then stock your freezer with non-perishables so you always have stuff available. Then you don't have to worry so much about wasting your food. Vegies and fruits are relatively cheap, so you can shop weekly for those. Meat will be where you'll spend you money, and you don't want to waste good protein. The freezing idea as suggested above is a definate must.

If it were me I would get stuff like this (I lived off this stuff for five years in college):

Bulk Food Section:
-oatmeal (25lb bag = 15.00)
-brown rice (20lb bag = 12.00)
-sweet potatoes/yams
-dried beans/lentils
-whole wheat flour

-liquid egg whites (you can freeze them, and take them out when you need them)
-12 dozen eggs
-tuna (I buy the packs now, which are more spendy, but also more conveniant since you can take them anywhere)
-family priced steaks, sirloins, carne asada, london broils, some roasts are good
-frozen chicken breasts
-whole turkey (cook a whole turkey in the oven and it'll last you a week, maybe...)
-cottage cheese

then you've got your veggies, which I kept simple. I always had a large package of frozen mixed veggies in the freezer, just in case. Then...
-mixed salad in a tub (easy)

Condiments are always good in bulk too.
-soy sauce
-worchester sauce
-Mrs. Dash
-other spices

If you get this stuff you can pretty much bodybuild all you want and never have to really worry about your foodstuffs. You buy one big batch during the start of the month, and then this and that throughout the month. Too easy. Freeze what you can. Just make sure you have some meals prepared for when you need them. And learn to cook if you don't already. Half of your life will be spent in the kitchen anyway, might as well make it worthwhile.

-you get the idea


I wrote a few articles that address eating in college/on the cheap:




Thank you for those, by the way. They seem to gather all the other stuff I've read into a much nicer, easier to read core.


this is great stuff everyone, and ill be referring back to the articles often. thanks.

always wanted to try ostrich. is it cheap? also, does the 182 in your name mean you are a blink fan?


Isn't that 144 eggs? Do you freeze them or something?


Er, I'm not in the US right now and haven't bought ostrich there. Here (in the Philippines) it's about 5 or 6 bucks for a pound. And yeah, was originally for blink now I just use it if "Chimera" is taken.


That's gross (internet props if you get it).


why is your list completely missing milk?




i dont like milk


Great thread.
I'm in the same situation as you first year away as a jr. anyway I plan to live on

any and all veggies I can find.
hard boiled eggs
ground turkey(good price at costco)
sugarfree fatfree pudding
nattie peanut butter
ezkiel bread

occasional indian buffetts,street corner gyros, miller lite.


Alright I can help you here. Living on a budget there are some necessities.

Oatmeal: By far the cheapest and longest lasting breakfast food. Oh and its good for you. Get steel cut non-instantized.

Eggs: Get them by the 18 (if they have brown eggs), or if your close to the grocery store just get them as you need them. Hard boil 6 eggs every day, eat some for breakfast, toss the rest in a plastic bag for snacks later throughout the day.

Bread: Arnold brand bread has an extra protein bread, 7g/slice. Its about $3.50 per package though, whole grain.

Milk: duh.

Baby Carrots: These are cheap and probably the most convenient snack.

Sweet Potato: Microwave 8 minutes and done.

Frozen Chicken Breast: Frozen because its easier to store, and fridge space in college is crucial.
Frozen veggies: Cheaper than fresh, better than canned. I like the stir fry mixes, but generally you can get them without seasoning raw and frozen. There's a chance there's less chemicals on frozen veggies because they are flash frozen and transported as such.

Broccoli: The only veggie that's worth getting fresh. Only cook in microwave if you cook it, else rinse and eat raw.

Ground beef or turkey: Cheap, delicious for chili, dirty rice, etc.

Rice: Success, Boil in Bag brown rice. 3.5 servings per bag (2 REAL servings). The easiest way to make rice.

Pasta: Whole wheat

Pasta sauce: for a cheap meal. Add ground beef for flavor.

Tuna: obviously

Peanut Butter: The biggest jar you can find.

Yogurt: at less than 50 cents a container, a pretty good deal.

Olive Oil: Of the light variety, for cooking.

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper, Lemon Pepper, Mesquite, seasonings.
Hot sauce, Soy sauce.

As far as fruits go, Bananas are the cheapest, so load up. Apple's are another staple. Get bananas, Apples, and maybe one other fruit thats in season.

Oh yeah, and protein shakes are very convenient, and a pretty cheap meal if you mix some casein with whey.

I am also going into my third year, but was living alone last semester and working full time away from school, so I am used to cooking my own food. I can post some easy meals I've come up with if you want.