T Nation

Eating in College

I’ve been living at home while I go to community college for the past 2 years. So food hasn’t been an issue. However, I am transferring next fall and was looking over the meal plans. To my dissapointment the best meal plan only comes out to be about 2 meals a day plus like $200 in “dining dollars”. I am planning on gaining some more weight while in school so this probably won’t cut it.

How did you guys do it without an unlimited meal plan? I don’t yet know whether I’ll be living in an on campus apartment or dorm room, so not sure wether I’ll have access to a kitchen. I’m already factoring in buying protein powder throughout the semester, so while thats a valid suggestion I’ve already got it covered. I guess I"m just looking for your experiences and how you made it work. Thanks a ton

Get a slow cooker, a foreman grill and a microwave and you’ll be set for life. You can make huge meals with leftovers with the slow cooker, cook meat on the foreman grill, and heat up frozen veggies in the microwave. I lived like this in a hotel room for 2 months this past summer and ate very well.

This may be a dumb question, but can you have a grill in your dorm room? I’m asking along the lines of a fire hazard or something? Also are females attracted to the constant smell of bacon?..

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
This may be a dumb question, but can you have a grill in your dorm room? I’m asking along the lines of a fire hazard or something? Also are females attracted to the constant smell of bacon?.. [/quote]

That is up to your dorm to decide the rules of, and up to you to decide if you are going to follow them.

Got it. Just out of curiosity why were you living in a hotel? Thanks for your replies btw. Anybody else have any experiences eating a shit ton in college?

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Get a slow cooker, a foreman grill and a microwave and you’ll be set for life. You can make huge meals with leftovers with the slow cooker, cook meat on the foreman grill, and heat up frozen veggies in the microwave. I lived like this in a hotel room for 2 months this past summer and ate very well.[/quote]

X2 slow cookers recipes are incredibly easy, very good and it might take you 5 minutes to prepare and can last you a few days.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Got it. Just out of curiosity why were you living in a hotel? Thanks for your replies btw. Anybody else have any experiences eating a shit ton in college? [/quote]

Essentially a 2 month long work seminar. I had a foreman outdoor grill, so it could cook a lot of meat, but cleaning wasn’t as convenient as with a normal foreman.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
This may be a dumb question, but can you have a grill in your dorm room? I’m asking along the lines of a fire hazard or something? Also are females attracted to the constant smell of bacon?.. [/quote]

That is up to your dorm to decide the rules of, and up to you to decide if you are going to follow them.[/quote]

Agreed.

Usually microwaves and small fridge/freezers are allowed, and any other types of grilling/cooking can be done in a common kitchen. There’s probably one somewhere on campus.

That being said, your bigger risks are a) roommates, and b) floormates who smell what you’re cooking. Be prepared to get caught, and be prepared to talk yourself out of it. Grilling is probably not allowed; a slowcooker is probably technically not allowed, but should be fine in reality.

As far as a fire hazard, knowledge is probably your best bet. Know what can cause a fire, and don’t put yourself, your property, or anyone else at risk.

One of my dorms was effectively fireproof: cinderblock walls, some highly durable vinyl tile, and concrete ceilings. Another of my dorms very much wasn’t.

Basically, use your own judgment. There’s always a solution, you just have to find it.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
This may be a dumb question, but can you have a grill in your dorm room? I’m asking along the lines of a fire hazard or something? Also are females attracted to the constant smell of bacon?.. [/quote]

That is up to your dorm to decide the rules of, and up to you to decide if you are going to follow them.[/quote]

Agreed.

Usually microwaves and small fridge/freezers are allowed, and any other types of grilling/cooking can be done in a common kitchen. There’s probably one somewhere on campus.

That being said, your bigger risks are a) roommates, and b) floormates who smell what you’re cooking. Be prepared to get caught, and be prepared to talk yourself out of it. Grilling is probably not allowed; a slowcooker is probably technically not allowed, but should be fine in reality.

As far as a fire hazard, knowledge is probably your best bet. Know what can cause a fire, and don’t put yourself, your property, or anyone else at risk.

One of my dorms was effectively fireproof: cinderblock walls, some highly durable vinyl tile, and concrete ceilings. Another of my dorms very much wasn’t.

Basically, use your own judgment. There’s always a solution, you just have to find it.[/quote]

Good stuff. Yeah I will know more about my exact living situation as it gets closer but for now I’m just trying to make a plan. I’m not proposing it can’t be done but its helpful to here how others have done it. My friends don’t train and all they do is party so they barely even eat. Less money spent on food is more spent on beer. I just want to make the most out of my time spent there

I’m a college student, and I also really don’t like cooking, so I’ll just give a couple suggestions of stuff I do

1- Eggs and toast are really easy to cook and are cheap. You can even make eggs in the microwave. I put PB and J on my toast

2- Sandwiches are super easy/cheap

3- Go to walmart and buy some canned chili. 1 can costs like 1.50 and has about 35 grams of protein. Melt some shredded cheese in there

4- Eat out. Usually in towns with a big college there will be a lot of places that offer cheap food to accommodate broke students. Footlong subs from subway for example is a lot of food for not a lot of money

I’m a bit older, so I’m used to cooking for myself under many situations, but I lived on campus last spring and had the meal plan. It covered about 1 meal/day with another 20 or so leftover, so I guess that would cover weekends.

Our weekends only had breakfast food for breakfast and lunch, so I didn’t even bother because it seemed like a waste of meal tickets… so I ended up essentially intermittent fasting with 1 huge meal at the end of the day after my workout and ended up gaining weight for the first time in a few years without trying. I thought since I only ate once a day, it wouldn’t be possible to gain weight. It was clean eating too, except I’d end my meals w/ a glass of whole or almond milk. Aside getting used to eating one huge meal/day, here’s other tips:

-protein shake of course. I’d have 1 in the morning with maybe some a piece of fruit or some farina. Sometimes I would have 1 pre-workout if I felt weak, but this was unusual
-I would normally grab a piece of fruit or 2 whenever I left the cafeteria… sometimes a milk box too, if they had it
-if your cafeteria allows carryout, you can often get more in the container than you could get in your belly, so you could get that and have 2/3 meals instead of 1 huge meal
-if they have carryout w/ a beverage, fill the cup w/ peanut butter, yogurt, or something else more substantial than a beverage.
-if you have a grocery store nearby, you can get those roasted chickens for like 5-7 bucks
-my roomate made friends w/ a girl and made some bet using the meal tickets, so he ended up w/ a crazy amount of meals… girls don’t really eat that much and get bored of cafeterias, so the value of a ticket drops as the novelty wears off for them

You could always pack tupperware too, but that is stealing, so you have to decide if you’re down w/ that.

crock-pots are a good way to do a lot of food for cheap. I do barbeque chicken, beans, stew, and brisket in mine all the time. You can put whatever you want in so it’s easy to control calories (either up or down) plus it’s easy and I don’t see any dorm having rules against them.