Vegetarian and Poor College student - Ideas?

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Vegetarian and Poor College student - Ideas?

Post by diurnaldreamer » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:22 am

Hey there I started doing this for the last few days and so far I enjoy it. I'm all for fixing my eating habits (my issues is a combo of sweets and seconds).

Just wondering if anyone has advice for a vegetarian with a limited menu, I have a meal plan at my school that allows two meals a day (anymore is an extra 1000 a semester which I really can't do). My main bad habit is I don't eat all day then get a huge meal at 12 at night and get dessert.

Just curious how others have overcome similar issues.


My meal plan equals out to 5.75 a meal, to give you some idea of how far that goes. Vegeburgers (with nothing else) are 4.75, a plain sandwich is 3.50, a bottle of water is 1.75, and a salad is 4.00, and on a s-day pizza is 1.75 a slice (haha might he why dinner used to be 3 slices of pizza). The meals can be spent at anytime and you have 14 a week.
Last edited by diurnaldreamer on Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by howfunisthat » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:58 pm

First of all, congrats on wanting to eat healthier while you're young! You can absolutely change the way you eat now & enjoy not having to deal with bad habits the rest of your life!

If your mealplan lets you eat twice a day, I'd start there by trying to fit those two meals into your day. Perhaps you could figure out how to have them somewhere in the early afternoon & early evening to space them out so you're not tempted to snack. If you don't eat until really late, I'm sure it would be very difficult not to eat a lot...and eat dessert. I would think that at least two planned meals would help you eat more reasonably. I'm sure I wouldn't do very well physically if I didn't eat regular meals.

Perhaps the third meal of the day could be some fruit & nuts or something that fits into your tight budget.

I don't know if these thoughts are helpful or's been a long time since I was on a college meal plan. You're probably swamped with work, but when you have the time, the No S book is well-worth the time to read. It's not lengthy, but packed with great advice.

Good luck with this and with school...

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Post by Nay » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:07 pm

Is your plan a lunch and a dinner, or a breakfast and a dinner? If you're having trouble getting out of bed for the breakfast, I'd try to arrange my life so I could take advantage of the breakfast, and then have dinner at a normal dinner time.

If the plan allows you to eat at any time and you want to sleep late, at least get the two allotted meals at two separate times, separated by a few hours at least. Then keep in your dorm room some instant oatmeal and fruit for your third meal. I think you'll find that if you try hard to get in your 3 meals a day, you'll feel much better physically. After all, Reinhart's plan emphasizes habit, specifically a 3-meal-only habit, and that habit is a good one.

Good luck!

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Post by winnie96 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:27 pm

I don't what kind of quantity limitations are included in your meal plan, but would it be possible to dish up big-time at one of your meal-plan meals, then save some of the food to eat for that third meal? (And I totally agree with "Nay": the 3-meal-a-day habit is a good one!) Best wishes!

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Post by kccc » Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:29 pm

The three-meals habit already suggested is excellent - really should make that your priority.

Some questions...
1) How regular is your daily routine?
2) What facilities do you have for cooking? None, hot plate, kitchen down the hall, etc? Dorm fridge?
3) CAN you cook? Do you like/hate it?
4) What foods do you like?

With that... I generally would follow the other suggestions about doing your best to establish a routine (or maybe several routines, if your class schedule is erratic). You should know ahead of time when you're eating in the dining hall, and when you're providing for yourself.

More specific suggestions will need the info on facilities and cooking preferences. :)

And good for you for establishing good habits when you're young. I promise you that will pay off long-term!

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Post by JerryLee » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:22 am

If your not a Vegan, I find a bagel sandwich with egg and cheese is a quite a filling breakfast, and Pasta with meatless spagetti sauce with a couple of pieces of garlic bread will keep you going for a while also.

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Post by noSer » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:58 pm

I would definitely give up the bottled water. $1.75??? If you must have bottled water, go buy your own at the grocery store and bring it with you. I can get it at Sam's Club for 14¢ a bottle, or even at the grocery store for 25¢. Most bottled water is just filtered tap water, anyway. If you're not eating all day, and then having one big meal really late, you're not using your 14 meals a week to very good advantage. Look at your schedule, and see where you can fit your meals in. I find breakfast easiest and cheapest to eat on my own. You can without a doubt eat it for less that $5.75. Oatmeal or another filling cereal with milk is way less than $1. Also, if you get the full $5.75 and can't roll it over until the next meal, pick up some fruit or cereal or something if you're not using your full allotment for that meal, and stash it for another meal.

Good luck!
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Post by reinhard » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:05 pm

Oatmeal (horse food!) is cheaper than cat food. It's perfect for people on a tight budget. And it's as filling as cement. Alter the fruits, nuts and seed you mix in and you can even get quite a bit of variety. And as long as you don't go the haggis route, it's thoroughly vegetarian :-).


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Post by Jay K » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:41 pm

I second the oatmeal for breakfast. All you will need to find is either a microwave or a hot water source. If lunch is lite, some of the healthy vegetarian soups you can buy at the market and just add water are good. Transportable too if you are eating in class. Long term, you should see if you can get an apartment. You will probably save a lot of money cooking for yourself versus the meal plan. Also, see if your friends are using their food points. A lot of my friends with paying parents never used their meal plans and used their large allowance to eat at better restaurants off campus. I would use their food credits.

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Post by marygrace » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:07 pm

I'm vegetarian in my last year at college, so have been dealing with the crappy meal plans for a while now.

Like the others have said, try to make your dining hall meals be lunch and dinner. I know college dining halls don't always have the best veg options, so don't be afraid if your plate looks a little weird sometimes. (For example, sometimes my boyfriend will take the marinara sauce at the pasta bar and put it over chickpeas and olives from the salad bar... kind of strange but filling and not too bad tasting). I guess it depends what kind of stuff your school offers... but if there aren't enough options to make a complete meal, how about adding in a glass of milk? Its more filling than water.

Definitely do breakfast in your dorm. I buy a container of oatmeal (the big containers are cheaper than the box of individual packages) and it lasts for a couple of weeks. I usually pour some milk in the oatmeal and then add a spoonful of peanut butter...REALLY filling.

Also, I don't know if your college is anywhere near your home, but mine is, and I tend to go home on the weekend and bring food back for myself that can stay in the fridge for a couple of days. You could make yourself a tray of lasagna, for example, bring it back to school, and eat well all week.

Also, I know that the college lifestyle isn't always conducive to regular meals... which is probably one of the reasons why a lot of kids gain weight. You sleep in, then your class schedule is crazy during the day, and you don't think about eating til later on. Plus, people tend to snack constantly, especially when they stay up really late. I succumbed to that for a while, but the only way to solve those problems is to get into a normal eating routine. Just because my roommates eat dinner at 5pm and then go on a Ben&Jerry's binge at 11pm doesn't mean I have to do it. I don't, and I look a lot better for it!

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