The Graduate School Information Channel, Sponsored by:
Cooking! Affording grad life through eating.
(full story below)
Through my assistantship, I am fortunate to have a stipend. However, I am not rolling around in cash, and my stipend is just enough to feed me, house me, and have a little lift for entertaining me (movies, dinners with friends, and yes, shopping). Yet, I have to be creative in stretching each and every dollar. One way I save money is cooking my own meals. Bloomington has a lot of great restaurants and combined with a graduate studentsí super busy schedule, it is very tempting to buy grab a quick and tasty lunch or dinner. Yet, the lunch money and the calories add up each day! If you eat lunch every weekday for 4 weeks, for an average of $7 per lunch, you would spend $140 per month. For the entire school year (thatís roughly 9.5 months), you would spend $1,330. (Disclaimer: These are my basic estimates! I am not math major or a professional statistician!)

Of course, you can sniff out the free food at advertised events or department socials. But letís be real, I did that and gained almost 10 pounds during my first year as a graduate student. I had to re-commit to a more healthy lifestyle, and that meant taking time out to cook.

Now cooking isnít such a frightening ordeal. Here are a few tips that I use to stay healthy:

1. Look for recipes on Pinterest: Pinterest isnít just for womenís fashion or DIY arts and crafts. People post super yummy and super easy recipes every minute on Pinterest. When I have some free time or take a break from studying, I go onto Pinterest and save at recipes to make for next week. Doing this helps me plan for my meals and also to get inspiration so I donít get stuck eating the same boring stuff.
2. Pin recipes that have 5 ingredients or less. I love cooking, but as a graduate student, I do not have time to make my own pasta or make an extra fancy souffle. Thatís why I only use recipes that require a few healthy ingredients and that are easy to find in the grocery stores. I save the more elaborate and adventurous recipes for the holidays, the summer, or for a cheap date night in.
3. Get a crock pot: Think a crock pot is expensive? Think again, I bought mine for $20 at Walmart. This device allows me to have a healthy breakfast or dinner every day. I just throw in some steel cut oatmeal into the crock pot at night, by the next morning I have a hot breakfast. For more crock pot recipes, visit: http://greatist.com/health/healthy-crock-pot-recipes/

4. Look at the grocery ads for sales and coupons: I try not to buy something at full-price unless necessary. Thatís why I always look at the grocery store ads to see what produce or products are on sale that week. If itís non-perishable item, I usually try to stock up on the for-sale item. For example, my favorite sale is the 10 for $10 at Kroger. I usually stock up on canned tomatoes, beans, Luna bars, and some times some snack items. If a meat like chicken is on sale, I usually buy the big pack and the freeze half of it for later. I usually try to find recipes that feature the on-sale items so I donít need to spend full-price on ingredients. Yes, it takes more organization, but it is worth the extra dollar or two!

5. Cook for the week: I usually designate a few hours on Saturday or Sunday to cook all of my meals during the week. I need a break from studying anyways, so I set aside some time to make my breakfast (oatmeal or an egg casserole, see above crock pot recipe link) and make my dinner (a recipe that I usually find on Pinterest or other food blogs that I follow) for the week. This method usually works well for people who are not opposed to eating the same meals every day for a week.

6. Have a little fun and be adventurous: The times I do eat out, I like to try new things. If I find a favorite dish at a restaurant that I really like, I try to find a similar recipe to make at home. I am a huge fan of Korean food, and I could spend hundreds of dollars and calories eating at Korean restaurants. To prevent myself from going overboard, I follow a food blog called Maangchi: http://www.maangchi.com/ Unfortunately, Bloomington does not have a Vietnamese restaurant, so I attempt to make Vietnamese recipes at home. I follow a Vietnamese cuisine blog called the Ravenous Couple: http://www.theravenouscouple.com/

Hope this blog post inspires you to put your chef hats on and start cooking!

(My Hamilton 5 quart crock pot. Photo courtesy of Walmart.com)
Source: http://www.indiana.edu/~gradlife/
Check Out More Graduate School Articles & Content
Weekend Reading Ė Doing it Wrong Edition
Beat Writer's Block and Write Your Graduate Admissions Essay
8 College Degrees with the Worst Return on Investment
Psychology Alumna Defines IUPUI Experience Through Research and International Opportunities
Quick Content Search
Search Grad School Content:
Enter keywords below to see a list of Graduate School related articles on our site!  
Florida Coastal Law's Practitioner Clinics
Florida Coastal Law's Practitioner Clinic is an innovative course offering students a chance to work closely on pro bono cases with a practicing lawyer. Students are often invited to work on these cases in the practitioner's office off campus, and the Clinics are offered as two credits with an evening classroom component.
Visit Site >
Florida Coastal Law Offers LLM & Certificate in Logistics & Transportation
Florida Coastal Law is the first law school in the U.S. to offer an online LL.M. Degree or Certificate in Logistics & Transportation. Students in the 24-credit LL.M. or 12-credit Certificate program gain expertise in global logistics and transportation law through cutting-edge courses taught by attorneys and industry professionals online.
Visit Site >
Share Graduate School Content!
Got info to share with the community? Post Graduate School content here!
Post Content>
Interested In Grad School? Questions?
Graduate School Interest:
Enter your name and email address to have a representative contact you with graduate school information!
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Sponsored Content Create an Ad
Follow Us!
Link To Us!
Do you have a website? Link to HBCU Connect!