CU seminar focuses on healthy, inexpensive eating

Shopping for healthy food on a budget

Shopping for healthy food on a budget

DENVER — When it comes to saving money and time, and still choosing healthy options to eat, most of us are still students, trying to come up with the best plan.

CU Boulder is even offering students workshops to learn how to eat well on a budget. That’s information that’s applicable no matter your age.

In fact, people of all different ages attended the seminar at CU on Monday afternoon.

College students say they have a new appreciation for what their moms and dads went through to put food on the table.

They’re time starved.  “You have a test one day, and then you’re like, ‘OK, I can just eat pizza or whatever,’” said freshman Tessa Hennesy.

They’re also cash-strapped. “The big cup of noodles is like a dollar and that’s like three meals,” said Corrina Briggs, also a freshman.

College students certainly know how to find cheap food quickly, but it’s not always the best option. “Ramen is really easy, but it’s not that healthy,” added Briggs.

So how do you make the equation work?

Megan Salazar is a Registered Dietician. She works at Life Time Fitness in Westminster.

She says eating well doesn’t take as much time or money as you might think, but it does involve pre-planning and that goes for college students as well as families. “I’m going to take 15 minutes out of my week and it’s going to save me time later,” Salazar said.

That means buying in bulk if you can and freezing the extra.

Salazar says you do need to check the per unit price however because it doesn’t always come out to be cheaper. “Like for example peanut butter. Sometimes you can buy a bigger jar of peanut butter, but it’s often at a higher cost per unit or higher cost per ounce.”

For Hennesy and Briggs, this year has certainly been a wake-up call. Hennesy said, “When I was little we definitely had those sit-down meals and I really don’t know how my mom had time to make all those.”

Both ladies will live off-campus next year, which is why they stopped by the Money Sense seminar at school, to bulk up on quick tips. Hennesy added, “I like, kind of realized that it’s worth the time, if you can do it, to really make a good meal.”

Salazar recommends having a go-to meal that’s fast and healthy like stir-fry and chili.

She also recommends adding the so-called “super foods” into your meals, like salmon, berries, kale and quinoa. She says those pack a lot of nutrient punch and if you buy them in bulk or on sale, you can freeze them and save money.