Filling the Mini-Fridge

As a collegiate student living on campus with a refined taste and big appetite, it can be difficult to tame hunger while on a strict dining hall diet — so get ready to stock up your dorm room.

The biggest things to keep in mind when buying food for your room are money and time because most students can’t afford to waste either. The best way to save money is to avoid buying too much. The basic food groups that a dorm dweller should have are ramen, pop and fruit. Other than those essentials, minimal food outside the dining hall means minimal cost.

Shopping at the right places can rescue your budget and save time too.  When it comes to finding the right store, it’s all about personal preference. Walmart is wonderful if you want cheap food, but does not have the best quality produce and is a long way from campus. If you are looking for something a little closer to home, Town & Country or Safeway may suit your needs. Town & Country is a great place for healthier eaters, as the produce is excellent, much of the food is produced locally and the location on 11th Ave. near campus features a salad bar. Like Safeway, it is also decently priced and its upstairs seating area is a great place to go to study. However, Safeway has a built-in Starbucks complete with seating for those whom would like to get away from campus and do some homework before shopping. The best store is the one that fits your needs, so go explore.

Another big way to save time (or gas money) is to take the Streamline.  It provides reliable and safe transportation to almost all the grocery stores in town, and all you have to do is get to the bus stop on time.  A lot of freshman are hesitant to use the Streamline, but it beats walking home with two or three bags of groceries — and it’s free.

College life is all about independence, and creativity is key when trying to learn how to survive on a small budget with a small room. So, if you’re starting your first year at MSU, the best thing to do is try everything, and that doesn’t just apply to food. Ramen, pop and fruit aren’t that expensive anywhere you go, so check out all the grocery stores, the varieties of each food and the ways to get to and from each place. You’ll never know what you like best until you’ve tried it all.