The Health Centre wants to provide some ideas for inexpensive eating and options for you to consider when planning low cost food. Just like organization will assist you in being a better student, so attention to detail and budgeting will assist you in healthy eating throughout your time here in Lethbridge.
It is a fact of life that money only stretches so far. Don't wait until the end of the semester to think about inexpensive eating options. Use your common sense to deal with food issues throughout the semester. For example, you can't survive on noodle soup through the last six weeks of a semester. And remember, there are many people who will help you, if you let them know you need assistance.
1) Think Ahead - Be a Conscious Eater and Plan Your Meals
- Sit down on a weekend and plan the next weeks' meals.
- Buy food only according to your weekly plan.
- Take advantage of bulk food buying (a bag of oatmeal will cost less than a box of cereal).
- Make sandwiches for the week on Sunday and plan healthy snacks for each day.
- Know your hungry times during the day and plan a healthy food choice for that time period (usually 10:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m.).
- Consider making meals on a weekend for the week.
- Consider making a meal while you are at school. Crock-pots provide an excellent way of making cheap meals (soup, chili, chicken dishes, etc.).
- 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day may help you avoid the carbohydrate munchies.
AND REMEMBER 1-2 LITRES OF WATER PER PERSON PER DAY IS A HEALTHY CHOICE.
2) Know Your Food Budget
If you know how much money you can spend per week, it is easier to stay within your budget.
- Plan your meals and stick to a budget from the beginning of the semester.
- Avoid impulse buying of junk food or restaurant meals.
- Plan a treat once in a while.
- If you have never budgeted before, CONSIDER ASKING THE SCHOLARSHIPS AND STUDENT FINANCE OFFICE (SU065, PHONE 403-329-2585) for a private budget consult.
What if I have the Student Meal Plan and Eat At The University?
Every Monday, Food Services post the menu for the week outside Coulee Junction and on their website. Look it over and PLAN YOUR HEALTHIEST CHOICES. You can also request to view the binder which outlines fat content and healthy choices. Choose Wisely!
Either formally or informally, you can join a community kitchen. Informal COMMUNITY KITCHENS are groups of people getting together to share food. If you make a lasagne, and a friend makes a stew and someone else a casserole, get together, divide up the meals and each of you have interesting meal options throughout the week, instead of the same thing all week.
You can also FORMALLY JOIN A COMMUNITY KITCHEN GROUP. Please call ROSEMARIE RENWICK AT 403-382-6666 for a full explanation of how these community kitchen run. Community Kitchens are a great way to make CHEAP NUTRITIOUS FOOD!
Explore the FOOD BANKS in Lethbridge, see if you qualify for this service- for example the Interfaith Food Bank is at 1116 3 Ave North (phone 403-320-8022) and requires that you drop by between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. with your Alberta Health Care Card and some papers to show your source of income (i.e., student loan information). They will then assist you to register for their service Lethbridge Food Bank Society is at 1016 2 Ave S, (phone 403-320-1879). You can register between 10:00-12:00 and 1:00 to 3:30 with your AHC care and proof of income.
- book an appointment with Diane Britten, the on-campus dietitian (she's free) to discuss low-cost nutricious foods
- get the flyers and pick low-cost foods
- be honest about your food situation, it may get you invited to people's houses for meals
- barter your services for meals (for example, you mow the lawn for a meal) and/or earn money through small jobs
- churches sometimes have low cost meals or benevolent funds
- contact a dietitian at the Public Health Centre 403-382-6666 for a nutrition counselling session
- ask Mom or Dad or relatives for food and/or money
You can also book an appointment with a doctor at the Health Centre (SU020, phone 403-329-2484) to discuss your dietary problems (high cholesterol, low weight, weight loss and other issues). You can also ask the nurse for pamphlets on a variety of diet-related health concerns and for healthy eating ideas.