You are currently viewing Thrifty Dining: Can Cutting Costs on Food Actually Help You Lose Weight?

September 30, 2023

by Kimberly Deaño


The college experience is a time of growth, self-discovery, and often, financial frugality. For many students, the struggle to balance a tight budget with the desire to maintain a healthy diet is a constant juggling act. The hustle and bustle of academic life often translate to meals on the go. While some meticulously plan their weekly menus, others navigate the city streets, seeking affordable sustenance without a detailed meal strategy. In this topic, we explore the challenges faced by students aiming to cut costs on food without compromising nutritional needs.

The first question is stated below:

How do you manage to eat affordably without planning your meals?


Well, wala gyud koy panahon or patience sa pagplano sa mga pagkaon. Instead, naga explore ko sa mga Street food especially kanang gawas sa school or carenderias. Maningkamot ko mangita anang mga lami ug budget-friendly options. Ga focus ko makapangita anang klase-klaseng street foods nga nay proteins, carbs, ug veggies na barato.

(Well, I don’t really the time or patience for meal planning. Instead, I explore the local street food, especially outside the school or carenderias. It’s a treasure trove of delicious and budget-friendly options. I focus on finding a variety of street foods that offer a mix of proteins, carbs, and veggies without breaking the bank.)


Another student answers.

What are some of your favorite street food finds that help you stay on a budget?


Ganahan ko mangita anang mga food stalls or carts like mga isa, probeb, batikulon, pastil, siomai, tapos buko juice inig human. Usahay adto ila Auntie “Bundak” para makakaon mga home cooked meals sama sa fried chicken, adobo, pinakbet, monggos, ug ayaw kalimti ang rice. Daghan jud ka makita na sagol-sagol na mga pagkaon, pwede pod ka mag mix and match para nay balanced meal nga makagasto og dako.

(I love exploring food stalls and carts for things like innards (chicken intestines, proventriculus, gizzard), pastil, siomai, then buko juice. Sometimes going to Auntie “Bundak” to have home-cooked meals such as fried chicken, adobo, pinakbet, and mung bean stew, and never forget the rice. There’s a surprising amount of diversity, and you can mix and match to create a balanced meal without spending too much.)


 While the students’ street food adventure is an enticing narrative, it’s crucial to acknowledge the potential challenges. The availability of nutritious options may vary and navigating the nutritional content of street foods can be tricky. It requires a discerning palate and a keen eye for options that strike the delicate balance between taste, cost, and nutritional value.


One of the key takeaways from the student’s experience is the importance of meal planning. By knowing what to buy and preparing meals in advance, individuals can resist the temptation of unhealthy, last-minute food choices that often accompany a busy student lifestyle. It’s not just about saving money; it’s about making conscious decisions that contribute to overall well-being.


Eating on a budget as a student doesn’t have to be a compromise; it’s an opportunity for creativity, smart planning, and resilience. The interviewed student serves as a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating that with a strategic mindset, it’s possible to navigate the culinary maze of college life while staying true to both health and budgetary goals.