Thrive on Campus//

Healthy Eating in the City

You too can eat like a health food influencer for a fraction of the price.

Welcome to our new section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

Social media is flooded with beautiful images of smoothie bowls, overnight oats, salads and avocado toast. But for many people living in a city, buying fresh produce to prepare these meals can come at a premium. This guide provides a few suggestions for ways to introduce more fruit and vegetables into your diet while sticking to a budget.

Avoid buying pre-chopped items

Fruit and vegetables which can be purchased pre-chopped can be time saving and helpful for people who aren’t able to use knives. However, pre-cut produce can be several times the price of the uncut version.

Store fruits and veggies in the freezer

Instead of trying to consume a large number of fruits and green vegetables in a short amount of time before they expire, it is better to store these items in the freezer. In the future, they can be taken out of the freezer and used for delicious home-made soups, smoothies and ice-creams.

Scan the clearance aisle

This could be a helpful tip for those who like to purchase groceries often throughout the week. The clearance or reduced section of the fruits and vegetable aisle in your local supermarket can be the perfect place to buy fruits and vegetables (including pre-chopped items) for affordable prices. Bear in mind that consumption would need to take place within a day or two of purchase.

Visit local food markets and stalls

Keep your eye out for pop-up fruit and vegetable markets where vendors often sell bows or bags of produce for affordable prices. There are also some shops where costs are kept this low regularly. Through online research for affordable food in your city, you may be able to find reviews and suggestions for vendors to visit.

Opt for frozen or canned

By purchasing produce stored in cans and the freezer, there is more space in the fridge for other items, and they tend to be cheaper than if they were fresh. Another benefit is that these types of produce can be purchased pre-prepared, so there is minimal chopping needed.

Pick your own produce

Depending on the season and your location, some local farms may offer a “pick-your-own” (PYO) produce or a “you pick” (U-Pick) session. This is where visitors can come to the farm and roam the fields while collecting crops. Some farmers also post crop calendars online so that visitors can anticipate the varieties of crops which may be available when they visit the farm. Note: A fee may apply to enter the farm and/or for the weight of the crops want to take home.

Join online communities to find out more about the options available in your city and the best places to check out.

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis

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