Fall semester is right around the corner, and in an attempt to eat cleaner and to know where exactly all of my food comes from, I've dropped the college meal plan. I'm also moving into an apartment with my lovely collaborative designer Ford Bowden, and like all other students, we're seeking out ways to save money in the kitchen.
Students living in university housing can also benefit from this; most resident halls have community kitchens that students like to utilize when they're sick of dining halls.
Here are some easy tips to follow:
Buy/Cook in Bulk:
This is a number one time and money saver for obvious reasons, but did you know you're helping the planet too? Buying in bulk results in less food packaging waste while cooking in bulk can save energy. Also, buying/cooking in bulk and then storing the rest in your freezer gives a little more reason to your energy-sucking refrigerator. A fuller fridge = less energy waste.
Have a Recycling Bin Handy:
This is the easiest practice to follow: just keep a recycling bin beside your trash can for all of your recyclables, from the kitchen or wherever.
Invest in a Silicone Baking Mat:
Yes, you have one more item to clean after you're done cooking, but this one can definitely be a money saver, too! You are eliminating waste from cooking spray, parchment paper and aluminum foil, so really a silicone mat can pay for itself after several uses.
Invest in a Water Filter:
Cases of bottled water are expensive, and although you can recycle the bottles, they are still major energy wastes and plenty still end up in landfills everywhere. Save the room in your kitchen by just keeping a pitcher of filtered water in your refrigerator and pouring water into your own water bottles. Then while you're on campus, utilize water fountains to stay hydrated and eco-friendly.
Own a Travel Mug:
It's inevitable how many times you'll be visiting local coffee shops. Ask your server to serve your favorite caffeine in your own mug. Not only will you be saving paper/plastic waste, but a lot of places offer discounts for you doing so!
Check Out Your Local Farmer's Market:
You can always find great farmer's markets, especially around college towns. Take advantage of the nutrient rich, fresh produce, and support local farms!
Going eco-friendly doesn't have to be costly; in this case especially, keeping a sustainable mind actually saves money. Follow these practices for a happy wallet, heart, and belly!