Category Archives: food

Managing Money

If you’re an incoming first year, you may wonder if the broke college student life is real?  Even as a returning student you could be in that current state as we speak (well read). Either way, whomever you may be, I’m going to share some tips on how to save your shmoneyy and get your coins.

FOOD. FOOD. FOOD.

Image result for buying food gifSince we’re notorious for being broke college students, ever wonder what we spend the most money on? It is known that most college students spend a lot of money on food, and after just my first year I can definitely attest to that. Whether it’s grabbing a bite out with friends or ordering in, we tend to overspend on meals. So, in order to avoid all the unnecessary expenses on food, it is wise to add dinning flex to your UNC One Card. For those of you who may not know, you can add flex which is basically money specifically for food to your UNC One Card. This will allow you to pay for meals by swiping (like a regular card) at those dinning locations all around campus and even some places on Franklin Street. This way you have allotted money that is specifically for food so you wont have to worry about impulse buying. Also, if you have a meal plan on campus, make sure to utilize those green to-go boxes to store food for later, so you can not only save a swipe but you won’t have to worry about your next meal. In addition, purchasing snacks or groceries to keep in your room is smarter as you’re able to grab something from your fridge easily instead of having to order something. Needless to say, grabbing a meal with friends or ordering your favorite pizza once in awhile is okay but try to avoid overspending so you can save your coins for other things.

GETTING A JOB OR INTERNSHIP

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Although your main priority for coming to college is to get that degree, if you have the time or chance, picking up a part-time job or finding a paid internship can very beneficial. Not only will you be rewarded financially but you are also getting experiences that will allow you to develop your skills that you can eventually put on your resume. Working is also an opportunity that will help you learn how to save because you will soon come to realize the value and/or struggle of making a buck. Having a job also teaches you management and organization which you can apply to saving money and spending, or in this case not spending. Nonetheless, getting that paycheck every other week is a sweet feeling and is even sweeter when you don’t go out the next day and spend it all.  Of course, you deserve to treat your self for all that hard work but don’t go overboard so that all your hard earned money won’t be wasted on things you’ll never use or that are unnecessary.

 

BUDGETING

As lame and tedious as that may sound, it’s very beneficial to have a budget planned for the school year cause if not well…

Creating a plan or system where you allot specific amount of money to certain things like clothes, going out, school supplies and groceries will help you visually map out the needs from the wants. It gives you the chance to see where your bad spending habits are, and also helps you find ways to organize your expenses. Also, when budgeting you can create a certain plan to save money (like 50% of you paycheck goes to your saving account) that way you will have the funds in case of an emergency or unexpected circumstances. Most banks have budgeting softwares within their banking apps or you can simply write out a plan in your notes and take control! Additionally, UNC hosts many events targeted to students like us, who struggle with spending money so be sure to look out for flyers to get some tips from professionals about how to budget and save! There are many resources available and many are at your fingertips, so be sure to use them while you can to avoid breaking the bank.

Food Necessities: Dorm Edition

Whether you’re getting an unlimited meal plan or not, you’re still going to need some sort of food in your room. While you may be awake at 2 a.m. finishing homework, the dining hall workers won’t be. They need a break too! On school nights, Chase is open until midnight, so you get a little breathing room, but after that, it’s every student for themselves. Plus, chances are, even if you do get hungry at a time that the dining halls are open, you’re bound to experience at least one wave of laziness where you don’t want to make the trek to the dining hall (it’s not always a sunny, 75 degrees outside). Trust me, being a Florida native, this past winter season was miserable. It may only have been 50 degrees out, but I’m telling you wind chill is a real thing and it definitely makes it feel 30, so walking to Chase or Lenoir was not at the top of my agenda. And for all you Northerners saying you’re used to the cold, welllllll it also rains here in North Carolina, and if you aren’t in the business of getting soaked, I strongly suggest keeping a few of these in your room:

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Ramen noodles and/or Easy Mac:

There is a reason everyone associates dorm food with them, ramen noodles and easy mac WILL be your lifesavers. There’s just no way around it. Any variation of instant pasta will do, but these two are the cheapest. All you need is the pasta, water, and 3 minutes of your time, and then voila, you have yourself a whole meal! If you want to get creative, add a few herbs and spices. It’ll take it from your traditional microwavable meal to one worthy of Gordon Ramsay (okay exaggerating a little).

Lunchables:

It might’ve been since fifth grade since you had a lunchable, but don’t underestimate them. These are the perfect snacks for when you’re hungrier than just chips, but not hungry enough for a full meal. My favorite is the classic ham and cheese (it brings oreos!!), but you can’t go wrong with the nachos either. For days you wish your classes were as easy as in elementary school, lunchables bring you one step closer to your inner 10 year old.

Chips/Goldfish:

For when you need something salty to munch on, these are the perfect snack items. They’re cheap, unmessy, and honestly very yummy. Chips and queso? Chips and salsa? Goldfish? Doritos? Get a variety pack and avoid boredom.

Bagels:

Those 8 a.m. classes are tough, honestly even the 9:05 and 10:10 classes can be hard to get to some days. When you don’t have time to get breakfast beforehand, make sure to keep your room stocked with bagels. They’re yummier than plain bread, but still filling, and they’re something you can eat as you run to class. For those of you with a fridge, feel free to keep some cream cheese or butter. It’ll be just like you stopped by Alpine.

Bananas/Cuties:

My first year, a group of my friends created this “banana challenge” as a joke. They challenged you to eat a whole banana under 10 seconds, and yes, it’s as hard as it sounds. One time, they “banana’d” me, forcing me to start the challenge. They were chanting my name to get me to do it, and soon enough, that whole area of the dining hall was shouting “Valentina! Valentina!” It was mortifying, to say the least. I didn’t end up eating the banana in the dining hall, not with all those people staring, but I did take it back to my dorm room. That’s when I realized I had just done something. Why use a swipe trying to get a banana, when I could just take one the night before and save it in my room? Try this every time you’re in Chase. Don’t leave without a banana. As for cuties, who doesn’t love them? The Target on Franklin sells them year round, so be sure to stock up.

Granola bars/trail mix:

Do I even need to explain this one? Perfect for on the go, perfect in the morning, perfect at night… There is really no bad time for granola bars or trail mix. Definitely buy one with m&m’s in it- no one eats the normal kind anyway.

Something sweet:

Everyone has a sweet tooth. When you’re on South campus and don’t want to walk a mile for Lenoir cookies, make sure to keep something sweet in your room. I found cookies or chocolates work best because they don’t expire quickly, but definitely, if you’re a baker and you enjoy cupcakes on the weekly, keep some cake mix in your dorm. It’ll come in handy if you ever forget about your roommate’s birthday.

Pro tip:

Many of these foods require a fridge or microwave, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring both. One of the great blessings of having a roommate is you guys can decide what each person is bringing. Divide and conquer. Now that room assignments are out, get in contact with your roommate and start talking about who is bringing what. There is no point (or space) to have two of each item.

The Beginner’s Guide to Carrboro

Great question. As a student at Chapel Hill, you not only live on a beautiful campus, you also live right next to the coolest small town on earth.

I’m biased since I grew up there, but take it from me – Carrboro is full of great stuff. Too many of my friends never made it up there during their first few years at Carolina, and now they can’t get enough.

Trying to figure out where Chapel Hill ends and where Carrboro starts can get a bit confusing. It’s kind of a local meme. I always tell people anything past Wings Over is officially in the next town, but the two towns are so close-knit that they might as well be the same place.

Except Carrboro is way cooler. I’m talking fresh donuts, fresh greens, fresh dance moves, live music, live people, live bars, dive bars and anything you could want to do while in college. Chapel Hill is great and I love it. Campus is wonderful and incredibly conducive to learning and bettering yourself and all that jazz. Carrboro is conducive to some straight up ignance.

Try it out the second weekend after you move in.  Get your friends together and stroll on over to Jade Palace. Or 2nd Wind if you’re 21. Just really soak in the small town goodness, and make sure you complete the taco truck rodeo at least once before you graduate. 

Only thing about Carrboro is, you might not actually want to live there just yet. It was a great place tog row up, but man does it suck to have to walk to the bus stop at 6 in the morning. Great place to visit, less great place to live as a student. Being able to walk to class in 10 minutes is a get out of jail free card you don’t even realize you have until it’s gone.

The best time to visit ton is going to be during one of the music events, which happen pretty much all of the time. Weaver Street Market is a really great spot to go and relax and eat something healthy, and they’ve always got a band or two playing there. If you’re more of a night owl, Cat’s Cradle puts on some seriously kick-ass concerts year round. They’ve got Towkio and Amine coming up in October.

So get into your class routine, buy all of your textbooks, then take a night off and go appreciate some dank tacos and tunes in the sleepiest town that never sleeps.

Mugs for Every Meal

4 Easy and Delicious Mug Meals for Students on a Budget (Time or Money!!)

You worked hard in high school, you did your applications, you’re in college, GREAT! So far, so good! Suddenly, your class is in 30 minutes, the dining hall isn’t even open, you don’t have enough money to go to Starbucks and you NEED YOUR BREAKFAST! What’s even worse is all your cooking experiments have ended up in flames and you don’t even have a kitchen to burn down! What do you do?

Well, you do have a mug…and a microwave… here are some good options for every meal whether you’re in a rush or you just need something cheap!

Breakfast

Easily your most important meal of the day: Skipping breakfast is a no no! What’s full of protein and goodness? EGGS! More specifically, omelets! This meal is not only quick, but it’s pretty healthy too!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add the butter to a pretty large (12 oz) microwaveable coffee mug. Make sure to spread it on the sides to prevent sticking.
  2. Microwave the eggs for a minute (more or less depending on microwave’s power).
  3. Sprinkle whatever toppings you want on there and then microwave again for about 30-60 seconds more (or until it looks done to you).
  4. Add salt ‘n’ peppa and maybe some hot sauce while you’re at it!

Voila! It is beautiful!

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can always add some cooked bacon or sausage crumbles!

Lunch

At Carolina, lunch is what gets us students through the mid-day slump! If you’re in your room for lunch, and need a quick pick me up, you’re gonna love this option: Cheesy Mac! Forget that boxed Kraft stuff: their cheese ain’t even real! This is easy and so much healthier…and tastier!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add Macaroni, Water, and Salt in a big a** mug (since the water will boil up). Microwave for about 3 1/2 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked.
  2. Read carefully: POUR OUT the water! You don’t need it anymore!
  3. Stir in your milk, corn starch, and shredded cheese (you can use any cheese but we recommend cheddar) and then microwave for another 60 seconds. Stir well, and if you’re feeling adventurous, add some bacon!
  4. Finish off with some salt ‘n’ peppa!

Oh man, does that look good or what??

Dinner

Last meal of the day, maybe you’re feeling like you should treat yourself… how about some pizza! Yes, pizza! Bet you didn’t know you could make that in a mug!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mug.
  2. After your dry ingredients are mixed, add your wet ingredients: milk and oil. Mix the dry and the wet together. There might be some clumping, but don’t worry about that!
  3. Spoon and spread the marinara sauce on the surface of the pizza batter.
  4.  Sprinkle on your cheese, dried herbs (to taste), and pepperoni on top. DO NOT STIR!!!!
  5. Microwave for a minute and a half or until the toppings start bubbling! Let it cool a bit and enjoy! (No one wants pizza burns!)

I’m shook!

Dessert

Surprise! We think you should be spoiled, so we’re throwing in some dessert! How does chocolate cake sound to you?

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt) in the mug and stir thoroughly! Like you mean it!
  2. Stir in your wet ingredients (milk, vegetable oil and vanilla). Blend until smooth like Joel Berry’s three pointer.
  3. Stir in your chocolate chips and/or walnuts if desired.
  4. Microwave for 90 seconds. Careful not to overcook, or it’ll be dry (like Duke!).
  5. Let it cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!!

Just heavenly. . .

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So you’re not a chef. . . well you don’t need to be one to do these! Hopefully, your college career will go much more smoothly with these easy and tasty meals.

Remember, cooking times can vary between microwaves and you can always add or leave out as many toppings as you want!

Some of these recipes were created by Gemma Stafford and others were just found on the internet! If you’re interested in more mug recipes including those of the vegan and healthy variety, check out the links below!

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1076271/meals-in-a-mug

Microwave Mug Meals: 5 Unbelievable Recipes

If these don’t work or you have any suggestions, leave us some comments below!

BON APETIT!