The art of grocery shopping has always been the epitome of “adult” to me ever since I was a kid, and I can’t help but feel like a grown-up as I strut into Safeway for the first time as a college student without a meal plan. Basket in hand, I stroll down each aisle, taking my time to consider which brand offers the most for the price and carefully avoiding my usual temptations.
I approach the checkout stand, pleased with myself for being so responsible, and the cashier announces my total. What? I owe you how much? There must have been some mistake. This was not part of the deal, Safeway.
How are college students with minimum wage jobs supposed to afford groceries, let alone expensive healthy options? I lived off of a lot of soup and PBJs until a friend told me that if you have a Federal Work Study job you can qualify for up to $200 in food stamps a month.
I started receiving food stamps in January and they have completely changed how I budget and shop for groceries. Now I can base my choice in food more on what is in the product than how much it costs. Two hundred dollars a month is not exactly winning the lottery, but if you plan ahead and can keep from splurging you can eat pretty well on $50 a week.
Work Study students aren’t the only ones struggling to pay for groceries. Should there be a stipend available for a larger population of students? How do you save money on food?