Some students are working multiple jobs, driving from over an hour away, alternating between campuses, completing work terms – you name it. They’re a busy bunch and buying lunch somewhere often seems like the only way to keep up with a busy schedule. But, before joining the Tim Hortons’ line, how many think, “How much is this costing me?”
An article in Business News Daily on Jan. 2 reveals that about 50 per cent of the American workforce spends over $1,000 yearly on coffee, and for many, more than double that on on-the-go lunches.
Does this habit apply to Conestoga students as well? One need only look around the cafeteria or seemingly endless wait in the Tim Hortons’ lineup for an answer.
“I buy food from the school every day,” said Jake Bellamy, a first-year public relations student, who says he never brings food from home. “I’m financially well off, so I don’t have to. I can see why some people would though, it is expensive.”
Mariann Nadin, a second-year general business student, said she buys food on the go about three to five days per week. “I don’t have time to make food; usually I wake up too late.”
Advertisements everywhere encourage students to buy lunches on the go, telling them that to do otherwise is too difficult a task when they lead such a hurried life.
With a little thought, however, it’s not as daunting as those companies looking for student dollars make it seem.
First off, there are many resources available to students who wish to start saving money on food. www.eatrightontario.ca offers everything from published lists of tips for healthier, more budget-friendly shopping and eating to the option of actually calling or emailing a dietician with questions about nutrition.
A lot of food companies also offer student discount days. Bulk Barn gives students 10 per cent off their totals with a student card every Wednesday and sell everything from rolled oats to an assortment of candies.
Making food is worth the money, but is it worth the time?
An extra hour on the weekend can be used to make a large quantity of food from soup and muffins to granola and snack bars to pack last-minute.
Many fruits can be bought on sale, cut up in a spare minute and frozen for up to a year. Soups, many baked goods and meat products can also be frozen to make larger quantities last longer.
Baggies and storage containers can be bought cheaply at dollar stores to pack sandwiches or leftovers in. Even a plastic bag likely reduces the waste produced by a meal bought on-campus.
A quick Internet search can produce a massive list of on-the-go food students can
make instead of a standard sandwich. The possibilities are endless.