Healthy, Affordable Foods for Students on a Budget

January 4, 2013 Category: College Tips

Student budgets are tight for many reasons. In addition to affording the cost of tuition and fees, there are also expenses related to school supplies and lifestyle. For those pinching pennies, trying to eat right and maintain a healthy diet can be challenging to accomplish. This is especially true when it comes to grocery shopping.

College students make up a large demographic of people that prefer organic foods because of their naturally higher health properties and being free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals used to normally treat such items. However, the price tags on a large number of organic food items are more expensive. Hence, the dilemma.

The good news is there are non-organic food items that are nutritious, affordable and less likely to carry the threat of pesticides and other related chemicals. Being aware of these options is a great way for students to continue positive eating habits while working within their budgets.


Students on a budgetUnlike other fruits (peaches, apples, pears, etc.), avocados don’t come with soft/thin skin. Its tough exterior acts as an effective barrier against pesticides. Even if the avocados purchased are not organic and have been treated with pesticides, it is still safe to eat the delicious fruit inside because it won’t be vulnerable to pesticide buildup.


Mangoes are one of the best tasting fruits around. Like the avocado, mangoes have a thick skin, which protects it against the presence of chemicals and pesticides. When shopping for mangoes, it is best to avoid the ones with skin that is too soft because it is a sign that the inside may be rotten. Look for mangoes with firm skin. While the outside is pretty durable, it’s still recommended to rinse the fruit in cold water before cutting/peeling.


While some fruits and vegetables require a considerable amount of pesticides and chemicals to keep away pests, asparagus doesn’t fall under this category. Not known for being a target for disease and insects, growing asparagus means the use of fewer pesticides.


Equipped with a naturally thick rind, there is never a cause for concern when it comes to any amount of pesticides penetrating through to the yummy inside. Even if you cut as close to the inner rind as possible, it’s still highly unlikely that any pesticides from the outside could reach that far.

Onions, Sweet Peas & Eggplants

These three are among a handful of fruits and veggies that fall under the category of products that are not as likely to be threatened by insects, disease and other pests. What does this mean? Less spraying for pesticides, which is always a good thing for food items that are not organic.

Still a bit paranoid about which non-organic fruits and vegetables might carry a lot of pesticides and which ones don’t? The EWG (Environmental Working Group) is an organization that is dedicated to conducting studies to identify toxic chemicals in our food, air and water. They regularly post the results of their research on their website, which students can use as a guide.

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