OPINION | Eating out is the best option for college students

It is cheaper for college students to eat out rather than go grocery shopping and cook at home. Carlie Gillis | Sun News Daily

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Would you rather get take-out tonight or cook a meal at home with the groceries you bought?

As a college student, this is one of my hardest decisions.

There are pros and cons to eating at home vs. getting take-out. A college student’s busy schedule may influence their decision of what to eat.

Sometimes eating out can be cheaper than getting groceries. I have learned while being at college that eating out is easiest for me. If I buy groceries, I sometimes waste the food I buy or tend to not eat the food I spend money on. Eating out is a more efficient way to eat in college.

If you are eating out instead of cooking, getting a kid’s meal is a way to limit your spending. I have learned that by doing this, I save a lot more money. Inflation is real, and one regular meal can cost $10-$12 or more. Most kids’ meals are about $4-$6, about half the price of a regular meal. I observed the change in what I spend on a kid’s meal vs. a regular meal, and it makes a big difference in your end-of-month spending.

Eating in brings many disadvantages to college students. You may save money and eat healthier when eating in; however, you have to have the time to cook and prepare what you make beforehand. I have a busy schedule and can’t use all the groceries I buy to prepare a home cooked meal. Many times the fresh produce I buy goes bad before I can use it. This then leads to me eating out anyway and wasting money on groceries.

One of my roommates will eat out for most meals, and my other one will make all her meals. I asked my roommate who eats out how much money she spends eating out and it came out to $70-95 a week. I then asked my roommate who eats in, and she spends about $50-100 a week. I see that many times my roommate wastes the groceries she buys because she eventually eats out and doesn’t use the food she bought.

I agree with my roommate that eats out because she doesn’t waste groceries. Still being careful how much you spend when eating out is a must, but it can save you money in the end.

I have decided to eat out 2-3 times a week while getting some groceries. Using the starving student card is how I save money on the food I buy when I eat out. The starving student card has freebies and BOGO deals for restaurants around town. I save most my money by using my discounts at restaurants such as Teriyaki Madness, Chick-fil-A and Jamba Juice.