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Feeding Yourself in University Rez! Tips to eat cheaply, healthily and simply
By:  Adele Lay   (2008/09/08)


After being in residence at Carleton for less than a week, I can already sense people slipping into bad eating habits. Itís HARD to eat well, it takes effort and a bit of planning. Maybe Iím being too optimistic, but I believe it is completely possible! Most people here have some sort of meal plan but most also have a number of meals to fend for themselves. 

Feeding yourself in rez is like eating on a camping trip (that lasts 8months) but with the luxuries of electricity and somewhat regular grocery shopping.

I donít even have access to a kitchen but with a few simple appliances and tricks it is entirely possible to cook good and tasty food for yourself.

Useful Appliances:

Fridge- I bought a large bar fridge for my room but they also have ones to rent. But I actually found that it cost less for me to buy one than to rent for two semesters.

Hot Pot- This nifty devise boils water like a kettle but it has a flat element and a wide top so you can put food right into the boiling water to cook it. It costs $13 at Canadian Tire and can easily be stuffed with (clean) socks, packed in a suitcase and brought on ski trips for hotel cooking.

Microwave- Not really an economical thing to buy, but I have one down the hall to use. Also, itís not absolutely necessary for most food.

Meal Ideas:

Oatmeal- bags of quick oats are dirt cheap. Eat with real or powdered milk, trail mix, cinnamon and sugar.

Eggs and Toast- The hot pot works perfectly for boiled eggs.

Pasta with Tomato Sauce- Both ridiculously cheap, tasty and can be cooked in the hot pot. To add protein, add canned tuna, turkey or tofu. Whole wheat pasta also has more protein, fibre, and other important nutrients. Also, add canned veggies like peas and carrots.

Couscous with Chickpeas- Couscous is probably the easiest fast food. Literally just add boiling water and let sit. Both couscous and canned chickpeas are cheap and non-perishable. To make this dish taste better, add pesto and sundried-tomatoes (not the least expensive things in the world but a little goes a long way). Also, spice mixes are handy to change up flavours.

Other Tips:

Fruits and veggies- dried fruit, V8 juice, fresh fruit and vegetables (apples and carrots last fairly long)

Bread- Depending on how much you eat, it can be hard to eat a whole loaf before it goes moldy. Ryvita flat bread, rice cakes and crackers last much longer.

Protein- Probably the hardest group to get enough of in a dorm room. As I mentioned before canned tuna, chickpeas, tofu and trail mix work well. Also, cured sausage stays good for a while. And of course thereís always PB!

You can find more fast and simple meal ideas at

Interesting Reading. . .
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