How to be a Foodie on a Student Budget

The biggest struggle of being both a student and a foodie is finding the funds to support your lifestyle. Eating good can be difficult when you have to pay for tuition, rent, textbooks and bills, but barely have the availability for a part-time job.

This week, I reached a low point in my life when I discovered I had $11 in my bank account. I’m now considering changing my name to The Broke Foodie. I’ve been alternating between pretzels and sleep-for-dinner for a few days now. Needless to say, I get the struggle.

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 2.12.40 PM
Savannah Hamelin–Tweet from personal account

I have some good news–there are ways to indulge without breaking the bank:

1. Take advantage of your student and/or alumni status

I’m currently in a unique position where I have an alumni card because I’m a recent graduate, but I still have my student card because I’m in a post-degree program. Both cards offer great food discounts at many chains and local favourites.

Remember that agenda you got in your orientation package? Or that student calendar you picked up at academic counselling, but never read. Think twice before throwing them away because there are literally hundreds of coupons found within the pages of these things that you’ve been missing out on.

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Savannah Hamelin–Student discounts from Western University

2. Be on the lookout for prix fixe menus

For those times when you technically have money but shouldn’t really be spending it. Prix fixe just means “fixed price” in French. Restaurants, especially of the upper scale nature, will use prix fix menus to allow guests to enjoy a multi course meal at a discounted price.

There are entire festivals devoted to this style of dining. Londonlicious is a local food festival in which participating restaurants create special prix fixe menus specifically for the event. Usually running for about three weeks, foodies can explore the local dining scene, while eating three+ course meals for under $40. The next Londonlicious is January 11th-February 3rd, 2018.

If you’re in the city, Toronto also has its own–Winterlicious and Summerlicious (note: these menus can be more expensive than London).

3. Dine at restaurants that serve large portions

When I’m low on money, I go into survival mode and become quite resourceful. If you’re strapped on cash, but still want to eat out (story of my life), I suggest carefully choosing a place with large portions. That way, you can take your leftovers home and make a second meal out of it. Two for the price of one.

Local Suggestions:

Rigatoni and Meatballs
Savannah Hamelin–Fresno’s Rigatoni Bolognese








How do you save money as a student foodie? Comment below!

2 thoughts on “How to be a Foodie on a Student Budget

  1. Hi Sav!
    As a chronically broke student, I found this post very helpful! I love how you are honest – for example, instead of saying “don’t ever eat out,” you give information on how to get more bang for your buck while eating out. In addition, you have also suggested some yummy restaurants which I cannot wait to dine at with money that I don’t have!
    Overall, a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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