Between classes, studying, social events and everything else that college students must fit into their daily routine, finding the time to eat (healthy) can be a bit of a struggle. Not only does money and convenience play a big role in what we decide to eat but health does too. For those of us who live in dorm rooms, “cooking” isn’t always an option due to the lack of available space and utilities. Regardless, there are still easy, affordable and healthy ways to make food in your dorm room.

Whether you rent or buy them, most dorms allow refrigerators and microwaves. It’s important to stock up your fridge with healthy essentials in case you need that afternoon pick-me-up or midnight snack. Water, fruit, yogurt, cheese and dark chocolate are among some of my must-haves.

It’s also a good idea to put dry foods in storage bins so they won’t get stale. Peanut butter, rice crackers, cereal and granola bars are all great items that have long shelf lives.

While snacks are easy to munch on, meals can be a bit trickier to concoct. Though it’s sometimes easier to turn to the Cup Noodles or that Easy Mac, there are numerous ways to make a healthy, “dorm-made” meal! Here are some of my personal favorites:

 1. Healthy Choice Country Vegetable Soup (microwaveable)

2. Chobani Greek Yogurt + bananas + Bear Naked Granola

3. Skippy Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter + apples + whole wheat bread or a rice cake

4. StarKist Tuna Kits

If you must resort to the frozen food section, try to find items that aren’t too high in sodium. These are some options:

 1. Lean Cuisine Chicken with Almonds (microwaveable)

 2. Smart Ones Angel Hair Marinara (microwaveable)

 3. Smuckers Whole Wheat PB&J Uncrustables

All of these products only require a refrigerator or microwave, and almost all of them can be found at convenient stores around campus. With just a little bit of thought and creativity, there are various options that won’t break the bank… or the scale!