Last semester I decided not to add money to my optional campus dining account. Not only did this save me some money, but it prepared me for this semester where I will have 30 minutes to get from work to campus, eat dinner, and manage to be sitting in the lecture promptly ready to go. No room for waiting in line at fast food (even if they’re fast!). From my first semester here is what I learned:
- A lunchbox isn’t lame.
Find a carabiner or one with a buckle so you can attach it to your backpack strap. You won’t have to carry it OR forget it.
- Keep the extras.
Instead of tossing or not grabbing an extra fork when you do go to a fast food place, keep them to pack with your lunch. Same with napkins, ketchup packs, mustard, etc. Don’t go crazy though! Keep up to 10 of each condiment at most unless you use them A LOT.
- Scope out where the microwaves are.
Find where the microwaves are at school. Student lounge, convenience store, etc.
- No microwave, no problem.
Pack lunches that contain items you don’t need to microwave. Example: Sandwich, wrap, salad, fruit, veggies, cheeses, crackers, granola, etc.
- Be mindful of your container choices.
Find tupperware that doesn’t leak if you pack food that can run or keep in mind expandable tupperware if your portions will vary (I saw this at Target).
With this in mind, packing for my first week of the Spring semester gave me even more tips I can pass along.
I am mainly packing dinners this semester. When I think of dinner, I think of a hot dish, a hot side, and a salad. For example, hamburger helper, a baked potato and fresh greens w/ ranch. Ideally you would want to keep the meal compact (in one container), but how do you mix the hot and cold elements? For myself, I solve this by packing the salad in a small sandwich back instead of putting it right in the portion of the tupperware. The plastic bag allows me to easily remove the salad when I need to microwave the hot portions of my dish and then empty it into the remaining place.