When your stomach is as empty as your bank account, getting through each day can be a struggle.
Having enough to eat, managing to eat healthy, prepping meals and finding convenient food solutions on campus is important, so we’ve prepared a guide to help you take on the challenge. We’ve covered everything from vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, to tips about eating on campus when you’re in a rush.
Follow these guides, and we hope that you’ll be able to stay healthy, happy and financially stable this academic year.
Stocking up on student grocery tips:
Trying to balance healthy eating and a tight budget can be difficult. Maintaining a good grocery shopping budget is one way to work towards this. Here are five tips to help out with grocery shopping.
(1) Never go to the grocery store without a list. When you start buying food you don’t need or won’t eat, it’s the easiest way to go over your budget. Having a list is your best defence against temptation and impulse buys.
(2) Plan out your meals out. The best way to do this is by keeping a weekly menu. It’s an excellent way to keep track of what you’re eating and to stay on track with your monthly grocery budget and your weekly list.
(3) This one comes highly recommended. If you go to the grocery store while hungry, if you’re stomach is rumbling and begging for grub, you are much more likely to spend more than what you budgeted for. If you’re hungry and surrounded by all sorts of delicious foods temptation quickly takes over. But if you go on a full stomach you will breeze past that pop and chip aisle and head straight for the cucumbers and kale.
(4) As stated above, make out a budget detailing down to the cent how much you can afford to spend on groceries. If you know what you’re able to afford it will not only give you’re a wallet a break but will give you a better idea of how to plan your meals and what kind of foods you can buy.
(5) While I could have gone into other areas of advice such as healthy options or stores in town that offer student discounts — I leave this to you to figure out — the last suggestion I’ll offer is this: try and keep your shopping list and your budget somewhere clearly in sight. It doesn’t really matter where you put it, so long as it’s in a place where it won’t be forgotten. This is the best way to memorize your budget and your list by heart.
When time is of the essence:
Ordering food at Brock can be rather time consuming. Whether it’s in Market, Lowenberger or the Student Union Building, it often seems that no matter where you go you are guaranteed a wait.
Presented are a few “fast-foods” that can be purchased when you just have a few minutes of down time.
Ah-So Sushi is arguably the fastest meal option on campus. If you have a sushi craving and neither the time nor capital to venture downtown for Wind or Seasons, Ah-So Sushi’;s pre-made platters are very convenient. Another bonus is that, Ah-So Sushi will be expanding its menu, offering udon, tempura and other yummy additions to their menu.
- Montreal Style Smoked Meat: For fans of the classic, there is usually no line in this particular part of Market and is actually pretty authentic, being cut fresh from the bone before each sandwich is made.
- Wraps: Always busy. Always a wait unless you are there before they open at 11.
- Burritos: Ordering a Burrito at Brock is about as time consuming as getting a B.A. Luckily you have four years (or longer) to try. I recommend the “White Lightning Sauce”.
While most lines in the Badger are usually very long, it does benefit from having a “self-serve” Tim Horton’s station that is a great way to bypass much of the waits and lines associated with Brock’s other Tim Horton’s locations.
DeCew Dining Hall:
Having both the option to quickly grab a sandwich off the shelf or wait in line to get a fresh one made the way you like are just one of the reasons DeCew is a good choice for quick food.
Overall, ordering food is generally going to be a time-consuming part of your journey at Brock, but hopefully we can help you cut that down as much as possible.
How to eat cheap on campus:
When trying to save money on food, one of the easiest strategies is to prepare something at home and bring it to campus with you. The new BUSU-provided microwaves in Market (located near the conveyor belt for dirty dishes) and the new grocery shuttle both make purchasing groceries and bringing food with you to campus easier than it has ever been.
However, it is often not an option for students to cook at home. Either due to time restraints, a lack of resources, or a general aversion to cooking, students often find that they need to purchase food on campus.
With prices in Market and the residence cafeterias being rather high, students sometimes struggle to find affordable choices for food on campus. However, there are some options right at Brock that provide cost-effective choices.
One resource that many students don’t learn about until the later years of their undergrad is the Avondale near East Academic. While Avondale is primarily a convenience store, the one at Brock also contains a small prepared food area that offers a lot of hot food options for reasonable prices. Students can get prepared soup, burgers, pulled pork, hot sandwiches and many other options from the prepared food area in the back of Avondale. The location also offers freshly baked banana bread and loaves. For students who want to purchase good, filling food on campus for a reasonable price, Avondale is a great resource.
If the Avondale does not appeal to students, they can also go to the BUSU-owned locations in Union Station. Union Station contains locations like Harvey’s and Subway are reasonably priced alternatives.
The General Brock Store has also recently started serving prepared food items. The location has always functioned as on on-store convenience store, but now has hot pizza, popcorn, hotdogs and other affordable food options for students who don’t have a chance to bring a lunch with them to school
Living the vegan life at Brock:
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you are not alone. There are plenty of other vegan/vegetarian students to rally with you. However, there is one thing that all herbivores will agree is necessary for their lifestyle to work: variety. No one wants to eat the same meal everyday. Luckily, Brock has accounted for that with the many vegetarian and vegan options found around campus.
If you are looking for a meat-free haven then look no further than Union Station. The many restaurants contained within Union Station have various options for vegans and vegetarians that will allow for you to mix your diet at will. Burrito Boys has both vegetable tofu and sweet potato and no meat alternatives in their burritos and quesadillas. Harvey’s has their veggie burger, even vegetarian sushi is available if you feel so inclined. Booster Juice also has the option vegetarian and vegan smoothies that use soy milk instead of dairy.
You should also check out General Brock near Whelsh Hall. General Brock has a large variety of food options that fulfil the needs of vegetarians and vegans alike. From bagels to eggplant sandwiches, General Brock has got you covered.
Alternatively, Guerensy Market also holds plenty of veggie based options, like stir-fries and salad bars, that can help you keep your diet varied.
What if you go to the new downtown campus, though? Downtown St. Catharines has more than got you covered. The Marilyn I. Walker Centre is perfectly situated to allow students access to the downtown food scene. Rise Above is a fully vegan cafe located downtown that satisfies all your vegan needs. Got a sweet tooth? Check out Beechwood Donuts on James Street. No matter you’re palate you are bound to find plenty of veggie option in downtown St. Catharines.
-Matthew Von Lukawiecki
Paper bagging it at Brock:
For many students, the idea of bringing a lunch to school stopped after grade eight. In high school, you likely got your first job (or better yet, started getting an allowance), so you probably frivolously spent away your cash at McDonalds and Timmies for lunch everyday.
Let’s face it, that golden age of financial stability flew out the window the second you enrolled in university. Your parents likely don`t want to bankroll your sushi addiction, and many students don`t have time to work a part-time job.
So what does one do to try and save money? It’s time to bring out your Dora the Explorer lunch box and start bringing a lunch to school.
You must be thinking, “That means I have to wake up earlier for school”. Tough luck. But if waking up earlier is an issue, especially if your day starts at 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m., then the simple answer is to make your lunch before at night. Make a sandwich, or put left-overs in a container before going to bed. Having some fruit ready for you to grab and take to school is also a healthy and convenient way to fight off hunger pangs. That being said, there`s also likely no parent around to tell you not to pack Pringles and some poptarts.
Whether you’re living off-campus and will be stuck at school all day, or even if you live in residence and don`t have much time in-between classes, paper bagging it is definitely a great option. You’re getting this advice from a student whose Mondays begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 p.m. and who’s Tuesdays begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 p.m. – so believe me, it really is a smart option.