The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University

Xpress Magazine

The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University

Xpress Magazine

The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University

Xpress Magazine

ASK XPRESS: Help! How can I eat for cheap?

The various items Matt the Parkstop Market vendor sells at Dolores Park in San Francisco, California on September 2, 2023. (Ryo Kojima/Xpress Magazine)

Dear How can I eat for cheap, 

One of the biggest struggles students have is finding ways to feed themselves on the cheap. It can be hard to balance expenses with everything we need, but we have to.

Luckily, Xpress is here to help!  

Preparing meals at home is a great way to save time and money. That means setting a budget, planning a menu and creating a shopping list. This approach will be more nutritious than eating out and can provide multiple meals per week.

There are on-campus resources that can help with cutting down on grocery expenses. Associated Students facilitates two food programs that operate in the lower level of the Cesar Chavez building. On Mondays 1-5 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays 12-5 p.m there is a food pantry that provides produce, snacks and other basic ingredients with no appointment needed. On Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Gator Groceries, an emergency food service, offers non-perishable food to students who reserve an appointment.   

CalFresh is a food program run through the California Department of Social Services that aims to help people with food costs. Once an application is approved, the user will receive an EBT card that gets reloaded monthly. The amount varies depending on living situations and monthly income. SF State also offers assistance to students who want to apply. The CalFresh Help Clinic allows students to book an appointment with a CalFresh navigator who could also answer questions and check eligibility.

Looking for inspiration on how to cook and prep food in your dorm room? We’ve gathered some TikToks to help! @gibtavermaya uses an airfryer in her dorm to make tofu and green beans. @hannah.thomsen used a waffle maker to make not just waffles, but cinnamon rolls, hash browns and even quesadillas. 

POTIFY is a great cooking tool for any dorm or apartment and can be used to create various meals with only one product. With it, you could boil ramen noodles, make mac and cheese and even bake a small pizza!

But no matter what recipes you follow or tools you use, remember to eat a fruit and vegetable every once in a while!


Ask Xpress


For more life advice, go to Xpress Magazine on Instagram and submit a question.

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