Powercat Financial held an “Eating Healthy on a Budget” workshop Monday in the Student Union’s Wildcat Chamber. Julia Lambert, Riley County Extension program assistant, gave tips on how college students can afford to eat healthy.
Powercat Financial provided fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, cookies and water for students to eat while they listened to the presentation.
Lambert first explained the benefits of meal planning, including saving money and time and improving your health. She told the audience how to accomplish those benefits by using grocery store ads, making a menu plan and grocery list and checking unit pricing to find the best deal.
Lambert said it is important to include the basic food groups in healthy and budgeted eating.
Sarah Wright, junior in hospitality management and event planner for Powercat Financial, said mentioning the food groups is important.
“I think us college students forget that we need the basic food groups in our body,” Wright said.
Wright said Powercat Financial hosted the workshop because it relates to students saving money.
“We thought it would be good, especially since we’re financial planning, that we have a budget base and then talk about healthy foods,” Wright said.
Lambert also mentioned important factors in saving money, including budgeting and remembering to eat or freeze food for later, so students can avoid losing money by wasting food.
At the end of the workshop, Lambert pulled five names out of a basket to win $10 Dillons gift cards.
One of the gift card winners was Abigail Graham, sophomore in anthropology. Graham said she came to the event to learn how to meal plan on a small budget.
“It was pretty helpful,” Graham said. “[Lambert] gave a lot of tips.”
Lambert said a big misconception people have is that it’s impossible to make a good food budget.
“I think that there’s this huge time barrier, when in reality, driving somewhere to grab something to eat or going to eat out often takes a lot more time than just popping something in the oven real quick,” Lambert said.
Lambert said the goal of Riley County Extension is community education and outreach, so when Powercat Financial approached them to speak, Lambert took the opportunity.
“My passion is food and nutrition, so I thought it fit with what I like really well,” Lambert said. “And we usually get into grade schools, so it’s really fun to come talk to college students and different age groups.”
Powercat Financial’s next event is “Thrifty Gifting” on Nov. 9 at 4:30 p.m. in the Flint Hills Room of the Union.