Managing food in college is an art. Broke college students really make do with what they’ve got. Ramen heated up in Keurigs, Annie’s Mac and Cheese with water instead of milk, and Poptarts for breakfast are all dire meals I have had to deal with. Maybe not the healthiest or most filling, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Here’s some advice on food in college, and making the most of it.

1: In the Dorm

Easy going food, that doesn’t go bad quickly, is your best bet to have in your room. Instant Mac, cereal, microwave popcorn, and breakfast bars are great non-deteriorating foods to have. Snacks are okay, but make sure you have food that can become more of a meal, or all you’ll do is snack. If you need a quick breakfast to go in the morning, a Pro-Bar or overnight oats are awesome options. Do your best to not always eat in the dorm, but having the option to is helpful. Keurigs, microwaves, (if your college allows it) and a mini-fridge are really key kitchen items to have in your dorm as well.

2: Meal Plan

Take advantage of your meal plan! It’s best not to make it a habit of eating in the dorm all the time. Meal plans in college are often underused by students. Make a point to go over to your dining hall with a few friends for dinner, or swing by in between classes. Even if you don’t want to eat at the dining hall, grab food there and save it in your fridge for later. Dining halls are a great way to meet people, do work, but to eat hot, fresh food. It’s great to go make a plan, whether by yourself or with others, to go eat real food that’s paid for on your meal plan.

3: Eating Out

Spending money as a college student can be difficult for the average college student. Going out to eat though, can be a great getaway from college food. Go out with friends for a healthy dinner, or take a big trip to the grocery store. Even if you can find a local farmers market to grab some produce, or some nice jelly for a sandwich, walking around there is a perfect way to get off campus for a little while.