Monday, October 31, 2011

Post-Grad Meals and Food Choices

Making meals post-grad is different. I mentioned on Twitter recently "I've been eating this hamburger, rice and veggie mix for my work lunch for a week and it's still not gone. Need to make smaller meals." For whatever reason, I call the noon meal dinner when I'm back in Minnesota and lunch here, and it's always supper unless I'm going out for dinner. When I lived in Kansas City and decided it was a good idea to make Hamburger Helper, I was eating the same meal for a week. Guess that's what happens when you live alone. In college when I cooked family sized meals, I'd cook for the boyfriend as well but when he's 10 hours away that clearly doesn't happen. 

Going out to eat for lunch at work doesn't tend to happen on a regular basis, because I'm cheap and I often don't mind cooking anyways, so I try to ensure that I have leftovers or something frozen to pop in the microwave at work. Most often it's leftovers, but I do usually keep something frozen on hand just in case I'm not able to have leftovers available. In college, I'd either go back to my apartment for lunch or I'd heat up something up in the microwave near the Crookston Student Association office. Lunch was never a set time.

Recent conversations have me thinking even more about why I eat what I do. I enjoy cooking and especially baking, and I cook a variety of things - including several meals I've found recently on Pinterest. Right now I'm looking for any and all meal suggestions including ground beef, as I have about 8 lbs of it sitting in my freezer from home. My breakfasts usually consist of something that goes in the toaster: bagels with cream cheese, english muffins with peanut butter and sometimes bananas, or homemade waffles that I make for supper and freeze for breakfasts. I'm trying to add fruit or yogurt to my breakfasts as well. Sweets are my absolute weakness and I love some good chocolate, particularly of the European variety like Milka. I try not to buy chocolate as often, but there's currently half a pan of amazing peanut butter bars that I made sitting in my fridge. Sweets are fine, but it would probably be better if I ate them in more moderation. 

As a recent college graduate, I still look for cheap food and I shop at the grocery store in the area known for being the cheapest. Though I like cheap food, I think farmer's markets are awesome and Madison has a particularly good one that I enjoy going to. I've been the farmer's market in every one of the major cities I've lived in; they're a lot of fun and a good way to pick up specialty items. I buy Organic Valley dairy products, which are decidedly not cheap at all, because it's the company my family's milk goes to. Coupons for Organic Valley help a lot to bring the cost to the level more reflective of the other groceries I buy.

If you're a recent college grad, or even just living on your own, how do shop for food? Was it an adjustment to go from the college cheap food lifestyle?

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