Winter is Coming–5 Meal Ideas to Keep You Warm

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

Now that I’ve made it to my junior year, the cheap 25 cent packages of ramen noodles no longer cuts it as a hearty (or very healthy) winter meal. While trying to figure out how to balance cooking and school is not an easy task, soups are a nutritious and cost efficient way of making it through the winter. The best part is that most of the ingredients for these recipes can be bought in bulk making them super cost efficient, especially if you share with your roommates.

Equipment needed: slow cooker (crock pot), knife for chopping, spoons for stirring, large coffee mugs, microwave

1)      Slow Cooker Beef Stew

With only a few ingredients this meal is every busy college student’s dream. Drop the ingredients in a slow cooker before class or work and come home to ready-made dinner. The best part about stews are that you can pretty much throw in anything you want. Can of beans you bought a few months ago, but haven’t wanted to eat? Throw them in!

soup

2)      Spicy Chili

The same idea as the slow cooker stew, but with fewer ingredients and more of a kick. As tempting as it might be to grab that chili in a can while browsing through the grocery store, there’s really no better way to go than homemade chili. This recipe has saved me numerous times when I want one meal to last me through the weekend. Not to mention, you can get a second meal idea out of this recipe by turning chili into Sloppy Joes for lunch.

 

3)      Caramelized butternut squash

squash
If it’s covered in butter and sugar does it still count as a vegetable? Probably. Mix up squash, sugar, salt and pepper and bake it for 50 minutes for one of the best winter meals around. Growing up my family always used this recipe as a side dish, but I’m pretty sure it fulfills the requirements of a whole meal as a college student.

4)      Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Yes, you read that right. Two of the world’s greatest things have joined forces. Pumpkin takes over yet another food item with this magical fall treat. With a total cook time of 10 minutes, the options of this meal are endless from breakfast to a midnight snack.
french toast

5)      Cake in a mug

If you haven’t had cake in a mug yet, you’re definitely doing college wrong. This wonder of a recipe has made my all-nighters far more enjoyable. Just throw some flour, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and Nutella into a cup, pop it in the microwave for 1 minute and you’ve got yourself the best snack any college student could ask for.

The biggest struggle I’ve found in college is managing to balance school, work, and the occasional laundry and grocery trip. These recipes are so great because they can last you a while and the meals make the best leftovers. Learning how to cook can be easy and fun–and doing it on a budget is even better!

 

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Is the Flatiron Meal Plan Right for You?

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

The Flatiron Meal Plan is a prepaid dining card that allows student to buy food and groceries from over 100 close-to-campus locations. It’s been the craze lately with a ton of students getting it, but what does a Flatiron Meal Plan really entail? And is it right for you?

The idea behind the Flatiron Meal Plan is that parents can put money on a card knowing that it is going towards food, groceries, and now gas or laundry too. It takes away the hassle of withdrawal or transfer charges when students are running low on money and are desperate for a meal.

For students who pay for food themselves, it comes in handy too. The Flatirons plan is more than just a debit card for food. It has exclusive deals making buying food more cost efficient. Every week one restaurant on the Flatiron plan is 25% off. (Sneak peak, next week’s deal is Foolish Craig’s one of the best breakfast places in Boulder)

There are STEALS too, which are random flash deals throughout the semester. In the past they have had free subs at Half Fast Subs, or $1 Rush Bowls.

How does the actual Plan work?

When putting money onto the card, you can choose the custom plan and decide to put as much as you want. Or, you can choose a plan which is an estimate of how much food will be spent per week.

The different plans are just an easier way for students to estimate that if they want 7 meals per week, at $7.5 a meal, meaning their parents can start them off at $735. If you buy a slice of Boss Lady Pizza for $4, it will just take $4 off of your card since it operates like a debit card.

flatiron (1)

Getting a Flatirons card in 5 easy steps

1)      Go online to http://www.flatironmealplan.com/signup.html

2)      Choose whether you want to pay with credit card or check

3)      Fill in your information and how much you want to put onto your card

4)      Pick up your photo ID card from their office on the Hill (1310 College Avenue Suite 475)

5)      Test it out on the hill on your way home

Plans to allow parents to estimate how much to put on the card each semester

18 meals a week $1,890
14 meals a week $1,470
10 meals a week $1,050
7 meals a week $735
5 meals a week $525
3 meals a week $315
Custom Plan Any amount

Fall advice- If you start your card at $525 or more, before you September 30th, you will receive $250 in exclusive deals and coupons.

The Flatiron Meal Plan also keeps the money you’ve put on it till you use it all, the same as a regular debit card works. With over 90 restaurants, two grocery stores, a gas station and a laundry mat, it’s no wonder more students are jumping onto the Flatiron meal plan.

After looking into the flatiron meal plan, I am definitely looking into getting one. As anyone who tries to balance school, a job, and clubs will know, cooking isn’t exactly something you always have time for. And having discounts to make food cheaper is always a benefit to a starving college student such as myself.

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