An AskMetafilter user wonders:

What’s your favorite healthy food that can be bought on a college student budget? I’ve decided that I’m really going to crack down on my poor eating habits. As a college student, I’ve always bought the food that was the most affordable. Unfortunately, this is usually generic-brand pizza, toaster streudels, and whichever soda is on sale. In order to combat this, I’m looking for suggestions for healthy, easy-to-prepare foods that won’t break the bank.

There are some great answers here, such as:

  • A cup of rice and a vegetarian stir-fry
  • Replace soda with water
  • Pasta primavera
  • Fruitshakes/smoothies
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Nuts
  • Beans (flavored with a little meat)
  • Fruits and vegetables

Learning to eat (and prepare) more meals at home is an excellent way to reduce your food budget and eat healthfully. Find a source of recipes that you trust and learn to prepare them. (Here’s a good online recipe page that features many cheap and healthy meals.)

If you’re looking for healthy food on a small budget, then fruits and vegetables and other whole foods are the way to go. They’re the basic building blocks of a nutritious diet, and they’re much cheaper than processed foods.

Similar questions have been asked several times before at AskMetafilter: