Tag Archives: Food

How to Save Money For Traveling!

By focusing on how to save money for traveling, you can join these guys in Europe, or wherever you endeavor to go!

By focusing on how to save money for traveling, you can join these guys in Europe, or wherever you endeavor to go!

With graduation looming at the end of your upcoming senior year, you have big plans. Instead of strolling off the stage with your diploma and marching straight into a cubicle, you’re going to hit the road on a multi-month (maybe multi-year?) trek of exploration and discovery around the world. You want to do this while you are young and physically able to climb mountains, crawl through ruins, discover obscure mysterious islands and endure rough and tumble night buses, and for this, we applaud you.

Far too many people wait until retirement when their health has failed them, leaving them unable to fulfill all the dreams that they had put off for countless decades. One reality of travel that is constant, no matter how slim your budget, is that you need to have sufficient money to travel for any length of time.

Economy class fares cost the same for all of us, so in this final year of school, you need to acquire the eye of the tiger when it comes to saving cash from whatever job you have (if you don’t, start looking).

The following five tips will show you how to save money for traveling in no time, allowing you to get to the fun part of travel: planning out all your amazing adventures!

1) Stop eating out

Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean to stop eating: we all need adequate nutrition to survive. What this tip does prescribe is this: no more lunches at Chipotle, midnight pizza runs, or hungover breakfasts at your local sports bar. Look up some beginner recipes and start making food for yourself. Start off simple, then branch out to more complex meals. Soon, you will be eating better than ever, while spending considerably less dough than you were before. Talk about a win-win proposition!

2) Wave goodbye to your cable company

With abundant free entertainment on Youtube, Vimeo and Reddit, and cost-effective options on Netflix, Hulu and iTunes, why are you still shoveling your cash into your cable company’s furnace for the sake of a few measly channels? Endure the 30 minute phone call you’ve been dreading and cut the cord tomorrow, and watch as all that wasted capital begins piling up in your account instead of padding the wallet of some greedy CEO.

3) Cut back on drinking (and when you must, do it at home)

While going dry would have a dramatically positive effect on your finances, we realize that the college experience is often drenched in booze. So instead of cutting out the alcohol altogether, go out once per week maximum instead of the multiple nights per week that you are doing now. If you normally go out once per week, then take alternating weekends off from the bottle. Band together with potential travel companions and find fun, non-alcoholic things to do on those days to make adherence easier for everybody.

On weeks when you do drink, opt to stay home and avoid the expense of cover charges, marked-up alcohol prices and expensive cab fares.  Instead, have your friends over to your house, and host the party there instead!

4) Seek out freelance work

With all that free time between classes (trust us, you’ll be looking back at this surplus time fondly when you enter the real world), you likely have time to find a second job, or failing that, a freelance gig on the side. Got a way with words? Become a freelance writer. Skilled in the art of editing/manipulating photos? Flog your Photoshop wizardry to the people of the internet in return for monetary compensation. $200 here, $600 there … it all adds up fast.

5) With a month left to go, sell everything that won’t fit in your backpack

With your plane tickets booked and your preliminary plans getting you excited, one last thing you can do to top off the pile of gold in your vault is to sell off all your stuff. Furniture, trinkets, gadgets, kitchen ware … anything that doesn’t fit in your backpack, or will have a practical use on the road – GONE. Sentimental items should be boxed and stored at your parent’s house or at the home of a trusted friend, but all that other stuff? Liquidate it into sweet, sweet spending cash!

Cape Verde: Africa’s Little Galapagos!

A small, volcanic spattering of lush islands located off the west coast of Africa, Cape Verde enjoys a warm, dry climate, little rainfall and over the past few years, has sharpened its focus on tourism. Cape Verde is actually very easily accessible via plane, so if you’re studying abroad in Europe, it makes a great long weekend trip or spring break destination!

Cape Verde holidays are most famed for the natural beauty of the land and seascapes, and for the cultural legacy of morna, a haunting creole genre of music made famous by singer Cesária Évora. Discovered and settled by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and gaining independence only in 1975, the country now has a population of over half a million, and welcomes around the same number of visitors to its shores each year.

A mixed melting pot of influences will always produce a colorful culinary destination, and Cape Verde is no exception. Its abundance of delicious dishes uses freshly caught seafood including lobster, tuna and squid, while cachupa is the national dish, assembled from rice, meats and beans, and enjoyed in times of celebration. Grogue is the main alcoholic beverage. This heady brew gets its name from the rum concoction enjoyed by pirates used to keep scurvy at bay, and is distilled from sugar cane.

food in Cape Verde

Nature lovers will adore getting up close with the Loggerhead sea turtles.  Preservation efforts are being made on the island of Santa Maria, and visitors can visit a turtle hatchery between June and December. It’s even possible in summer months to head out on a guided walk to the beach where the turtles lay their eggs, and to adopt a baby turtle so the good work can continue long after you’ve set off on your journey home.

You can also learn a new skill on Santa Maria, an island famed for its perfect conditions for kite surfing. The English-speaking instructors give one-to-one tuition, and it’s possible to be picked up from your hotel to learn what could swiftly become an obsession. If you prefer your expeditions from the comfort of a boat, it’s also possible to zip out over the waves around the island of Sal, to spot flying fish, dolphins and whales.

kiteboarding in Cape VerdeWhether you’re hoping for an active adventure, to learn about animal conservation and sealife, or to enjoy some grogue while tapping toes to the thrum of some traditional folk music, Cape Verde enjoys a unique global position, culture and atmosphere that are well worth further exploration.

 

How to stay healthy during college

If you are choosing your meals like this gal, then you know a few things about how to stay healthy during college!

If you are choosing your meals like this gal, then you know a few things about how to stay healthy during college!

Despite the fact that you are as young as you’ll ever be, your body isn’t invincible. Put it under enough stress and fail to take the proper precautions and beer bellies will sag, fatigue will drain your energy stores, and diseases/illnesses will compromise your health. College can (and should) be a fun time in your life, but don’t neglect the foundation that supports everything that sits upon it.

There are several areas to which you should pay special attention to when looking into how to stay healthy during college; ensure that the following five areas are taken care of, and your life in college will be every bit as vibrant as it should be.

1) Maintain a balanced diet

This point is repeated so often that many glaze over when they hear it. But would it be mentioned so often if it wasn’t a fundamental cornerstone of your overall health? In college, cafeterias serve up many fried foods on their buffet lines, allowing students to go back for as many helpings as they desire.

Limit the amount of fried, carb heavy food you eat, instead opting for meals composed of whole foods (weighted towards greens/lean protein) as much as possible. Don’t go back for seconds, and when you’re back at the dorm, limit ordering out for pizza to your cheat day (once per week), and avoid snacking outside of meals the rest of the time.

2) Get plenty of sleep

In college, quality sleep can be at a premium, but that doesn’t diminish its importance, as it is this rest time that allows your body to properly heal from the physical and mental stresses that it endures during the day. Try to seek out accomodation where getting undisturbed sleep can be had more often than not. If it is a night where extraneous noise is unavoidable, wear earplugs and an eyemask to ease you into your slumber.

Avoid using alcohol to induce sleep, as it messes up your sleep patterns to the point where you often wake up feeling just as tired as you were when you fell asleep. Another trick to get the rest you need is to wash your face before retiring, as a going over with face moisturizer may make you feel more at ease physically, thus easing your transition to dreamland.

3) Drink moderate amounts of alcohol

Remember back in #1 where we contraindicated consumption of simple carbs? Well, beer and many forms of alcohol are basically bottled bread, making them the fastest pathway to the dreaded Freshman 15 weight gain. This doesn’t mean you have to abstain from booze while your friends live it up, but it does mean you have to be conscious of the effects of what you’re consuming. As a consequence, limit your consumption to once per week, and don’t drink to get blackout drunk (just a few will do). Nights out are more fun when you remember them, anyway!

4) Engage in physical activity on a regular basis

While following a protein-dense diet will help keep the weight off, it won’t build a strong body capable of getting through the stressors of daily life in college with ease. In order to get a bod that will back you up no matter what any given day will throw at you, you’ll need to engage in regular physical activity.

Simple ways to do this include walking, hitting the gym, and registering for intramural sports. Not only will this reinforce your health, you’ll improve your looks and make new friends in the process … winning!

5) Practice safe sex … every time

Don’t delude yourself that you can ride raw “just this one time” and you’ll be fine. It’s during unprotected encounters like this where debilitating diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and even HIV can be passed between partners. Always wrap it up when you get lucky, and if you forgot to bring one like an idiot, then no intercourse for you … period.

When Dining Hall Food Fails: 3 Easy Recipes For Students!

crappy dining hall food

For all the thousands of dollars that college students around the world pour into their respective schools, it can be quite appalling when the quality of meal hall grub at these institutions barely rank above prison food at times.  The similarities on a numbers level are startlingly similar, as line cooks scarcely making above minimum wage prepare three meals daily for thousands of people, day after uninspiring day.

As such, a certain level of care is missing in its preparation, but you’re a busy and cash strapped student … so what is one to do? Most dormitories and fraternity/sorority houses have basic kitchen facilities located on site, allowing for their occupants that wish to freelance with their food preparation to do so to their heart’s content.

By combining the creative use of cheap(ish) base ingredients, spices and condiments, you can fill your face with culinary creations that stand head and shoulders above the slop that is barely edible down at the meal hall, without costing you too much of your scarce cash reserves (alcohol doesn’t buy itself, after all!)

In this spirit, here are three recipes that will rescue you from the peril of a meal hall travesty in under 30 minutes and at minimal cost to you…

1) Next Level Macaroni And Cheese

OK now … I know what you’re thinking.  MAC & CHEESE?!  How uncreative and depressing!

Don’t despair though young man/woman, as macaroni and cheese dishes are all the rage these days, and with a little thought and creativity, it can become a dish that is truly the comfort food that it was meant to be, instead of a yellowish orange pasta that exists solely to fill a hole in your stomach. The most expensive investment is a bit of cheese (the real stuff), which can be bought in small chunks (buy cheese strings if you have to) to conserve your cash.

Apart from the macaroni itself, get a hold of some milk, butter, garlic powder, onion or shallots, and ritz crackers.  If you’re doing this on the stove top, boil up the pasta, and then in a separate pan, fry up the onions, seasoned with garlic powder, in some of your butter.  Mix together the milk and the rest of the butter according to instructions on the mac and cheese box, adding it to the fried onions.

After the pasta is done, add the shredded cheese to the pasta and stir, integrating it with the pasta.  Top the pasta with the onion/milk/butter mix, top it with crushed ritz crackers and serve!

Macaroni and cheese

2) Pumpkin Spice Hot Oatmeal

Sick and tired of rubbery pancakes?  So are we.  You can take breakfast into your own hands as well, and kick butt in the process!  For this, we’ll invest in some proper oatmeal instead of the overly sugary processed stuff, but everything else is very affordable compared to this crucial ingredient.  Start by heating up your oatmeal and water in the microwave for about two minutes.

After taking it out of the oven, stir in some milk, followed by canned pumpkin puree, a few dashes of cinnamon, and even some pumpkin pie spice for that added kick of fall flavor.  Hey, if it worked for Starbucks, why can’t it work for your breakfast?

oatmeal

3) Super Easy Asian Stir-Fry

Love the convenience of ramen noodles, but shudder at getting 150% of your daily dose of sodium in a single serving?  Toss the flavor packet out and freestyle your own taste experience! Take your ramen brick and soften it up in the usual manner, all while pre-heating a frying pan on the side.  Get an assortment of veggies from the market and chop them up, and get the cheapest cut of your favorite meat from the grocery store and do the same to it.

After the noodles have gone soft, strain’em and throw in the pan with some soy sauce, your veggies and your flesh/tofu.  After 5-10 minutes, you’ll have a much healthier meal than 80% of what your meal hall has to offer.

Ramen noodle stirfry

Do you have any other fast and easy recipes to share? Add them in the comments below!

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