Fruits and vegetables are part of a balanced diet, but incorporating them into your regular routine can be challenging. Here are some tips and tricks to help you add more fruits and vegetables to your day while saving money and time.
Maximize Your Produce Dollars
Money can be tight as a student, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables. Knowing where to get produce can be a game changer in helping you increase your fruit and vegetable consumption. Check out some of our favorite places to access produce on and around campus:
- Programs that stretch your grocery budget
Did you know that you have access to free produce on campus at Fruit and Veggie Up? You can pick up free, seasonal produce sourced from local grocery stores and farms right on campus. Check the current schedule on the Aggie Compass website.
The Pantry can provide up to three items a day for UC Davis students who show a UC Davis identification card. You can choose from a variety of food items and common personal items.
The CalFresh Program, a federally sponsored program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores. You can meet with a CalFresh Enrollment Counselor on campus at the Aggie Compass.
- Grocery stores
Supermarkets have weekly sales that can save you a lot of money. Check online for special deals before you go to the store and write a list of the items you want to buy. Specifically, look for sales on frozen and canned produce. If something you don’t normally buy is on sale, be flexible and try something new. Who knows, you just might like it!
Try buying produce in bulk with a friend or roommates and split the cost—as they say, sharing is caring.
If you sign up for a free grocery store card, the points add up and you can receive items on sale every time you go, or can receive coupons and discounts for a later time.
- Farmer’s markets
The UC Davis Farmer’s Market is held every Wednesday during fall and spring quarters from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Quad. You can find fresh produce right on campus, so you don’t have to spend time or money on transportation to a store!
The Davis Farmers Market is on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings at Central Park (4th and C Street). Check out the schedule for times. This is a great opportunity to buy fruits and vegetables and ask the farmers how to prepare them. The farmers market accepts EBT and participates in the Market Match program, which allows you to use your CalFresh benefits at the market.
- Gardening and campus gardens
You can reduce your spending by growing your own herbs, vegetables and fruits.
Not sure how to garden? You can learn right on campus! Check out the Student Farm’s website to learn more about opportunities on campus to dig your hands in the dirt.
Use the edible campus website to find forager friendly areas to pick fruits and veggies.
There are many places to grab free or discounted produce on and around campus. Check out the Food Access Map to see all the locations in Davis.
Tips to Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Incorporating small changes throughout the day can make eating more servings of fruits and vegetables more doable. If you’d like to eat more fruits and vegetables, you can:
Add fruits and vegetables to whatever you are already eating. If you already make pasta for dinner, then add some vegetables like frozen broccoli and bell peppers. If you eat yogurt for breakfast, try flavoring it with fruit like bananas or berries. If you get a burrito, load it with lettuce, salsa and any other vegetables available.
Include a fruit and/or vegetable with your meal. For example, If you are ordering a sandwich at the CoHo, you can ask for extra vegetables on the sandwich and choose an apple or orange as your side.
Prep your fruit and vegetables at the beginning of the week so they are ready when you need them.
Try new recipes like the delicious ones found on the UC Davis Teaching Kitchen Pinterest account.
Take a cooking class at the Student Health and Wellness Center for hands-on experience preparing fruits and vegetables along with other budget-friendly foods.
Understand what one serving looks like. Since fruits and vegetables come in various shapes and sizes, this visual representation shows you what exactly one serving looks like.
Keep fruits and vegetables in sight! You are more likely to consume them if you can see them.