International Cuisine

Everyone can get in a food rut where they eat the same old, same old every night and don’t experience different cuisine. You may think that it is hard to find tasty, international cuisine in Harrisonburg, but it isn’t. There are pleanty of restaurants in the Harrisonburg community that cater to international foods.

Take Tutti Gusti, located right off of campus, they feature delicious Italian food that won’t put a major dent in your wallet. Throughout the year they have lots of different deals like buy one get one half off of pizza. An attractive bonus for any college student- they also deliver! Being half Italian myself, I can say this food is up to par. One of my favorites is the classic spaghetti and meatballs. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, maybe try their calamari.

If you’re in the mood for Mexican, try El Charro. With a large selection on their menu, you can’t go wrong. If you go, you have to get the queso dip for an appetizer, it is amazing. And anything with guacamole on the menu is a great choice. When I went with a group of friends, the general consensus was that the chimichanga was the best.

There are a lot of differnt Chineese food restaurants in Harrisonburg and I’ve tried a lot of them. My preference is for Great Wok. Their dumblings are amazing.

As you can see, there are pleanty of places in the Harrisonburg community that feature international cuisine and are not terribly expensive. You just have to venture out and try them!

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Picnic For Two

Dating on a budget can be hard because you are limited in the restaurants that you go to. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to go to an expensive restaurant to have a good date. Lucky for us, spring is in full bloom and it’s the perfect time to be outside. Why not have a picnic for two?

You don’t need to spend much to have a great picnic; all you need is a basket of your favorite, inexpensive foods.

A good picnic should have drinks, a side, a main dish, and a dessert.

For drinks, one inexpensive choice is water. Just fill up a reusable water bottle from the sink and you are good to go! If you want something more than water, you can always make lemonade.

To make lemonade, you need five cups of water, one cup of sugar, and 3 freshly squeezed lemons mixed together in a pitcher.

For your side, pack a salad. To make a simple salad, chop up iceburg lettuce ($1.12 at Walmart), some tomatoes (88 cents per pount at Walmart), and cucmber (50 cents each at Walmart). If you don’t want to make one yourself, you can buy premade salads at Walmart for as little as $3.50.

For your main dish, try the favorite classic: peanut butter and jelly. Spread some peanut butter on one slice of bread and some jelly on another and then stick them together!

For dessert, try some jello. You can pick up a box to make some for under a dollar!

The whole meal shouldn’t cost you much and your date will be very impressed that you took the time to pack something for the two of you and thought it through. So on the next nice, sunny day, grab someone special and have a picnic!

3 Tips to Shopping Smarter

You’ve been studying for an hour and you decide you need to take a snack break. So you walk into the kitchen in your apartment only to find that there is NO FOOD. You’re hungry so without thinking, you decide to hit the grocery store. Once you’re walking up and down the aisles, you just start piling whatever looks good into your basket. Then you get to the long checkout line and while waiting you see candy and magazines so you throw those in your basket too. By the time you get home you realize that you’ve made a pretty big dent in your wallet all on expensive junk food and didn’t pick up anything that you need.

I’m sure that any college student can relate to this scenario. That’s why I have a few tips for college students to remember before grocery shopping.

1. Don’t shop while hungry. When we’re hungry, we only focus on buying food that we’re craving and generally don’t check the price on what we put in our cart just because it looks yummy. Before shopping, make sure you eat. That way you can focus on other things, such as looking at prices, to avoid buying expensive food. Eating before you shop also causes you to make healthier choices since you aren’t craving that junk food.

2. Make a list. If you go to the grocery store without checking what you have and what you need, you’ll end up wandering around in the store buying food you don’t need and ultimately wasting money. Sit down with your roommates before hand and make a list in order to avoid overspending. If it’s not on your list, don’t buy it. But we all know that sometimes we forget to put things on our list because we can’t see what the grocery store has. Food Lion (www.foodlion.com) lets you search on their website to see what grocery stores they have and you can add things to a list that you can then print off and bring to the store with you.

3. Avoid temptation. Grocery stores know that lines are often long so people may be waiting for five minutes just to check out. That’s why they put a wide array of tempting candy bars and magazines in the checkout lines. They’re waiting for someone to fall for it and put all of those things in their cart. To avoid temptation, use the self-checkout. Self-checkout lines often don’t have all of that distracting you and you’ll be focusing on ringing your groceries up yourself.

Even the smartest shoppers fall pray to these shopping scenarios. Next time you need to go to the grocery store, remember these tips to shop smarter.

Flavorful Greek Style Pasta

A Greek Pasta is an easy and flavorful way to eat on a budget. It also makes a lot of servings!

The minimal ingredients can often times be found right in your pantry, like penne pasta, and can also be substituted for even cheaper alternatives.

It only takes about 25minutes to prepare.

You’ll need:
2 cans of diced tomatoes (one can can range from $1-$2)
1 can cannellini beans (one can can range from $1-$2)
8 ounces of penne pasta ($1.50)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (around $5 for four ounces, can be substituted for cheaper cheese such as parmesian)

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water
2. While the pasta is cooking, mix the tomatoes and beans in a skillet and simmer over 10 minutes
3. Add the spinich to the tomatoes and beans and stir the mixture for two minutes
4. Serve the sauce over your pasta and sprinkle some feta cheese on top.