Healthy Eating on a Budget


I find it ironic and unsettling how we can be such academics and so brilliant, yet time and time again we give into poor eating habits and find ourselves mindlessly savouring pre-packaged highly processed low nutrition food while studying and between classes.

How can we be such brainiacs yet fail miserably at times at one of the most important life skills, to be able to prepare and eat healthy food?

It is common knowledge that what we eat affects our brain, our mood, and overall well-being, therefore it is easy to presume that our nutrition affects our academic abilities as well.

While this is easy to assume, we as students may also have some valid excuses for our poor eating habits: Don’t have the time! Don’t have the skill! Don’t have the money!

This blog will list several local resources and tips in an effort to deface these three excuses.


Below are some great websites and a few of my favourite quick and healthy recipes: 

  • Oh She Glows has a great collection of quick & easy vegan recipes. Their Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew is my favourite and great for batch cooking.
  • Budget Bytes is popular among students and has a comprehensive list of quick and budget friendly recipes.
  • Chocolate Covered Katie has a great collection of healthy dessert recipes. Her vegan sweet potato brownie and chocolate pudding recipe is phenomenal!

Vegan Recipes:

Vegetarian Recipes:

Meat Recipes:


You too can aspire to culinary greatness @ Cooking with Kingstonians

You too can aspire to culinary greatness @ Cooking with Kingstonians

Enjoy the fun of cooking and hanging out with like-minded Kingstonians, lovely grandmas, and enthusiastic student facilitators.  These folks will also show you the therapeutic and romantic side of the cooking process, and I assure you the conversations you’ll indulge in at the table will be hard to forget. This program presents a wonderful way to meet the locals and get to know Kingston from a different perspective by exposing you to new facets of our culinary community. I assure you the program facilitators are extremely warm, welcoming, and fun to be around. The program is tailored to provide rewarding and meaningful culinary insights, and is designed to entertain and help students eat healthy and wholesome diets.

The following events are open to all Queen’s students. The meals are easy to make, and extremely healthy & fresh. Students are welcomed to bring containers to take home home any leftovers.

Queen’s Healthy Cooking Team

Students help prepare and eat healthy meals. Any leftovers can be brought home.

  • Cost: $5-$8
  • Dates & Time: Wednesday Feb 13 5-6:15pm (Valentine’s Day Feast! vegetarian or chicken fajitas, fresh made guacamole and tortilla chips); Wednesday March 13 5-6:15pm (Vegan Mac & Cheese with ‘zoodles’)
  • Location: Mitchell Hall 2nd Floor Kitchen (Located in QUIC), 69 Union St W
  • Registration: via eventbrite
  • Contact: or 613-533-6712
  • Facebook, Instagram, Website

Cooking with Kingstonians

(Plant-based, 3-course meal)

  • Cost: $5 at the door (subsidies available on request)
  • Dates & Time: Monday March 4 5:30-7:30pm, Monday April 1 5:30-7:30pm
  • Location: 10 Union St. W (St. James Anglican Church, right on campus, across from the grad club)
  • Registration: RSVP by previous Monday@noon to
  • Contact:, 613.533.2186 (Queen’s), 613.549.3102 (Home Office)
  • Facebook
Smells like a cozy night in on a cold winter day @ Cooking with Kingstonians

Smells like a cozy night in on a cold winter day @ Cooking with Kingstonians

Cooking with Grandmas

(meat + veggie/vegan options, 3 course meal)

Super lovely Grandmas bring ingredients and recipes. Students help prepare and eat the meal.

  • Cost: $5 at the door (subsidies available on request)
  • Dates & Time: Wednesday Feb 13 5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday March 20 5:30-7:30pm
  • Location: 144 Albert Street (Right on Campus–just south of Union St. and west of the parking lot next to Frank Tindell Field)
  • Registration: RSVP by previous Monday@noon to
  • Contact:, 613.533.2186 (Queen’s), 613.549.3102 (Home Office)
  • Facebook
A delicious handmade Pizza an essential recipe for every grad @ Cooking with Kingstonians

A delicious handmade Pizza an essential recipe for every grad @ Cooking with Kingstonians


Stew Supper

This is what Reverend Wendy Luella, the lovely organizer, has to say about it “We have it at that time of year recognizing that students are very busy studying and we want to do the cooking for them!”

  • Cost: FREE
  • Date & Time: Tuesday April 9 5:30-7:30pm
  • Location: To be determined
  • Registration: RSVP to
  • Contact:, 613.533.2186 (Queen’s), 613.549.3102 (Home Office)
  • Facebook

Three Sisters Feast Nights

Meat and vegetarian options available.

Delicious Chilli @ Three Sisters Feast Night

Delicious Chilli @ Three Sisters Feast Night

  • Cost: FREE
  • Date & Time: 1st and 3rd Wednesday 5:00pm to 7:00pm of every month
  • Location: Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, 144 Barrie Street
  • Registration: Not Required
  • Contact: Mary Wales at or 613 533 6970
  • Facebook

Frybread & Bannock Fridays

  • Cost: FREE
  • Date & Time: last Friday of the month, from 12 – 1pm
  • Location: Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, 144 Barrie Street
  • Registration: Not Required
  • Contact: Mary Wales at or 613 533 6970
  • Facebook


Queen’s Community Cupboard

This cupboard is a non-judgemental space to either pick up non-perishable food items and new school supplies when needed, or make a donation. Queen’s students and community members are encouraged to take what they need and when they need it.

  • Cost: FREE
  • Location: Duncan McArthur Hall, 511 Union St W
  • Registration: Not required
  • Website 

AMS Food Bank

The Alma Mater Society at Queen’s provides a confidential and non-judgmental food service to Queen’s students. Items available for pick-up include fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and non-perishables.

  • Cost: FREE
  • Location: John Deutsch University Center, Room 343
  • Contact: or (613) 533-6000 ex. 32737
  • Website 

Swipe it Forward Queen’s

The program helps to address food insecurity on campus through the donation of meals from students with meal plans. It is accessible by referral from one of the program partners.

  • Cost: FREE
  • Contact:
  • Website

Good Food Box Kingston

Buy a box of fresh fruits and vegetables every month, all year round, for less than you pay at the grocery store!

  • Cost: Pay $6, $11 or $17 by noon of the 2nd Thursday of the month
  • Eligibility: No restrictions
  • Date & Time: Pick up your box on the 3rd Thursday between 1-4 pm each month
  • Location: 400 Elliott Ave, Kingston, ON K7K 6M9
  • Contact: Mary Wood at or 613-542-5486
  • Facebook Website


ECO Beverage Card

Help reduce the use of single serve coffee cups and lids while enjoying a sweet discount! 11111

  • Bring a reusable mug to the participating locations and get coffee or tea for the price of a small
  • After purchasing 7 coffee or tea’s with a reusable mug and receiving 7 stamps on the ECO beverage Card, get the 8th cup of coffee or tea for free in your mug!

Many on-campus coffee shops such as Tea Room, Cogro, The Brew offer discounts for bringing your own mug/plate/container. Various discounts are advertised through their website, Facebook and Instagram pages. For example, Tea Room offers a free espresso shot with any purchase during exams. At present, you can get 30% OFF coffee from 3-5PM at Team Room.

If you’re a tea enthusiast, you can always bring your own tea and get hot water for free or for a few cents (if you don’t have your own travel mug) at any of these coffee shops.


I hope you find the resources in the blog helpful and encourage each other to practice healthy eating. Free community programming and local resources are in place for us to access and utilize in order to thrive. Nutrition and a balanced diet is critically important to our abilities to study and focus on our academics. These resources also provide us with life-long skills related to cooking, nutrition, and holistic well-being which have long term impacts on not only academic performance, but career, happiness, and longevity as well. Take advantage!

Additional resources:

Shopping on a Budget: A great resource by Dietitians of Canada on eating healthy well while spending less

MyAMS: Provides a list of local retailers, restaurants, salons and other service providers that offer student discounts

Flipp: An app that matches coupons with local grocery flyers

Rebee: An app that allows you to set your location, browse flyers, create a shopping list and search for specific items

Queen’s Hospitality Services: Also provides a list of on campus resources on affordable food and on how you can help

Mental Health Resource Guide: Provides information on local food banks and community meals


Posted in Community, Eating Healthy, Eating on a Budget, Events, Food, General, Kingston, New Students, Staying Well, Uncategorized
One comment on “Healthy Eating on a Budget
  1. Colette says:

    This is awesome. Thanks for putting together such a wonderful list and some great recipes

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