Throughout the campus of Florida A&M University, there are students who simply cannot cook. Not being able to cook has caused them to spend more money trying to maintain a steady flow of food on their table.
” I can’t cook so, I go to the café or a friend cooks for me. I usually spend more money on food, because I buy those little two-step meals like Hamburger Helper, Chef Boyardee, or DiGiorno. I have Pizza Hut and Wing Zone on Speed dial”, said Brooke Edwards, a19-year-old freshman from West Palm Beach.
The ability to cook is thought by some students to be gender specific. “I think its essential for woman because as a foundation, it allows the family to be cohesive especially around dinner time. A family that normally eats dinner together has increased communication and it strengthens the relation between spouses”, said Jamal Rose, junior political science student from Nassau, Bahamas.
According to Geoffrey D. Paulin, an economist in the Division of Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the restaurant business is one of the most important industries in the United States. In 1997, Americans spent $222 billion in eating establishments.
Phillip Jackson Jr., 19 year-old second year Business major at Florida A&M from Miami, FL said, “I did not cook for an entire semester and it hurt me pretty bad. “It got to a point where now I am struggling with a lot financially,” said Jackson.
Steven Gilbert a Pre-Med Biology student at Florida A&M from Duval County, FL, stated that he doesn’t find anything wrong with frequently eating at fast-food restaurants.
“I eat out about seven days out of the week, for at least one meal a day”, said Gilbert.
In an experiment done for a Cooking versus eating out debate in Money and Minds.com, the cost of eating out for a week was $257.08 whereas the week of home-cooked meals came to $148.14.
In this tough economic climate, taking advantage of websites that offer recipes that are quick and cheap can save on time and money. Online College.com offers students what they call, “100 Delicious, Dirt-Cheap Recipes for the Starting Student.” The Bloglander.com has recipes for Egg salad sandwiches, Hot Dog Egg Sandwich, Irish Soda Bread and Penne Pasta Casserole that cost less than $4 to make.
Many of the students on FAMU’s campus are aware that they need to tighten their financial belts when it comes to frequently eating at restaurants.
” I don’t eat out frequently, I know that when I buy a pack of chicken breast it’ll feed me for like a week whereas if I buy an entrée it’ll only feed me for that night.” Said Erin Mumphord, junior biology pre-med student from Houston, TX.