Throughout the campus of Florida A&M, there are students who simply cannot cook. Not being able to cook has caused them to spend more money trying to keep food on their table. Freshman Brooke Edwards says quick meals and fast food are her main sources for food.
“I can’t cook so, I go to the café or a friend cooks for me,” said the 19-year-old from West Palm Beach. “I usually spend more money on food, because I buy those little two-step meals like Hamburger Helper, Chef Boyardee, or DiGiorno.”
Some students think the ability to cook in a family should rely solely on the woman. Jamal Rose, junior political science students from Nassau, Bahamas, said the stability of a family units relies on this theory.
“I think its essential for woman because as a foundation, it allows the family to be cohesive especially around dinner time,” Rose said. “A family that normally eats dinner together has increased communication and it strengthens the relation between spouses.”
According to Geoffrey D. Paulin, an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the restaurant business is one of the most important industries in the United States. Americans spent $222 billion in eating establishments in 1997, and some students are feeling the sting in their pockets.
“I did not cook for an entire semester and it hurt me pretty bad,” said Phillip Jackson Jr., 19-year-old second year business student from Miami, Fla., said. “Now I am struggling with a lot financially.”
Steven Gilbert, pre-med biology student from Duval County, said 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,” Gilbert said.
The results of an experiment on the Web site moneyandminds.com about the advantages of cooking as opposed to eating out showed that the cost of eating out for a week was $257.08, while home-cooked meals for a week totaled at $148.14.
In this tough economic climate, taking advantage of websites that offer quick and cheap recipes can save on time and money. Onlinecollege.com offers students the “100 Delicious, Dirt-Cheap Recipes for the Starting Student.” Bloglander.com has $4 recipies for egg salad sandwiches, hotdogs, Irish soda bread and penne pasta casserole.
Students on FAMU’s campus are aware that they need to tighten their financial belts when it comes to frequently eating at restaurants. Erin Mumphord, junior biology pre-med student from Houston, Texas, said she does not 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,” Mumphord said.