COLUMN: Summer is the time to eat right

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Summer is upon us, and the opportunity to spend all of the money you earned during the school year is right in front of you.

However, it is crucial now more than ever to keep your eating habits clean and consistent even though the temptation might follow you around for the next three months.

Follow these tips to save some money and calories this summer so you go into the next semester feeling good with a little extra spending money.

Meal preparing is a great way to stay on track. Pick one day each week to cook a few meals to have in your fridge for a busy day. Your meals don't need to be complicated, just combine a protein, carb and veggie and store them in the fridge. 

One of my personal favorite combinations is chicken, roasted broccoli and rice. Having several servings of this meal in my fridge has saved me many an hour on a busy night when I didn't want to cook and didn't have money to go out to eat.

Meal prepping also saves money. Buying chicken or veggies in bulk to last you a week is much cheaper than paying for seven individual meals from various restaurants.

Another way to stay on track is to stock your pantry and fridge with fruits and veggies. If you keep fresh foods in your house, the temptation to eat out will decrease. Knowing you have a full fridge to come home to is enough to sway you in the right direction.

And finally, pick a day or two each week — if you want — to eat out with a friend. For me, eating out is a way to socialize, so I have to have at least one per week. 

Go ahead and plan out a night or two to eat out with a friend, and get food at the grocery for the rest of the week so you don't run through McDonald's on the way home from work.

For most, summer brings more free-time than the school year which can lead to unhealthy and expensive choices. Use these ideas to help both your diet and bank account stay on track.

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