Month: September 2019

Thrive On A Budget & Eat Like The King

College Life and Food

When I think of college students and food, I think of cheap instant noodles being heated in a dorm room microwave. Chances are this diet is no stranger to most service members from their E-1 thru E-3 days. Well that was then and this is now. The goal is not to just survive college we want to thrive in college. To accomplish this feat, we are going to need more than instant noodles to power our brain and body. Although instant noodles are one of my favorite instant meals they should not be a staple in your college diet. College is a marathon like no other that requires more than processed carbohydrates. We need simple and complex carbs like those found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy that can be broken down by the body and used as energy.

If you are a fan of fast food and enjoy the convenience it offers; especially with the busy college and adult life schedule, that is understandable. Fast food is not bad for you or your pocket book when moderation is put in place. The average cost of a value meal at a fast food restaurant ranges from $5.00 to $7.00. If you ate at fast food restaurants for two meals a day for two weeks there is a potential for your pocket book to take a whopping $196.00 hit on average.

Now take your $196.00 fast food budget to your local Wal-Mart grocery and you can feed yourself for two weeks three times a day for $93.21, leaving $102.79 in your pocket for other college expenses and that once a week drive thru treat. To good to be true you say? Give it a try and go to and build a shopping cart. They’ll even do the shopping and bring your groceries to you.

These are some of my favorite items that I purchase on a regular basis.

  • Blue Diamond Almonds $6.72
  • Eggs 60ct $6.21
  • String Cheese 36ct $7.96
  • Nature Value Protein Bar 15ct $8.24
  • Clementine Oranges 5lb $5.64
  • Oscar Meyer sub kit 28oz $6.98
  • Nature’s Own bread 20oz $2.88 (2)
  • Slice Cheese 48oz 72ct $9.98
  • Mayo 30oz $2.98
  • Mustard 20oz $1.97
  • Milk $2.78
  • Yogurt variety pack 12ct $3.96
  • Apples 3lb bag $4.77
  • Peanut Butter 40oz $3.62
  • Fruit preserves 32oz $3.28
  • Honey Bunches of Oats $3.28 (2)
  • Honey 16oz $4.48
  • Bananas 2lb $0.68lb

Total: $93.21

My favorite anytime sandwiches that even Elvis would like is peanut butter, banana, and honey. Would you like to learn more ways to save money on everyday life expenses to make college life less financially stressful? Or just learn how to make my favorite sandwich call Veterans Upward Bound at (405) 974-3686 or email us at to schedule an appointment.

Submitted By: Shane Braig, CPO, USN (Ret) and STRIPES-VUB Outreach Specialist

What Do I Want To Be?

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Chances are you have asked yourself this very question. I know I did after I retired from active duty. The difference is most people ask themselves this as children and in high school. We as veterans ask ourselves this after serving our country at a later time in life. Some of us in our early 20’s and others in our 40’s. The most common responses I have heard from veterans when asked this question is I do not know, I am not sure, or they give a list of several possibilities.

This is where STRIPES-Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) can come into play. All of us here at STRIPES-VUB have been in this very situation. We have gone through the transition from military life to civilian student life. We are subject matter experts in the pre-enrollment phase of college assisting hundreds of veterans walk the path. Don’t bang your head against the wall trying to find the right school and the right degree plan that fit you. We have don’t that leg work for you and can assist in guiding you with your decision.

We provide veterans with individual start-to-finish school and degree plan selection, application, and enrollment support for any program at any school. Our pre-enrollment services are customized for each veteran client and are created based on the individual needs of the veteran.

The services below are just a few of the most common veteran requested services we can provide.

  • Benefit Application Assistance
  • School Selection Comparison
  • Academic Skills Development
  • Academic Program Research
  • Financial Aid Assistance
  • Admission Assistance
  • Transcript Request
  • Financial Literacy
  • Test Preparation

Did I mention all these services are FREE to the veteran and we can travel to meet you!

If you are still in the looking around stage, the link below is an easy to use comparison tool that compares different schools in an area of your choice. This is a great place to start your broad search and from here we can help you narrow down the selection field. GI Bill Comparison Tool

Submitted By: Shane Braig, CPO, USN (Ret) and STRIPES-VUB Outreach Specialist