Tag Archives: west campus

Best of Wampus: Convenience Store Snacks

One of my favorite ways to procrastinate as a college student is to run errands. When it’s too late to make a Target run or pickup takeout at Madam Mam’s I can always count on the slew of trusty West Campus convenience stores to keep me from my assignments. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a spontaneous trip to 7/11? Over the years, I’ve tried just about every snack these stores have to offer: the good, the bad and the ugly. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the best late nights snacks in “Wampus”. Next time you go on a late night convenience store run, consider giving one of them a go. Who knows, one of these bad boys might become your next favorite!

Drinks 

The perfect thing to complement a late night study sesh is caffeine, whether you’re more of a tea drinker, energy drink person, soda-lover or coffee aficionado, convenience stores always seem to have something to meet your needs.

Califia Farms XX Espresso Cold Brew Coffee
Source: Califia Farms
Dunkin’ Original Iced Coffee
Source: Dunkin’ Donuts
Pure Leaf Cold Brew Iced Tea Tropical Mango
Source: Pure Leaf
Guayaki Yerba Mate Enlighten Mint
Source: Target
CLEAN Lemon Lime Organic Sparkling Yerba Mate
Source: Northwest Coffee Supply
MTN Dew Original
Source: MTN Dew
Maine Root Root Beer
Source Main Root Co.
Crush Grape Soda
Source: HEB
Half Cherry, Half Coke Icee
Source: Icee
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Frost Glacier Freeze
Source: Warehouse 115
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Ice Punch
Source: Walmart

Salty Snacks

Perhaps you’re more of a salty snack type. If so, I have the perfect recommendations for you, whether you prefer salty, savory or spicy. These snacks pair perfectly with a night in with your roommates and are perfect for sharing.

Kettle Brand Honey Dijon Chips
Source Drizly
Takis Fuego
Source: Bargain Wholesale
Combos Cheddar Cheese 
Source: Giant Food
Harvest Snaps Black Bean Snack Crisps Mango Chile Lime
Source: Meijer
Chex Mix Honey BBQ
Source: HEB

Sweets

Looking to celebrate finishing an assignment? These yummy treats make the perfect celebratory snack and help end your night on a high note.

Alden’s Ice Cream Ooey Gooey Brownie
Source: Alden’s Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter Core
Source: Cornershop
Blue Bell Butter Crunch
Source: Recipepes
NESTLE Dibs Crunch 
Source: HEB
Good Pop Watermelon Agave Popsicle
Source: Whole Foods
Good Pop Chocolate Milk Popsicle
Source: Whole Foods
NESTLE Strawberry Shortcake Popsicle
Source: Walmart
Haribo Sour Spaghetti Gummy Candy
Source: World Market
Charleston Chew Mini
Source: Walmart
Sour Punch Blue Raspberry Straws
Source: Walmart

At the end of the day, go-to convenience store snacks are all about comfort and preference. But if you’re looking to shake things up, I’d give one of these a try. If you want to be extra adventurous, you could even try a new combo! I recommend Takis Fuego washed down with an ice-cold Glacier Freeze Gatorade, or perhap a Pure Leaf Mango Iced Tea paired with Mango Chile Lime Harvest Snaps.

Featured image illustrated by Serena Rodriguez

6 Easy Recipes for Students Living Off-Campus for the First Time

Living off-campus for the first time, especially during midterm season, can be quite a challenge. Having to navigate this next step of adult life can be overwhelming: cooking, paying bills, balancing school and work, getting places without a car, etc.

To help my fellow college students out, I’ve compiled six of my favorite recipes I made my first semester living off-campus. All meals and snacks are affordable and can be made using ingredients from nearby stores (Target, Trader Joe’s, Wheatsville, etc.).

Without further ado, here are my six all-time favorite recipes:

1) Fried Rice

One thing I’m super guilty of is shelling out tons of cash to cover impulsive 2 am Favor deliveries. This super easy recipe has helped me cut back on spending and tastes even better because it’s fresh. It also makes for great leftovers.

2) Pizza Bagels

I was practically raised on Totino’s frozen pizza bagels and for that reason, as an adult and person with a more sophisticated palate than I was back then, good pizza bagels are considered a delicacy. After years of trial and error, I’ve developed the perfect pizza bagel recipe.

For a more gourmet experience, I recommend trying out more adventurous toppings. As of late, my favorite pizza bagel is a sliced Dave’s Everything Bagel with olive oil instead of a marinara-base topped with an Italian shredded cheese blend, goat cheese, arugula, sliced pear, and a honey drizzle.

3) Caesar Salad

In high school, most days, my lunch included a side salad made using HEB’s Cracked Pepper Caesar salad kit. However, now that I live off-campus without a car, getting good, convenient bagged salads is hard since there isn’t an HEB within walking distance. Not to mention, $4 a bag can get pricey quickly. Below, is my recreation of that salad, with a smaller price tag.

4) Tomato Ravioli

If I could eat Trader Joe’s food every day, I would. I am a self-proclaimed Trader Joe’s lover. While I love their ravioli, I find it’s not always filling. I also wish it had more vegetables. That’s why I’ve created a slightly modified version that is more flavorful and allows me to make one bag last for a couple of meals.

5) Tropical Smoothie

Sometimes a girl just wants something light. On those days, I make this smoothie. It’s especially great for morning classes when you typically have to rush out the door, or these days, to your desk. It also makes a great snack. For a more substantial meal, I recommend adding flavorless protein powder and a few handfuls of greens.

6) Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Iced Coffee

This recipe is by far the one I’m most proud of. My best friend Sammie, who I met the first day of sixth grade, highly endorses it if my word’s not convincing enough. Sammie and I both grew up in Austin and once we got licenses, frequented Austin coffee favorites like Jo’s and Mozart’s. However, going multiple times a week wasn’t super budget-friendly. Therefore, over three years I refined my skills to create my own dupe of Jo’s Iced Turbo using easy to find ingredients.

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Images, recipes and graphic by Lauren Breach

wearing west campus

Loving where you live and loving the things around where you live are normally two different stories. My home town is Frisco, Texas and I despise a lot about it; its overcrowded (thanks Toyota), we have far too many schools, there isn’t a lot to do unless you have a nuclear family, but I love the food and how many places there are to shop. Sacrificing your home for an affordable place to live often means you have to sacrifice what’s around you, but that’s definitely not the case for West Campus.

Signing my lease for next fall was the most exciting thing I did last semester and it was 100% because of west campus. Not only do I have the cutest apartment (with a balcony !!!!) that’s not going to completely break the bank, but I also am finally adulting AND am walking distance from literally everything.

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure: Thrifting

Everyone wears the same clothes and has the same apartment decorations from Urban Outfitters (if they can afford it) and the Dobie Target. I take pride in how I look (minus my 8 am, yikes) and I can confidently say that over half of my clothes are from some dedicated thrifting.  No surprise here, but West campus and Austin, in general, have some of the best places to thrift in the state.

Buffalo Exchange:

While Buffalo Exchange is more on the expensive side of thrifting, it never fails. Not once have I walked out of Buffalo Exchange empty handed, even if my wallet was begging me to. 

Photo by Kara Fields

From a wide range of men and women’s clothing BE has everything you need for a formal date night to a night of watching The Bachelor in your sweats. Even their jewelry section is top notch. Not to mention, they don’t provide bags to help the environment and you get a token after each purchase to donate money to one of three charities of your choice. 

Ragstock:

Now I wouldn’t say this is in West campus, but if you go to UT there is a chance you’ll be near this anyway. Ragstock is in the bottom of Dobie and is one of the best resale stores. They have some quirky weird things that work for nearly any UT party. Need a tutu and wig? They have it. Need something for St. Patty’s Day? Don’t pass up Ragstock.

Photo by Kara Fields

Now, I may be biased because this is where I got the beloved denim jacket that I wear literally every day, yet they have a whole rack of jackets that are pretty cheap. Additionally, they have things for every season that most people on campus won’t have. Christmas sweaters, rain jackets, button ups, dresses, jackets, t-shirts and everything in between Ragstock is the place to go.

Photo by Kara Fields

Music to My Ears, Literally

Antone’s Record Store:

While some people may say I am jumping on the bandwagon with owning a record player, I genuinely love being able to put a record on and go about my studying. The worst problem I have is finding records. Everyone gets their records either online or at Urban Outfitters, but look no further than Antone’s Record on Guadalupe. A whole store of current and vintage records can have you spending an afternoon flipping through vinyl.

While West campus just isn’t about shopping, and you’ll be hearing more from me later about this, but it’s central to some of the best thrift places in Austin. From affordable apartments and shops to a place for everyone, I can’t wait to call West Campus home.