We often like to fixate on what we eat, but our mealtime habits (aka how we eat) can have a significant impact on our health and happiness. Instead of always wondering how many calories, how many veggies, or how much fat, we can improve our health even more by thinking about how fast, with whom, and where we eat our meals.

Here are 5 tips to make your next meal healthier and more enjoyable, without spending a single cent:

1. Eat more slowly

Speeding through your meal is a lose-lose situation. Eating turns into a stressful activity, and you can't appreciate the food you worked hard to cook or buy. Just slow it down and find the flavor and texture nuances in each bite, as a food connoisseur would.

2. Stop thinking about homework

notes, textbook, study snack, snacks, studying, clif bar, tangerine, cutie
Jocelyn Hsu

You probably spent all day thinking about your essay, so don't let stress take the fun out of your meal. Just focus on enjoying your delicious food now, and focus fully on your work afterward. Oh, and don't watch Netflix either. Mindful eating stops you from snacking when you're not hungry and helps you savor each bite!

3. ...And eat with your friends

salad, chicken, salmon
Nicole Shvayetsky

Whether you're cooking, going out, or taking a study break, put your worries aside and catch up with your friends. What makes a restaurant experience better than being able to try everyone's dishes? There's a reason food has brought together friends and family for thousands of years.

4. Don't feel guilty

sweet, chocolate, candy
Tiffany Tran

If you didn't choose the healthiest dinner this time, remind yourself that balance is important in any diet. The occasional french fry or scoop of ice cream will satisfy your craving and keep you sane while you have your salad tomorrow. Even Gigi Hadid does it.

5. Finish when you're satiated

pasta, rice, sauce, vegetable
Tiffany Tran

Instead of eating until you're about to burst or until your plate is empty, put down the fork when you feel satisfied. This prevents the discomfort and lack of focus that comes with overeating. Plus, leftovers mean you can be lazy for your next meal!

Sabhyata Badhwar

As college students, we don't have to make sacrifices to our health to save money and time. With these small changes in mealtime habits, we can start to look forward to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After all, we have enough tasks to rush through – food should never be one of them.