Easy Meal Prepping For The Busy College Student

As the semester begins, we all get ready to commit to excelling in our classes and setting new goals to strive for. Eating healthy often falls high on our extensive list of ambitions. We may start the semester off eating a perfectly crisp salad every single day, but as the stress of eighteen credits and the never ending days of rushing from one commitment to another begin to take their toll, our healthy eating tends to fall to the bottom of our list of priorities. With a little preparation and planning even the busiest of college weeks won’t ruin your healthy streak. Follow the list below for tips to being to create a basic meal prep plan to fit into YOUR schedule!

Schedule a Prepping Time

Pick one day a week where you know you can block out at least two hours. Yes, this may seem like a lot. However when you don’t have to worry about where you’re grabbing your lunch from between classes or what you’ll make for dinner on Tuesday, (although the obvious answer would be tacos, come on) you’ll actually be saving loads of time. If you’re strapped for time try getting up two hours earlier on a Sunday, or possibly stay in on a Friday and make a whole night of it. Turn on your favorite show or some tunes and invite your friends over to keep you company as you cook.

Pantry Inventory

Always know the items that you already have on hand and the ones you need to stock up on. Some basic appliances that are great for college include: a mini blender, a mini food processor, a baking sheet, a can opener, bowls and measuring cups and spoons. Take note of the spices you have and any that you need to get to cover the basics such as salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes and garlic.

Plan Meals

Try to plan meals that will use similar ingredients. For example, a quinoa and veggie dish one night and then tacos that will use quinoa in them the next night (can you sense a theme here?) If you’re okay with eating a couple of the same meals, try a rotating schedule of 2-3 of the same dinners for the week. Grab a pen, a paper, pull up Pinterest and say goodbye to your social life for the day.

Storage

Having good tupperware makes all the difference here. I just invested in some round glass ones from Marshalls and couldn't be happier with this purchase (yes, I recognize that I am on the right track to throwing the most exciting tupperware party sometime in my near future.) Having tupperware that looks cohesive and simple makes my food look incredibly appetizing. The other plus side is that these study glass containers are able to withstand me carrying them around all day.

Grocery Shopping

After you have an idea of what you currently have, and what you need, it’s time to physically write a list. This way, you won’t forget that one important ingredient for dinner and you won’t spend more than you need. Being in college means we have to budget our money and that we can’t always afford to get the fanciest of foods. Try shopping at a local farmer's market if budgeting is a factor in your meal prepping process!

Cooking

If you feel too overwhelmed to cook every single meal, try cooking and preparing the basics of what you'll need for the week. Make some hard boiled eggs, tuna salad, chopped lettuce, quinoa or whatever it is that will take you more time to do during the week. Having ingredients that are already chopped and prepped make the healthy decision-making process so much smoother. While cooking, make sure that you are multitasking in order to save time when you have a lot to do. Have your sweet potatoes boiling on the stovetop while your protein muffins are cooking on the top shelf of the oven and roasted brussel sprouts on the bottom.

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