How To: Make Meal Prep Suck Less

Homecooked meals, big family dinners, and the Food Network Channel are all things that have impacted my life greatly. Through the inspiration, these past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with meal prepping. To meal prep means to plan out weekly meals to either save money, contribute to portion control, or even just to save time during the week. I originally got the idea of wanting to start cooking more often however, being a college student, I’ve discovered that it’s difficult to schedule time each day to cook meals. Fast food is easy to grab and may seem cheap at first, but it all adds up eventually in damaging your funds. It's also not the healthiest. 

 

When I first started at the beginning of October, I spent $76 at Walmart for ingredients, and I haven't been grocery shopping since. I created a rough list of what I would like to cook throughout the month (4 weeks) and bought some containers to store food in. For advice on creating your own list, think of your favorite meals and ways to re-create them. Think of your protein and add in some veggies, then make sure you add fruits to your list for a great grab-n-go snack! If you crave sweets; popsicles, even if still sugary, are a great substitute from ice cream or donuts. I even buy boxes of brownies to make sometimes or pre-made cookie dough just because I know I'll be in the kitchen. Just keep in mind that when you enter the grocery store, your goul should be to create your meals on that budget. You want as much as you can get without going over a set limit. I truly wanted to have control over what I was putting in my body. I wanted to dedicate time before a busy week to just relax. This has not only been to improve my goals of healthy living, but to give myself time away from homework. Something great happens when you open yourself to new things. 

My first meal I found on a website and everything else so far have been of my own creation.

 

 

Allow yourself to be creative, have your meals be colorful and fresh. Most importantly, make yourself proud. Maybe you can’t come up with meal ideas on the spot but doing a little research can go a long way. Plus, when you find a meal you really enjoyed, you can write down recipe cards so you can reuse that idea for another month. 

Get an idea of what you’d like to cook, how long items will last in the fridge, and have fun with it. Any allergies or dietary restrictions, take into consideration for yourself.