Meal Prep Tips for Beginners

Meal prepping, a.k.a. cooking and portioning off all of your meals for an entire week, is intriguing and appealing to many, especially college students with busy and unpredictable schedules. But, it can also be a daunting idea to those who have never ventured into the land of tupperwares and cooking in bulk. Don’t worry, we totally understand your struggle. Check out some of our tips to get your foot in the door with meal prepping, and in no time you'll be the one giving out kitchen advice.

 

1. Find new recipes each week

A common misconception about meal prepping is that it gets boring very quickly. Just thinking about eating the same meal every day for an entire week is the most discouraging way to begin this journey. But this doesn’t have to be the case! Start looking for recipes that you love (Pinterest has tons of great options), and save, print, or bookmark all of them. At the end of every week, take a moment to sit down and scroll through your options, and then pick out a couple you want to test out. Changing up your menu and trying out new recipes will keep you both motivated and satisfied.

2) Make a grocery list

After you’ve picked out your meals, write out a grocery list containing all the items you will need for the week. This will make it easier to budget, and help you avoid hours of aimless wandering around the aisles. You’ll be in and out of the store in a flash without forgetting a thing!

3) Schedule a cooking day

It’s time to hit the kitchen! Meal prep is all about giving yourself healthy nourishment throughout the week, while also being time and cost effective and allowing your mind to focus on questions more important than, “What’s for dinner?”

 

To ensure you get the best out of this experience, set aside one day of the week that you can devote to preparing all of your meals for the following days. If you’re not a huge fan of spending time in the kitchen, listen to your favorite podcast or playlist while cooking up a storm to make the process more enjoyable. It may seem overwhelming at first, but your future self will thank you when you don’t have to food shop and cook dinner after along day of classes.

4) Don’t forget snacks

It’s easy to fall off the wagon if you don’t have healthy snacks to munch on between meals. Fresh fruits and veggies, and homemade granola or trail mix are some great options. Keep them at an arm’s length, always ready to replace all of those easily-accessible chips and candy bars. This will eliminate the need to make tough decisions and keep you on track!

5) Optimize your oven time… Roast!

Roasting multiple trays of vegetables and protein simultaneously will save you tons of time, and possibly minimize the amount of dishes you are left to wash at the end of the day. Slice your choice of veggies, drizzle them with olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices, wrap some potatoes in tin foil, and roast away!

6) Find the right containers

Even though that container from the Chinese take out you ordered last week might seem fine, it helps to invest in some airtight, leakproof containers that you know will keep your food fresh and keep you mess-free! There are tons of awesome, affordable options out there, especially on Amazon and at Target. Be sure to read reviews so you can find the fit that’s perfect for you.

 

We hope these simple pointers will help you see that meal prep is not the seven-legged beast you thought it was. Have fun and enjoy yourself - after all, this is about making your life easier, not harder! Roll up your sleeves, throw on an apron, and meal prep the day away!

 

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