Navigating food in a college apartment is tough, especially if you are a student in your first apartment. It is hard to know when you should get groceries or what to get. Navigating food is extremely important for our health, but it can be difficult. If you’re an upperclassman, living off campus, or not on a meal plan this year, it may be overwhelming to think about feeding yourself Here are some tips that I have found that have helped me:
Tip 1: Turn to Pinterest
It can be difficult to even begin to think of what meals you can make. You can find recipes online. I use Pinterest for recipes that seem interesting and to find inspiration. I also find the Tasty app helpful for finding easy and quick recipes. You can filter recipes based on your preferences. I mostly use filtered searches, such as “less than 30 minutes” and “easy dinner”. I find these resources helpful when it comes not only to inspiration but also to follow the recipes. Tasty is particularly helpful because the app has videos showing how to make the recipe.
Tip 2: Cook in Bulk & Meal Prep
Leftovers are great for storing away and saving for later. Cooking meals, particularly dinner, can be time-consuming at first amongst other responsibilities, but gradually establishing a schedule and intentionally meal prepping is crucial to fit into our schedule, no matter how hectic. I invested in some meal prep storage containers, and they have been beneficial when it comes to storing leftovers and popping them into the microwave when I’m hungry.
Tip 3: Have a designated grocery day
Make a list of kitchen staples and go grocery shopping once a week, ideally on a designated grocery day. Usually, I go grocery shopping on Sundays to get my week started. I dedicate the morning to finding recipes, making a list, and going to the grocery store. I recommend a day when you are not too busy so you can make it more fun.
Tip 4: Have discounts, deals, and rewards on your radar
Grocery shopping can be expensive, so I recommend looking for deals. It is important to start paying attention because food costs add up. Checking out the weekly ad and what coupons are available helps to cut down on some of the costs. Opt for the generic and cheaper options if you want to cut down on costs as well. I also recommend signing up for some of the rewards programs to save money at your favorite grocery store if they offer them.
Tip 5: Finally, have fun and relax.
Start small and simple because you are still learning. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.. I call my mom and grandma when I have a question or am worried about whether or not I cooked my chicken thoroughly. You can also ask your roommates for help; cooking together makes for great memories. You can also put some music or your favorite podcast on and have a more meditative experience. Having a kitchen of your own for the first time is a great learning experience. It takes responsibility to keep it clean, safe, and consistent, but overall, exciting to cultivate the lifelong skill of feeding yourself.