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How to Incorporate Meal Prepping as a College Student

College students are some of the busiest people. Between class, homework, and having a social life, it is hard to find time to be mindful of the food we put in our body. Meal prepping can ensure that you eat three solid meals a day that are balanced and nutritious.


Some Basic Supplies:

Meal Prepping does not have to be scary, extremely time consuming, or expensive! With the right supplies, meal prepping can help you develop a menu for the week and makes sure you do not waste your groceries. 

  • Tupperware 

This does not have to be Tupperware brand. The dollar store even has containers you can purchase. You just need containers that keep food fresh, can fit in your fridge, and can be taken easily on the go.  

  • Utensils 

I think you should always have a set of silver ware even if you are in a dorm—all of the plastic utensil sets produce a lot of waste being thrown out after one use. However, the most utensils you need for meal prepping is  some solid knives. One of the key components of planning food ahead is having foods chopped and prepped.  

  • Food! 

This is an oblivious one, but this does not necessarily mean you have to make weekly grocery runs. If you are in a dorm on a meal plan, use the dining halls as your grocery store. If your school has an omelet station, see if you can grab some eggs. You can get lunch meats and cheese from the sandwich bar or grab fruit and vegetables from the salad bar. Grab a to-go box, be polite, and get creative! However, for us who no longer are on a meal plan, we will have to run to grocery store to get food. When shopping, be mindful of what you will actually eat and the time frame of freshness of these items.  

  • (Optional) lunch bag  

I personally just throw my Tupperware containers in my school bag and call it day. However, a designated lunch bag may be useful if you have a silver ware set or many moving parts.  

Let’s Meal Prep!

My personal staples for meal prepping are making sandwiches for the week, prepping vegetables for salads, and rationing any snack foods.  

  • Sandwiches 

Take your favorite bread, meat, condiment, and cheese, and assemble the number of sandwiches you need for the week. I typically do not put any veggies on meal prepped sandwiches to ensure the bead does not get soggy, but you can prepare veggies ahead of time and add when you are about to eat. Once the sandwiches are all made, determine if you need/want to cut them, then take tin foil and wrap each one individually. Store in the fridge and you have an easy weekday lunch. I grab a sandwich every morning, keep it in foil, place it in a container, and throw it in my school bag.  

  • Vegetables  

Preparing vegetables can be useful for almost any meal—salads, omelets, or sandwiches as mentioned above. This is a pretty self-explanatory process, get your desired vegetables, chop them up, and place them in a container. I always make sure to season my vegetables with some salt and pepper before packing up. I would recommend putting the date that they are prepared on the container to make sure you are mindful of how fresh they are.  

  • Snacks

Prepping snacks is more about organization rather than actual cooking. For example, I like having salami, cheese and crackers as a snack. I will distribute an appropriate amount of each item into containers that can be easily accessed. Doing this makes sure I don’t eat all of my snack food in one sitting. You can do this for anything: chips, fruit, popcorn, the possibilities are endless.

You now have a taste of how I implement meal prepping my life as a college student, and you can alter this process to work for your lifestyle. Meal prepping does not have a right or wrong ,and does not have to be perfect.  It is so rewarding and reassuring to have food prepared in your fridge at the beginning of the week. I encourage you to carve some time out Sunday night, put on your favorite show, and take care of your future self by meal prepping! 

Hello, my name is Maria Ferraro and I am a junior at Southern Methodist University. I am currently working towards a Bachelor of Fine Art in Dance Performance with minors in Arts Management and Advertising. I have been dancing practically my whole life. It is something I'm truly passionate about, and I want to pursue dance professionally. Outside school and dance, I enjoy yoga, cooking, hiking, playing with my cat, and just having a good time with my friends.
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