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THE COOKING COLLEGIATE : Tips on how to save time and money on food

 

Her Campus presents a cooking guide to try out  for a healthier rest of the semester.

To stay on top of our game and be as fabulous as can be, it is important to make cautious health wise choices in our diets. As the greatest health gurus have taught us over the years, we must stay away from all the bad fats and sugars and simple carbs and salt and preservatives and chemicals and all calorie dense foods. Instead, we may prefer to opt for replenishing, splendid, nutrient filled, vibrant, fresh, whole foods such as seasonal fruits and vegetables and freshly fallen seeds.  The precedent sounds great, feels great and even makes us look great! This being said, if it is as simple as that, then why aren’t we all already prancing on the health wagon? Because it is easier said than done, thats why. If you are anything like me, you’ve found that your healthiest hopes and dreams were quickly crushed by a little thing we call time and money.

As students, we live busy, costly lives. Thus, we must make sacrifices. And although it may not be intentional, we often find ourselves left with no choice but to prioritize a work, study, sleep kind of life at the expense of a healthier more balanced lifestyle. In other words, most of us just simply do not have the time to cook up a healthy, whole hearty storm, and instead, must opt for the quick fixes. Sadly, the quick fixes are often the worst choices. 

 

However, quick fixes don’t always have to be bad. All it takes is basic kitchen smarts, a little creativity and a slight investment in time and money, and you can quickly revamp your diet, taking a step closer to a healthier you. The secret lies in mass cooking and freezing.

 

 

Why cook in bulk?

Not only is it a time saver, it is also a money saver. Buying bigger quantities is always cheaper. It may seem costly at the start, but in the long run, you can save hundreds of dollars. If you know it will be used before it goes to waste, don’t be afraid to buy in larger quantities. Yes, it will be expensive at the register, but its an investment. In the following weeks, your groceries will be significantly cheaper. Take the following picture for example. When comparing the two prices, you’ll be tempted to buy the 1.5 L of laundry detergent since it is cheaper. You’ll also say to yourself, “I don’t need 2.5L of detergent right now. I’ll wait.” But truth is, we’ll always need laundry detergent. It will come to use, even if not in the near future. This being said, is it cheaper to buy the 1.5 L or the 2.5 L? To find out, we have to compare not the prices but the unit prices. The unit prices are found under the real price, usually at the bottom of the tag (here it is circled in red).

Another advantage of mass cooking is the time saving factor. Doubling or quadrupling a recipe takes a little more time, but significantly less than if you were to do it two or four times. It’s the same concept as the unit price. Dedicating a few hours in the kitchen and cooking up to 10 meals  worth versus spending a half hour in the kitchen 10 times, amounting to 5 hours total for the same output, is quite the time saver. Mass cooking really is an investment in time and money. All it takes is a little planning, and you’ll be on your way to eating cleaner, better and healthier meals throughout your days as a busy student

 

 

You might be thinking, “What do I do with these massive leftovers?” Thankfully, you don’t have to eat it all before it goes to waste, because lets be honest. You can only have so much lasagna. The trick here is to freeze your leftovers in meal-size portions. This will become your quick fix go-to when you don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen. When properly packed in freezer designed containers, your meals will taste as fresh and be as nutrient filled when reheated as meal on the go. 

 

This week being reading week, it is the perfect time for you to start planning, shopping, cooking and freezing your meals that will save you throughout the rest of semester. For great ideas, Her Campus will be featuring freezer friendly recipes during the week. Speaking from experience, you’ll be astound to what a few frozen meals can do for your time management, your health and your wallet.

 

Photo Creds:

http://studenthealth.ucsf.edu/food

http://www.bigpondmoney.com.au/grocery-unit-pricing-is-the-key-to-savings

http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/10/how-to-make-freezer-cooking-work-when-you-have-a-busy-schedule.html

http://www.kingoftherecipe.com/newsletter-sign-up/girl-cooking/

 
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