By: Kristin Knight
It’s hard to believe we’re already a month into 2020! Have you been meeting your health and wellness goals so far? One easy way to stay on track is meal prepping. Coming home from a long day of class to an already prepared meal helps you eat healthy and avoid spending money at restaurants.
Unfortunately, meal prepping can seem a little daunting. Where do you find the time to prep? How do you keep each meal interesting? Where do you even start? Our tips will take you from a drive-thru regular to a meal prepping pro!
Plan it out
Making a weekly forecast of your nightly dinners will help you stay organized. Focusing on your pre-planned meals makes grocery shopping more efficient; instead of wandering every aisle, you’ll be able to quickly get just what you need.
Pick a prep day and stick to it
Many people meal prep on Sundays so they’re prepared for the week ahead. If that works for you, great! As college students, Sundays might be too hectic with other responsibilities to also fit in meal prep, and that’s okay. Maybe Tuesday nights would work better for your schedule. Whatever day you pick, try to stick to it every week so you develop a routine.
Try new recipes
Making sauteed chicken and veggies every week will get boring fast. There are tons of quick and easy recipes out there, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Budget Bytes is a food blog perfect for college students. It provides hundreds of recipes while breaking down the cost per recipe and per serving, so you can eat right without breaking the bank.
Use your freezer
Some things are better fresh, but others keep great in the freezer. Grains like quinoa and rice reheat well, so make extra and freeze the leftovers in individual portions. Sauces and soups also freeze well!
Mix up your sauces
A great sauce can completely change the meal. While a meal of sauteed veggies and protein might be fundamentally the same throughout the week, a zesty lemon-herb sauce will taste completely different than a spicy Sriracha sauce. Mixing it up helps keep your meals exciting.
Did you meal prep for a week and then completely forget the next week? Set weekly reminders for both grocery shopping and meal prepping to help stay on track. It’s easy to lounge in bed after classes, but if your phone reminds you it’s time to grocery shop, that might just be the motivation you need to get out the door.
If you’re putting in the effort to meal prep, it’s better to have too much than too little. Freezing leftovers to enjoy the following week is way better than being hangry and out of prepped food halfway through the week.
Make it fun
Meal prepping should save time and relieve stress, so make sure it’s enjoyable! Cooking with your housemates is way more fun than spending an hour alone in the kitchen. Trying new recipes will also help the cooking feel more exciting.
We hope these ideas will make meal prepping seem less daunting and inspire you to try it yourself.