Meal prep doesn’t have to be time-consuming! It’s true that college life can be a whirlwind of lectures, assignments, and social activities, leaving little time for cooking. But no one can deny that you have to eat healthy to live healthy!
We understand that eating healthy on a budget is a challenge for everyone, and it’s especially tough for college students. Cooking in college shouldn’t feel like an impossible task. With the right tools, recipes, and skills, you’ll find that preparing meals can be as easy as pie (or should I say, a piece of cake?).
Now, before we get started, let’s address the elephant in the room. Meal prepping, especially in college, isn’t for everyone. If you’re living in a dorm without access to a kitchen or have a dining plan covering most of your meals, meal prepping might not be the best fit for you. However, meal-prepping is definitely up your alley if you’re lucky enough to have an apartment or a place with a kitchen.
In this blog, we’ll share our best tips and tricks for budgeting and meal planning, along with a selection of mouth-watering and nutritious college-friendly recipes.
So put on your apron, grab your little spatula, and let’s embark on this delicious journey together!
Meal Prepping Plan for the Week – Why is it Important?
When it comes to living a busy life, meal planning is an absolute lifesaver. It not only helps you stay on the path with your nutrition goals but also saves you precious time, money, and stress, allowing you to focus on your work and everyday life.
The idea of spending hours or even an entire day in the kitchen might seem daunting. But meal prepping doesn’t have to be an uphill task that consumes your whole weekend. The key to effective meal prepping is having a solid plan in place before you embark on your culinary adventure.
Instead of waking up each day and trying to figure out what to meal prep on the spot, take some time on a peaceful Sunday or a fresh Monday to plan your meals for the entire week. By creating a meal-prepping plan for the week, you’re not only ensuring that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand, but you’re also streamlining your grocery shopping. This means you’ll save a considerable amount of money because you’ll only buy the groceries you’ll actually be using.
10 Tips for Meal Prepping in Your College Dorm
Trying to whip up a delicious meal in a cramped dorm can feel like an impossible mission. With limited space, no sink, and a busy schedule, the last thing you want is to spend hours in the kitchen. But we’ve got you covered with these handy tips for meal prepping in your college dorm.
1. Embrace Minimal Food Prep
When it comes to meal prepping in a dorm, simplicity is key. Focus on food sources that require minimal prep, such as pre-cut veggies, canned beans, and pre-cooked grains. This way, you can spend less time chopping and cleaning and more time enjoying your meal.
2. One Pot Wonders
Say goodbye to multiple pots and pans cluttering up your tiny kitchenette. One-pot meals are a busy student’s best friend. Just toss a bunch of ingredients into a pot, let it simmer for a few hours, and voila! You’ve got a delicious, fuss-free meal ready to fuel your studies.
3. Pre-Chopped Veggies to the Rescue
Chopping and prepping veggies can be a hassle in a cramped dorm room. Save yourself the trouble by opting for pre-chopped veggies. Yes – it might be a tad more expensive, but the convenience is worth every penny.
4. Frozen Cooked Meat
Sometimes, you just need a quick protein fix without the hassle of cooking from scratch. Enter frozen cooked meats like chicken or beef. Simply reheat them with your meal, and you will have a protein-packed delight.
5. Invest in Air Fryer
Want a dorm-friendly cooking appliance that won’t blow a fuse? Look no further than an air fryer. These nifty gadgets use minimal electricity and can quickly whip up crispy delights. Just remember to tackle the post-cooking cleanup!
6. Set It and Forget It
You can put a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker or Instant Pot before class, and when you return hours later, your entire week’s worth of meals is ready and waiting. Investing in an Instant Pot or a slow cooker can be a game-changer for busy dorm-dwelling students.
7. Ground Meat for the Win
When it comes to protein sources, ground meat is a good idea. Whether beef, turkey, or plant-based alternatives, ground meat requires minimal cleaning, prepping, or trimming, making it a hassle-free addition to your meal-prepping routine.
8. Cook in Bulk
Let’s face it, the less time you spend cooking, the more time you have for studying, socializing, and binge-watching. Cook in bulk and freeze your meals for later. This way, you can simply reheat them in the microwave whenever hunger strikes, saving time and effort.
9. Invest in Storage Containers
A proper set of storage containers is an essential investment for dorm-based meal prepping. Opt for microwave-safe, stackable containers that can keep your meals fresh and easily accessible.
10. Plan and Schedule
Last but not least, set aside time each week to plan and schedule your meals. Look at your class timetable and commitments, and allocate specific time slots for meal prepping. By sticking to a routine, you’ll stay organised and ensure you always have a delicious and budget-friendly meal at your fingertips.
And The Best Trick?
When it comes to budget-friendly eating and meal-prepping for busy college students, two key strategies stand out: where you shop and how you shop.
First, sale prices are a lifesaver. Keep an open mind when you hit the grocery store, and take advantage of the discounts to save money without compromising quality.
Second, buying in bulk is a game-changer. Stock up on pantry staples like rice, pasta, and beans in larger quantities. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll also have a well-stocked pantry for your meal-prepping adventures.
So, remember to shop strategically, focusing on sales and buying in bulk. With these savvy tips, you’ll conquer budget-friendly eating and make the most of your meal prep journey as a busy college student. Happy shopping and prepping!