One of the biggest challenges students face when they start living away from home is grocery shopping and cooking healthy meals.
In countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK that have a heavy influx of foreign students, this can become an even bigger hassle because of the cultural difference, currency, and high costs of living.
Buying groceries and storing them properly so that you can make some food in your limited time is something that every student has to deal with. Not to mention this will save you a lot of money than eating out all week.
This is why it is a good idea to learn about some meal prep ideas as well as some easy recipes for college students. Here are 9 tips for basic meal prepping and recipe ideas!
It's about Managing Time
Following some meal prep ideas is important because it can help you save time when you’re actually cooking. Students often miss out on healthy meals when they’re in school because they have lessons after lessons to attend.
Luckily, there is some great online research paper help available that can aid you in getting some work done when you have no time at all. It takes much less time to work on an already prepared draft or submit your work for editing so that a student can find some time for food and hobbies.
However, while such help is available and is great for getting some free time, the need for healthy food should not be ignored even if you are immersed in your education. And that is precisely why knowing about healthy meal prep ideas is crucial in college.
Select One Protein Per Week
If you eat meat and fish, then this part of your groceries will likely be the most expensive every time you go shopping. That is why it is a good idea to buy just one protein per week.
You can then easily create multiple dishes from that same protein rather than spending money on different meats for different dishes. For example, you can use beef to cook steak fajitas and then use the rest in a diced beef stew on the following day.
Buy Multi-Use Ingredients
When meal prepping on a budget, you should choose ingredients that can be used in various ways. By doing so, you can create different meals with the same base ingredients instead of spending more money on particular ingredients.
For example, items like potatoes, carrots, minced meat, tomatoes, and frozen peas can be used in various dishes. Try making Korean radish as a starter and fried daikon balls for lunch using white radish.
Buy in Bulk
Basic food items like pasta, rice, beans, oil, potatoes, tinned vegetables, and spices can be bought in bulk because you can always create something with them even if you’re in a hurry.
Buying ingredients in bulk is usually cheaper as well so you don’t have to worry about spending too much money in the long run. You might not be able to make a three-course meal out of these ingredients, but they’re excellent choices for any college student’s grocery list.
Note Down Recipes
There are many easy college meals that you can make on a budget, so always have some written down. It’s not always possible to cook elaborate dishes when you’re working on your academic assignments but such recipes are often quick to make. When you have them written down, you will know exactly the stuff you need and won’t end up wasting time.
Always remember to consider making healthy recipes for yourself. The Canadian Psychological Association conducted a study in 2019 that talked about how students often develop chronic diseases because of their eating habits. It is very easy for students to keep consuming fast food simply because they don’t have time to cook, so always have some recipes with you that are healthy but quick to make. Not to mention by meal prepping you’ll save a lot of money too!
Chop and Freeze
One of the most time-consuming parts of cooking food is chopping vegetables. That is why chopping vegetables when you get them and freezing them is one of the best meal prep ideas you’ll get. This serves two purposes. On the one hand, you will save a good amount of time when cooking and on the other, your vegetables will not go bad sitting in the fridge for a long time.
If you want to do some healthy meal prep, remember to chop and freeze! You can also freeze guacamole for another time too!
Make Portable Food
A lot of students forget to make lunch for themselves on long days when they are all caught up in their academic courses. And sometimes they cannot take the leftover food from the day before to class because they can’t heat it up at the campus.
That is why you should make some portable items like sandwiches or salads. Not only are these quick to make but you can also put them in a box and take them with you on long days. Try making this spicy kani salad recipe!
Use the Weekends
Whenever you have some free weekends, use some of your time to prepare for the coming week. Chop up some vegetables and throw them in the freezer, cook some food for the next day and put it in the fridge, or go get some groceries.
You can also prepare meals and freeze the whole meal if you have a microwave handy. If you use some of the time on your weekends, your whole week’s prep can be done in a couple of days and you won’t have to spend hours every day in the kitchen.
Less is More
In other words, keep everything simple when you don’t have the time. Check out some one-pot recipes like fried rice, curry, and shrimp chow mein that you can make quickly. These come with the additional benefit of not having to wash multiple dishes once you’re done eating.
Cook simple but healthy food and experiment with your culinary visions when you have more time on the weekends. The key is to do some healthy meal prep and follow some easy recipes for college students so you don’t starve yourself.
With so many ideas for easy college meals floating around on the internet, it should be no problem for a student to cook some good food along with focusing on their education.
Meal prepping on a budget doesn’t take too much work and can go a long way in making your time at school healthier and more fun. Always give attention to the food you prepare and eat during your studies if you wish to remain physically and mentally healthy while trying to turn in your excellent writing assignments.