Making time to plan, prep and cook three meals a day isn’t as easy as people think, especially for college students. Between busy class schedules that don’t allow for a lunch break and not actually knowing how to cook something other than Ramen Noodles, fitting in three healthy meals is a chore. The answer to this problem is meal prep. Meal prep means cooking and preparing food in bulk. With a few simple ingredients and a little extra time at the end of the day, meal prepping can create a week’s worth of meals at once. Here are some of the pros, tips and tricks for success.
Keep it Simple
Don’t try to be Gordon Ramsay. The whole point of meal prep is to create fast, easy meals. Start off with some veggies, chicken and rice. As meal prep becomes more routine or you need to be jazz things up, find recipes with more steps or ingredients.
Prepare and Plan
Meal prep will go a lot easier if it is planned ahead of time. Make a list of meals to make and a grocery list; shopping for food is a lot easier if the ingredients and meals are planned in advance. Plus, having a clear plan eliminates frustrations like not having all the ingredients when the prep process begins.
Having storage for the food is essential. Make sure there is plenty of Tupperware to spare for at least five days. Tupperware is a great place to store the food once it is done; it is easy to pack as well so lunch and dinner can be on the go. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of Ziploc bags, too. These are great for storing things in the freezer; they keep the food fresh and protect against freezer-burn. Finally, make sure there is enough room in the fridge. Don’t encroach on a roommate’s section of the fridge, but make sure there is enough room for the week’s meal prep.
Cooking in college can be a challenge but making food in bulk is a great way to save time and money. There are unlimited sources of meal prep inspiration on the internet as well. Find a blog or make a Pinterest board of recipes. Don’t let the kitchen be intimidating; use this guide and others to take cooking from drab to fab.