As a college student, it is increasingly difficult to attain healthy, nutritious food on campus, especially if you have diet restrictions. There are two alternatives. The first option is that you can buy takeout and eat out all the time. Or you can opt for the second, much cheaper, choice: meal planning. Meal planning, or also known as meal prepping, is the process of preparing meals and snacks for the upcoming week. This method of shopping and cooking allows a person to be in control of what they eat and the portions. It also frees up time in the week for a person to complete other tasks rather than preparing separate meals throughout the day.

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You should start you meal prep in beginning of the week by picking out recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These recipes should be easy to make, nutritious, and able to be reheated. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Pinterest or YouTube. You might also want to consider preparing some munchies or buy some pre-packaged snacks as well.

Next, comes the shopping. To ensure that you purchase all the items necessary for your chosen meals, use the recipes as a checklist. This will guarantee that you buy all the ingredients and spices for the recipes. A quick tip is to shop at the local Acme near campus. If you put your grocery money on your Hawk Card and use it when making your purchases, you can save 10% on the total bill.

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After you have gathered the ingredients, the last thing to do is to prepare the food. The best way to do this is to carve out some time on Sunday and cook all the meals at once. The freshmen dorms usually don’t have kitchens, but Villiger has a small kitchen which students can use with supervision from an RA. If you’re an upperclassman, locating a kitchen is much easier as many apartments or living accommodations have access to a kitchen. Prepping and cooking the meals might take an hour or so, depending on the meals you selected. Once you finished preparing the meals, separate the food into your desired portions and store them in individual Tupperware for each day.

By following these steps, meal prepping, and your life, are made easy. You no longer have to worry about what you’re eating that given night or what’s in the fridge. Now, you have more time to devote to the things you love, like looking for more meals to try for the next meal prep. Happy prepping!

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