Did you move away from home for college and have no idea what to cook? We got you covered!
Living away from home is tough, especially for the first few months. As you move into your new accommodation and get started with the semester, things sure can seem overwhelming. In situations like these, students suffer the most when it comes to meals and cooking.
Let’s be realistic, eating out every day is not good for your health and for your wallet. But what can you do when cooking daily is not an option either? That’s where meal prep comes in.
Meal prepping involves cooking and preparing meals ahead of schedule to save time, energy and money. In addition, there are lots of other benefits to meal prepping such as reducing food waste, and providing healthy meals on a budget.
Here are some tips to get started with realistic meal prep when living away from home:
Meal prep repeat, meal prep repeat
While meal prepping, repetition of ingredients is key.
Find ingredients that can be used to make multiple dishes so you don’t have to run to the grocery store every time you cook.
This also goes for your favourite recipes. Choose two to three recipes that you really love and stick with them for a couple of weeks. Then, when you’re tired of eating the same thing, switch it up and find two to three new recipes which you can repeat.
Doing this not only saves you money, but also saves you valuable time because you don’t have to stop to think what you’re going to cook every time.
Batch cooking is the way to go for meal prep
Batch cooking plays a key role in reducing stress about preparing meals.
Cooking meals in large portions that can be consumed over the coming days is cost-effective and healthy. Having batch-cooked meals stored in your fridge or freezer also stops you from eating out impulsively and buying unnecessary groceries.
Some batch-cooked meals that can you store for later include lentils, chilli and ramen. Don’t be afraid to go a step further and add stuff like meat and vegetable curry, pasta and other delicious stuff to your list.
Load up on protein
Protein is an important energy source and should not be overlooked.
Having a source of protein in each of your prepared meals will help ensure you are satiated and full of energy to tackle any task.
There are tons of different foods that provide you with a good amount of protein such as seafood, chicken, pork, beef, eggs, cheese and yogurt. There are also endless amounts of plant-based sources of protein such as grains, nuts, seeds, lentils, and tofu.
Feel free to mix up your choice of protein, after all, the possibilities are endless.
Fruits are your best friend
As a part of a balanced diet, it is important to consume fruits along with your home-cooked meals.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as fresh and healthy and often a much cheaper option. Stock up on fruits and vegetables and have them any time you want. Not only are they a healthier option and avoid impulsive eating, but can also satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and keep you full longer.
Sides save the day
If you don’t feel like preparing full meals while meal prepping, we got you! Try preparing a few side dishes that go with every meal or can be satisfying on their own.
Buying and preparing ingredients for these side dishes is extremely easy and cost-effective. Some easy-to-make sides include quinoa salad, roasted or mashed potatoes, salads, pre-cut veggies and coleslaw.
There you have it, some ways that you can meal prep and make adulting that much easier! Through meal prepping you not only save money and time but also create a healthy and balanced diet.
Feel free to share your latest meal prep creation with us on Instagram @ShareIgnite!
Want to learn more? How to make a gourmet meal on a student budget