As college students, we may have encountered days when we had no time to make a home-cooked meal and decided to buy a quick bite. A way to avoid spending money on unhealthy foods or snacking is to meal prep. You can think of meal prep as "saving leftovers."
Like most things, meal prepping has its pros and cons.

If you decide to meal prep, you must consider how many meals to prep. It may vary from 1-3 meals per day for the entire week or two meals for five days. Meal prep does entails planning out meals and creating a grocery list, which may be a difficult habit to form. It may seem like a lot of work, but you save time since your meals are already cooked. All that is left is packaging your food and reheating your meal. You will not have to worry about your next meal.

If you decide to meal prep, you should choose a day to cook all your meals and a day and time to buy your groceries. Typically, people cook their meals on a Sunday and/or Wednesday, depending on how fresh you would like your meals. If want to try meal prep-ping, perhaps start with seven or four meals for the week. The first week or two of meal prepping will be trial and error. During the first few weeks, you will figure out what you like, how long it takes you to cook all of your meals, and what time works best to prep your meals and buy groceries.

A Few Things To Consider

  • Eat meats that will not last too long first and pair them with vegetables that may taste better earlier in the week.
  • Keep in mind that buying frozen fruits and vegetables is the same as purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits it just depends on your preference.
  • It is a little hard to come up with different recipes for the week, and one can quickly become tired of meal prepping. If possible, try to switch up your recipes, vegetables, and fruits every two weeks.
  • Buy containers that are microwavable, dishwasher safe, and BPA free. Buying split containers or non-split containers depends on your preference. That is, whether or not you mind your food touching each other.
  • Check FDA Guidelines
  • Consult guidelines to see how long cooked meat and other food products last in the refrigerator. Guidelines can help you decide how many meals to prep and how many days you should set aside to cook your meals. Here is a helpful guideline to view.

Shrimp Bowl Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1lb. of uncooked shrimp
  • 2 cups of corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 cups of rice
  • ¼ cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp of butter
*Recipe should make two meals
Carol Combs | TRIO SSS Peer Mentor