A good meal can be hard to come by, especially as a college student. Balancing coursework, classes and jobs, students often turn to fast alternatives that become expensive over time. There is a solution for hunger pains and empty wallets:“meal prep.”
Meal prep, short for meal preparation, consists of preparing one or more meals ahead of schedule. It’s not entirely uncommon to pack yourself a lunch for the next day — but how about for the next three? Here are four reasons why college students should try meal preparation:
- Nutrition – Eating out everyday has adverse effects on your health. Studies have shown that a frequent habit of eating out contributes to weight gain, and is not a nutritionally sound alternative. Overall, meal prep can give you greater control of portion sizes, meal frequency, and the nutrition of your food.
- Cost-effective – Not only can meal preparation be more nutritionally sound than fast food alternatives, but it can also be cheaper. The cost of eating out accumulates over time and can be hurtful to your wallet. Meal preparation can also help you become a conscious and less wasteful consumer by reusing several ingredients for different meals. One big meal that can be stored and used as leftovers and lasts more than two days saves you money in the long run
- Variety – Say goodbye to your ramen, or spice it up! Try pumpkin coconut soup, Thai noodles, or enchiladas. There are meal preparation recipes for every kind of eater.
- Time – Meal prep takes time. Be prepared to plan for your week, buy what you need, and cook. But it also saves time. Take one or two hours to make dinner, and then have dinner and lunch for the next three days. The time you could’ve spent cooking every single day can be spent doing those things you need to do (like homework).
Meal prep can be a nutritious, cost-effective, diverse and time-saving experience for college students who are willing to give it a try.
For the next article in Meal Prep 101, we’ll be diving into what essential items you’ll need to start your meal prep journey.
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