Meal Prepping and Planning
By Maegen C. Stoner, Director of Fitness & Wellness
June Fitness & Wellness Corner
A few tips from Maegen for planning meals, preparing food, and shopping healthy on a college budget:
1. Stick to a limited number of recipes
You likely have many competing responsibilities for your time, so it’s unlikely that you can commit to learning how to make multiple complicated recipes that can introduce unnecessary stress. Find a few recipes that you enjoy eating, making, and that
2. Make a list, stick to the list, and plan around your schedule
Set aside some time to plan out what you will be eating for the week. Make a list of ALL the items you will need (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks). When you’re planning, review your schedule and make a note of which nights you’re free and when you have meetings, practices, or work. Save easy recipes for those nights or double up on servings on nights that you’re free so you can simply heat up leftovers. While shopping, make sure to stick to the items on your list. Grabbing items that look good when you’re there will run up your grocery bill very quickly, so refrain from shopping while hungry 🙂
3. Shop the store brand
Generic brand products are a great way to save money. They’re usually cheaper than most popular brand names. They have the same quality and virtually identical ingredient lists. If you coupon, most coupons are for name-brand items. A good coupon can drastically lower the price, sometimes less than the store brand. Be sure to compare the prices when there are sales too!
4. Discount Cards
Most grocery stores offer a member discount card. Be sure to visit and sign-up for one at the customer service desk before you begin shopping. Stores will scan your card when you check out so that you get the sale prices advertised throughout the store! Some stores also offer an additional e-savings, so make sure to check for this option and link your email to your card to get these extra discounts.
5. Meal Component Prepping
Think about what you can do ahead of time or in between tasks that require minimal effort. This is a great method to use when you are really limited on availability and may not be able to prepare full meals. It’s also a fun way to utilize your study break! Prep, chop, and/or cook vegetables, fruits, and grains, and mix them together with greens and/or various proteins throughout the week to create a well-balanced meal.
This blog post was written to provide educational information only. This article should not be used as a substitute or a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health, you should always consult with your physician. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care professional before beginning any fitness regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs. The use of any information provided by this article is solely at your risk.