Letís be honest, when was the last time youíve put something in the oven or the microwave that wasnít last nightís pizza? Students donít really have time (or will power) to cook.
We feel you, we really do. However students are poor and takeaways are expensive – do you and your wallet a favour and start meal prepping! Itís cheap, it keeps you healthy, and it helps you have food on the go so you can spend more time procrastinating studying.
Set aside a few hours on the weekend to do a big shop, buy some tupperware and letís get started!
What you need:
- A few hours on a Saturday or Sunday
- Shopping list
- (a lot of) Tupperware
- Mason jars (if youíre a salad person)
- A blender
Breakfast – Frozen Smoothie Meal Prep
These will last you all week! Shop at markets to find good deals on fruit and veggies and just blend them all up. Then put the smoothie in a ziplock bag, stash it in the freezer, and take it out every morning. These are amazing if youíre not a breakfast person – just grab a smoothie container and take it with you to lectures. Tip – buy veggies in bulk to save money and use some in other recipes.
Our favorite frozen smoothie recipes:
Snack – Hummus with Crackers or Carrots
Hummus is one of the cheapest dips you can find in a supermarket, but a delicious one when combined with crackers or carrots – depending how far youíre willing to go with this whole health thing. You can pack those in tupperware, and just take a bite whenever youíre low on energy during the day.
No recipe required!
Lunch #1 – Spaghetti Bolognese
You canít really go wrong with spag-bol. Itís a student diet staple, so why not make it in bulk and eat it for a few days? Itís quick and simple to make and we all know pasta wonít hurt your budget. Whip up a basic dish with spaghetti, minced beef, a few spices, and a tomato sauce – if your budget permits, go wild, add some onions, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese.
Our favorite spaghetti bolognese recipes:
Lunch #2 – Pasta Bake
Hereís another recipe that takes less than 50 minutes to make, but itís safe to eat it for at least a couple of days. If you get tired of your bolognese, spice it up with this amazing pasta bake. As a bonus point, you can use the same ingredients and with some extra cheese (because letís be honest, who doesnít love cheese?).
Our favorite pasta bake recipes:
Healthy option – Mason Jar Salads
Salads are cheap and healthy – thereís no reason why students shouldnít add them to your meal prep. If nothing else, theyíre a perfect option when youíre stuck waiting for payday so you can afford your next round of grocery shopping – they last for more than 5 days! The concept is pretty easy – grab a few mason jars and stuff them with your favorite salad ingredients. Start with the dressing, then add the veggies, greens and protein. Thereís no limit!
Our favorite mason jar salad recipes:
Dinner (or breakfast) – Burritos
Burritos are easy to store for a long time and theyíre by far one of the most delicious things that ever existed. Seriously, thank you for burritos. Theyíre easy to make and totally budget-friendly. Get some mince (or make chicken in a slow cooker), veggies, and wrap them all up in a tortilla. Grab some tin foil, and store them in your fridge or freezer. They can last you for a whole week and are ridiculously cheap.
Our favorite burrito recipes:
And thatís it! We recommend getting inspired by some of the best meal preppers out there – we love browsing through #mealprep for some inspiration. It might seem overwhelming, but donít worry – once you get into it, youíll realize youíre actually saving a lot more money (and learning a cooking skill or two). Take that, takeaways!
A few extra tips for student meal prep:
- Browse through recipe websites like Yummly to save time.
- Buy in bulk – you can never have enough pasta!
- Invest in quality containers – theyíll keep your food fresh for longer.
- Add spices to have a good variety.
- Stick to your shopping list (and donít go grocery shopping when hungry)!
- Use a slow cooker and let your meat and veggies cook without worrying about them.
- Switch things up – food doesnít have to be boring.
Donít forget to show us your best meal prep results – weíd love to see what you come up with! Got an idea for a recipe? Share it with us and weíll add it to the list!