Tips on Meal Planning

New students often struggle with the concept of grocery shopping/meal planning in college. The most common excuses are that it’s too expensive, they have no time or they simply just don’t know how.

Many students can easily spend between $15-60+ a week eating out. Therefore saying that purchasing healthier foods at the grocery store is too expensive isn’t really an excuse. Instead of paying $10.00 for a meal from a fast food restaurant, you can reduce the costs to $2.00 by making the decision to cook at home. It’s a good idea to try and limit yourself to eating out 1-2 nights a week.

If you’re wanting to make healthier decisions when grocery shopping but have no clue where to start, here are a few helpful tips to follow:

·         Don’t drink your calories. Drinks heavy in calories can catch up to you fast.

·         Buy produce that’s in season.

·         Try avoiding red meats. Chicken has a great supply of protein content and                    isn’t as expensive as other meats.

·         Stick to foods that are made from whole grains.

Meal planning is not as difficult as it seems. If you’re someone who’s on a tight schedule, meal planning one night a week will be able to save you a lot of time for when you’re on the go. Start off by organizing a dietary plan for yourself so that you have something to follow along and stick to. When it comes time for you to grocery shop, make sure you do it at a time where you aren’t hungry. Always bring a list with you. Be sure to check out student discounts and coupons at your local grocery store as well, to help reduce the cost. Once you’ve gotten your groceries you can start planning your meals for the next two weeks.