Budgeting Lifestyle

College Student Meal Prepping Recipes on a Budget

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

While being a college student, there’s not a lot of time to cook meals every night between classes, studying for those classes, and having a social life. Healthy food can be pricey and meal plans cost thousands of dollars each year. Certain colleges and universities require students who live on campus to purchase a meal plan. While students who live off campus tend to purchase quick, easy meals like ramen noodles or microwavable foods. I’ll admit, I was guilty of doing this last year. However, this year I really began to enjoy cooking and wanted to eat healthier. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of groceries per month for one person ranges from $165 to $345. In this article, I’m going to explain to you how I grocery shop on a budget. I’m also going to share with you some of my favorite meals and their recipes!

It’s hard to find healthy food on a budget as well as the time to cook it. That’s why I love to meal prep each week!  My Sundays in college consist of grocery shopping and preparing my meals for the coming week! When I grocery shop, I tend to stick to the store brand because it’s usually the cheapest. I also have a membership at my grocery store in order to be eligible for the discounts! Below are some of my favorite meal prepping recipes that are both healthy AND budget friendly.

*** The prices do not include taxes or membership discounts. ***

BREAKFAST

Overnight Oats

I LOVE overnight oats! They’re so easy to make. It’s basically oatmeal, but instead of baking it, you soak the raw oats in milk! Here is my favorite overnight oats recipe and the prices of the ingredients that I pay:

What You’ll Need:

  • Store Brand Old-Fashioned Oats: $1.69
  • Store Brand Unsweetened Almond Milk: $2.79
  • Store Brand Chia Seeds (Optional): $3.49
  • Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt: $3.69
  • Maple Syrup (Optional): $2.79
  • Strawberries: $3.33

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of syrup
  • ¼ cup of diced strawberries

Directions:

Combine and mix ingredients into a mason jar or container with a lid. Let the container sit in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight (I let it sit overnight). In the mornings, I like to warm it up in the microwave for 1 minute. I also add more yogurt, syrup, and strawberries to top it off! It’s quick, easy, and only 315 calories!

LUNCH

Turkey Spinach Wraps

What You’ll Need:

  • Mission Carb Spinach Tortilla Wraps: $5.39
  • Fresh Turkey Slices: $3.33
  • Cheese Slices (I use Swiss): $2.29
  • Spinach: $2.50

Directions:

Combine as much of the ingredients you would like onto the Spinach Tortilla Wrap and enjoy! Super healthy and budget friendly!

DINNER

Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice

What You’ll Need:

  • Nature’s Promise Chicken Breasts: $6.74
  • Broccoli: $2.79
  • Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Rice: $2.00

Directions:

Season and cook the chicken to your liking. Steam the broccoli and microwave the rice! Simple, healthy and it’s definitely not time consuming!

I also like to buy Quaker’s Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes for $3.29 and Fiber One Cinnamon Bars for $2.50 to have as snacks!

The total amount comes to: $48.61 (not including taxes or membership discounts).

I’ll prepare these meals on a Sunday so I don’t have to worry about cooking during the rest of the week! It not only saves me time and money, but it also gives me more time to study, go to the gym, and hang out with my friends! If you’ve never tried meal prepping, I would highly recommend doing so! I really enjoy it!

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Riverview Bank, Member FDIC

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