Living the dorm life and eating healthy on a budget can be a little tricky at times. Thankfully  meal plans exist; but when that isn’t available, budgeting for food is crucial to staying healthy and stress free.

Plan ahead. Failure to plan your meals or grocery lists ahead of time could get you in trouble. You might end up spending more money than you need or buying unnecessary food. This will lead to wasting food and the possibility of not eating the healthiest. Set aside a day of the week to plan out your meals, grocery shop, and meal prep. Sundays may work best to jump start the rest of you week. If Sunday doesn’t work for you, choose any other day that best fits your schedule.

Set a budget for groceries on a weekly or monthly basis. Sticking to a budget for groceries will help you with your finances and will also keep you stress free when it comes to buying food. Staying on budget will allow you to spend your money on other activities and entertainment.

Purchase items that you use often in bulk. If you know of an item that you use on a regular basis, go to Costco or a similar store and purchase it in bulk. This will save you money over time, because most things in bulk are a little cheaper. This will also save you time, because you will not have to continuously have to go to the grocery store to purchase those items.

Cook in bulk. Finding recipes you can cook for an entire week will save you so much time. Because you may have a hectic schedule with school and work, not having to worry about cooking meals for lunch and breakfast will be a relief. If you need to eat something quickly or need to eat lunch on the go, you have that option with pre-prepped meals. Find recipes that do not contain a large amount of items—the fewer the ingredients, the cheaper it is.

Happy meal prepping!

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