Stuff Every Graduate Should Know: Make a Meal Plan Like a Boss

Posted by Alyssa Favreau

Planning all the meals you'll eat for a week can save you a long and pizza-heavy transition period after your dining hall life. Excerpted from Stuff Every Graduate Should Know, here are some tips about creating a meal plan and how to go grocery shopping like an adult:


You're out in the real world now, which means you're a very busy adult. You work, you come home. Pizza is easy, and delicious, but there is another way. Draw a diagram, use the calendar feature on your phone, or use an actual factual calendar, and determine when you will have time to shop and cook. If you're home only a few nights a week, plan to cook large meals that keep for several day (like stews and curries) and portion them out for the week.


Eat Healthy

Try to focus on fruits and veggies (remember: the darker the color the more nutrient-rich the food is), and whole grains, plus lean meats, fish, beans, eggs. Nuts are a great source for protein and dairy products(such as cheese–which can be found on pizza), as you well know, are a great source for calcium. And try to use as few saturated and trans fats as possible (guess that rules out pizza).

You don't have to swear off junk food forever, but try to offset Friday's delicious pizza and beer with meals full of leafy greens.


Let Reality Set In

Let's be realistic for a moment: you might not get home early enough to make that roast chicken or you might be a terrible cook and burn your food, so stock up on quick meal options. 

The best quick meal options are left overs! Make double batches of recipes and freeze them for later. You can also pack a small lunch-sized portion while you are cleaning up and the next day's midday meal is taken care of.



Based on your meal plan, create a shopping list and make sure to include any staples you might be running low (ie milk, bread, peanut butter, jelly, pizza…) Having this list will make grocery shopping go a lot faster and will also keep you making an impulse purchase (like that 5 lbs bag of Reese's Cups… we won't judge you if you share). Remember to stock up on staples that don't spoil quickly such as rice, coffee, and flour.