Being a junior this semester was not the only change upon coming back to school this fall. Instead, living in Founders (the on-campus apartments) was definitely quite a new and exciting experience itself! Thus far, it has been a good eye opener as to what living more independently is like. With that, comes the responsibility of feeding yourself. Oh yes, the joy of squeezing in grocery shopping, prepping meals, and cooking within your already packed schedule. However, I want you to know that although a daunting task (especially for someone who may not cook often), it is definitely doable and I am going to tell you a couple ways that you can go about it.
The first way, and what seems to be the most popular, it taking turns in your apartment with who cooks. This can sometimes serve to be quite convenient as roommates can work around their schedules with who cooks meals on what nights and etc. Everyone can then also split the prices on the meals that are shared, with the extra food someone may want just for themselves being paid for by that person. Since everyone doesn’t have the same taste, your roommates can create a list of meals that you all like. To accommodate for the different food interests that everyone has, you could leave one or two nights open for everyone to make their own meal. Another idea is to make lunch always an individual meal and just make dinner shared. In the end, it all depends on what the agreed on best way is to do it.
The second way to go about it is really just to make it solely an individual task. For instance, I have a couple food sensitivities that prevent me from eating many different things. So in my case, I would make my own meals so that my roommates would not have to adjust what they eat based on me. Luckily in my case, though, I have one roommate who can’t eat a lot of the same foods so we split the meals and prices completely.
Now, just some additional advice-
- Get a Cosco membership-if you have an extra membership card floating around at home that isn’t getting used-have it switched under your name so you can buy in bulk! With also means less trips to the store and hence less trips to the gas station.
- Pinterest is a great place to find recipes as well as Foodnetwork!
- If you plan to cook from scratch, which I highly recommend doing as much as possible as you will feel better and more satisfied than if you eat mainly frozen and processed foods, then stock up on spices right from the beginning. They can be quite pricey, but then you will be covered for almost any recipe you may want to make.
- Consider bringing your own mini fridge as it will give you room to store some of your own food since the fridge that comes with the apartment will have limited space when sharing with three other roommates
- Take advantage of your freezer- dedicating a day to cooking meals in advance and then freezing them is a great way to save time and stress during your week when you only have to grab a meal out of the freezer and heat it up
- Invest in a Crockpot – the crockpot is another time saver as you can leave it cooking all day, and then when you get back from classes, practice, or etc. your meal is hot and ready to eat!