Getting back in the groove of things can be a rough adjustment. Those carefree summer days start to feel like a distant memory as we are faced with incredible amounts of homework, school activities and work. Trying to make time to make sure that I get three well balanced meals each day is something that often falls through the cracks. I sometimes skip breakfast in favor of getting more sleep before class. I also tend to grab Chick-fil- A for dinner when I don't want to cook. I decided to try planning out my meals for the week to see if it would make a difference in my routine. Here is what I did and what I found out at the end of the week

rice, vegetable
Sarah Teng

What I Did

Setting a plan before you head to the grocery store is always a good move. I wrote all the ingredients out ahead of time and looked online to get some quick recipe ideas. When you do this, you actually know what you want to get and you won't be as likely to buy impulse items - which you might not end up using before they go bad.

I decided to buy ingredients to make a chickpea Thai curry recipe that I could easily reheat for lunch. When I wasn't eating that, I bought ingredients for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I also bought some bananas, so I could make peanut butter and banana toast for my breakfasts.

spread, peanut, jam, butter, bread, peanut butter
Jocelyn Hsu

For dinner, I found two recipes and prepped them both on Sunday night (turkey chili and enchiladas). I made enough to feed me for the week. It was really quick and easy to prepare, as well as reheat, and I felt better about eating these meals than going out to eat fast food.

The Results

At the end of the week, I saved a lot of money on my grocery bill because I only bought the food that I needed. Also, a lot less food went to waste because I accounted for everything that I bought. The other good part was that it made cooking a whole lot faster, leaving me more time to get other things done throughout the day. So if you want to give meal planning a try, I would 10/10 recommend it. There are plenty of recipes and guides online. Pinterest is also a great resource to help you get started. I hope this #adulting hack can help you, too!

salt, cheese, salad
Karen Nolan