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Budget Meal Prep Ideas for College Students

Meal Prep can be made easy and affordable for that student life! Here are some tips and great budget meal prep ideas for college students!

hero image with 3 meal prep salads for meal prep ideas for college students

Meal planning and doing some meal prep will lower your grocery budget, get organized (hello less stress), reduce food waste, save time and energy during the week, and you will likely make healthier food choices!

Tips for Cheap Eating on a College Student Budget

  • Save money by going meatless at least once a week. 
  • Frozen fruit and veggies are a less expensive choice for items not in season. 
  • Check to see if your grocery store will price match. There are some great apps out there to help with this.

curried chickpea salad meal prep in containers

See my How to Save Money Meal Planning post for more details on this topic.

This post is full of inspiration for simple, low ingredients, no microwave, portable meal prep ideas to keep you fed, while on a college student budget!

Simple Ingredient, Easy Assembly  Breakfasts

Breakfasts that you can prep ahead of time, mean you can catch a few more minutes of sleep and not prep breakfast every single day. When I was in college, sleep seemed to always trump breakfast making! 

Here are my go to simple breakfast preps to make on Sunday, and grab all week long!

No Microwave, No Problem Lunches

Eating on the fly in between classes? Yes, I remember those days! Those days when I didn’t have access to a microwave for lunch. 

You don’t need a microwave when you have these budget friendly meals prepped for your school week!

Easy and Delicious Dinners

Pro tip – prep the ingredients for dinners on Sunday, then just assemble your dinners during the weeknight so you don’t feel like you are eating leftovers all of the time. 

Look for one pot meals, or if you have an Instant Pot, check out these one pot Instant Pot meals too

Quick and Easy Grab n Go Snacks

Skip the cafeteria and vending machines and keep your energy up all day with these budget friendly snacks! 

Kitchen Tools and Budget Meal Planning for Students

No need to be buying new, check out your local thrift store or parents basement for these “old school” favorites. 

Slow Cooker– Save money by opting for a cheaper cut of meat.  The lower heat and longer cook time will help with tenderizing it. 

Toaster Oven–  Utilize your toaster oven for baking just like you would your regular oven.  Check out sheet pan recipes to start. You will have to half recipes, but if you are feeding just yourself that that is perfect! 

Shop around and wait for sales. The most expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best product. 

Here is my list of meal prep tools that I use and love. But, don’t feel like you need all of these tools too! 

Recipe Inspiration for Budget Meal Planning

The internet is a great place to find endless budget friendly meal ideas. Check out just a few of my favorite blogs that focus on low ingredient, low cost meals! 

$5 Dinners :  Erin posts free recipes that feed her entire family for under $5

Budget Bytes I am a big fan of her “Quick” menu… hello Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stirfry and Cheesy Gnocchi Skillet!

Frugal Foodie Mama  Inexpensive meals do not need to be boring, and you can still have a great culinary experience on a budget!

Eating on a Dime  My favourite part of this blog is the “How to Save Money” section

For more recipe inspiration for meal planning on a budget, you can check this previous post out!

There you have it, tips and recipe inspiration for your college student, budget friendly meal plans! 

Let me know your tips for Meal Planning on a Budget for Students. Tag me @mealplanaddict on Instagram, or come post a photo in the Meal Plan Addict Community and inspire someone’s meal plan!

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