Meal prepping saves students time and money

Meal prepping has been used in households for years, but it has recently become a popular way for people to control their portions and plan out their week of lunches and dinners. It’s a great alternative for cooking individual meals three times a day, seven days a week. Most people are hesitant to start this process because it can be intimidating for beginners, but once you get the hang of it, you can make yourself healthier and happier.

  On Wednesday, Feb. 6, all Sonoma State University students are invited to a Meal Prep Workshop, hosted by Sonoma State’s TRiO-SSS program. The “SSS” preceding TRiO stands for Student Support Services, which has a goal of increasing the college retention and graduation rates of its participants. 

TRiO programs are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to “identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds,” according to the Pre-Collegiate Programs page on the Sonoma State website. 

TRiO consists of eight different programs “targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.” said the U.S Department of Education TRiO web page.

Those involved with putting on this event include Brianna Bjarnson and Erica Arambula, both being in the TRiO-SSS program here at Sonoma State. 

“As a president in TRiO, students have shared their struggles similar to mine and to be able to have a voice and share my story is rewarding because I know many people will benefit from it,” Arambula said. “TRiO is for low income and first generation students and many of them are still discovering college life.”

  If meal prepping sparks your interest, the benefits of the activity will draw you in even further. 

First of all, you will most likely spend less time throughout the week preparing individual meals, which means you can use that extra time for things you enjoy. By making all of your lunches and dinners for the upcoming week on Sunday, for example, all you need to do is take them out of the fridge and heat them up when it’s time to eat. 

You’ll know exactly what you’re going to be eating for lunch instead of taking that tempting trip to the nearest drive-thru. Also, wasting food won’t even be an option since you’ll be using all of the ingredients you buy for the meals you eat during the week. 

Preparing your meals will also bring some variety to your dinners, and you can try different recipes to find what you like the best.

“I’ve only been officially meal prepping for two or three years, but I absolutely love it,” said Bjarnson. “During periods where I’m really consistent with it, I feel the best and I have less stress because I don’t have to scramble to figure out lunch or breakfast at the last minute, which wastes money and ends up being less nutritious and satisfying.”

  Sophomore Jordyn Vehmeyer has recently had her eye on meal prepping and said her mother actually participates in it. 

“I would definitely be interested in it simply because it saves additional trips to the grocery store and unnecessary eating out, as well as a good way to manage what you eat on a regular basis,” says Vehmeyer.

Bjarnson said beyond providing a cost-effective way for students to feed themselves, the goal is to promote a healthy life-style, “but bringing everyone together to support that goal is the best part.”

This workshop is free and an opportunity for you to get ideas for meals and even taste-test some delicious food as well. From 6 – 7 p.m., all are welcome to attend the event, located in Salazar Hall Room 1040.