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How to Eat Healthy in College: Grocery Shopping List & Easy Meals

Truth be told, it’s pretty hard to eat a healthy, balanced diet in college. You have so much going on, and it can be really hard to cook a healthy meal or even make a weekly trip to the store.

 My goal is to cook a healthy meal at least once a week and save leftovers to reheat during the rest of the busy week. I have a lot of meal ideas and recipes saved on my “College Cookin” Pinterest board.

My meals typically look like this:

Breakfast – coffee + breakfast bar/oatmeal/bagel

Lunch – PB&J or PB&Honey/turkey sandwich + chips/pretzels + apple/grapes

Afternoon snack – apple/yogurt/cheese stick/nuts 

Dinner – Varies a lot, but almost always consists of a meat/protein, startch/grain, and vegetable

Like I mentioned, I aim to cook a good meal once a week. I use an Instant Pot to cook most of my meals and it is AMAZING. I highly recommend getting one for college! It’s a pressure cooker, but can also be used as a slow cooker or rice cooker (there are so many settings it’s overwhelming!). It does take some effort to learn how to use it, but it’s become my holy grail for a quick, easy, and healthy dinner. 

This was a super easy and healthy meal I made. I cooked the chicken in the instant pot, roasted veggies in the oven, and microwaved a single serving cup of quinoa. It made plenty for leftovers during the week too! 

When it comes to grocery shopping, there are a few items I buy weekly. Other items I change up each week. For example,  I always buy a type of fruit, but one week I might buy a few apples and the next week I’ll buy grapes. Same goes with vegetables! 

My grocery shopping is a little different each week, but for the most part, I buy:
• 1-2 fruits
• 1-2 vegetables
• Sandwich bread & meat
• 1 breakfast item
• 1 snack option
• 1 dessert
Ingredients I need to cook dinner (changes every week)

Another thing that helps me with my weekly grocery shopping is planning out my meals and the beginning of week. I love using a weekly meal planner to jot down my meals, and then I know exactly what I need to buy for the week! I love using this meal planner by the Little Duck Wife (click image to download). 

Something I’ve learned is that it is SO hard to buy ONLY what you need at the grocery store. A lot of the times I’ll buy an extra snack or something random that looked good to me. This isn’t the worst thing, but I do find it helpful to write down a specific list and try really hard to stick to it. Here’s an example list (again, I wouldn’t buy EVERYTHING on here. I’d pick 1-2 fruits, a protein, 1-2 veggies, etc): 

I hope this was helpful! It can be difficult to shop and cook for one person, but after a few weeks, you’ll quickly get the hang of it. 🙂 

Much love,

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