So you're finally living in an apartment. Great! There are a lot of perks to apartment living, especially as a college student. Ideally, living in an apartment means that you can do more cooking and less eating out, but what should you cook? What tools and foods do you need?
Sometimes it's hard to determine what foods you could feasibly make and what materials you'd need to make them. You don't want to overbuy on food, but you also don't want to underbuy and end up eating out anyway. It's a balance.
To help you find this balance, I've determined a handful of tips and tricks for navigating cooking in your first apartment.
1. Meal prep
Plan your meals out! Decide what you're going to cook before the week even starts and then determine what foods you'll need to make those meals. Don't plan too many meals, but instead, split up portions so you can cook once and eats two or three times!
2. Pots and pans
Almost anything you make will require you to use pots and pans. Just buy some. Or figure out with your roommates who is bringing what and share the pots and pans and the cost. Also, remember to bring other things like cookie sheets and cutting boards.
3. Buy small
You can always buy more. When buying food, especially perishable items like fruit or bread, don't buy too much. These things can go bad quickly, so don't' buy more than you know you'll eat.
4. Budget for eating out
You probably don't have to cut eating out completely out of your budget, but figure out how many times you can eat out a week, and budget for it. This will ensure you don't have to cook every single night.
5. Share your food
If you make a big meal, don't feel like you have to eat it all! Share with your roommates and odds are next time they cook, they'll share with you too.
6. Invest in Tupperware
If you plan to make food and save it for another day, which you should, you're going to need to have Tupperware. Buy a pack and keep it for any time you need to save that food for later.
7. Freeze it
Another thing to do with excess food is freeze it. If you make a bug meal and can't eat it all, freeze half. That way, if you have a night that you're short on time to cook, you can pull out a meal from the freezer and heat it up! Voila. Instant dinner.
8. Keep a list
Keep a running grocery list on your fridge of items you are running low on. Keeping it in the kitchen will ensure that you don't forget to add an item to your list. If you are in the kitchen are realize you are short on something, add it to the list.
While cooking in an apartment can be quite a bit of work, if you are well equipped and plan your meals well, it should be a breeze!