I am a full-time college student that works 30 hours a week. What this means is that I am 1 of a million people that has to find the time and budget to eat. Plenty of us know the struggle. Getting home at 7 p.m. or later, passing 100 drive thrus, 50 of which are McDonalds, and telling yourself to save your pennies for another day. Unfortunately, that means you go home, shove a couple hostess snacks into your mouth and decide to starve, or have cereal—neither of which will help you sleep.
There are a lot of people that say you shouldn’t eat past a certain time at night, but if you believe in Jillian Michaels you’ll be happy to hear she debunks that myth. Another concern might be the “if I eat before bed it all turns to fat” debacle. While that is a possibility, it is not necessarily true. Most agree that waiting an hour after eating before going to sleep can significantly reduce risks linked to the habit.
On an average day of the week, I may get home by 10 p.m. and need to be awake no later than 6:30 a.m. Unfortunately this is a common circumstance when people have multiple jobs, responsibilities, or are commuters. When planning your meals it means you must consider, how much time you have to cook, how much time you have to wait, and how much time you have to sleep.
An article in Time says adults who sleep between 6.5 and 7.5 hours a night live the longest. While I know I will not reach immortality by going to bed at 9 p.m. I still want to take care of myself in the long run. Therefore, I know I need to be finished cooking and eating by 11p.m. so I can have an hour before going to sleep and get 6.5 hours of sleep.
So, you’re probably wondering, how?
How does one eat and cook every night of the week on a budget, with only an hour? Lucky for you, I don’t just tell you about your problems, I offer solutions!
- Pick a weekly meat: it might get a little boring, but I have a sample week using ground turkey to show you how little you can spend using this method, and how creative you can get.
- Get straight to it. Walk in the door and cook. You will get to relax as soon as your food is in the oven, or your plate is made. Then you will have an hour after eating to worry about other things.
- Learn to use your leftovers. Rice from a meal with rice and beef becomes the rice in a stuffed bell pepper, and the rice in fried rice, and so on.
- Plan in advance, and become a recipe collector. Find recipes that correspond with things you already have at home.
- Have a fall back meal. Always have ingredients on hand for a meal you don’t mind eating daily!