Preparing for Life after College

It may be difficult to ditch the convenience of the dining courts as a college student and transition into cooking for yourself but Purdue student Jacob Leffler said it’s easy to make a meal plan and save money cooking, even with the stress of college life.

Leffler enjoyed the dining courts his freshman year but with an interest in cooking and love for food he decided to begin cooking for himself as a sophomore. He admitted that it is not always easy, but did say he likes cooking for himself much better.

“I may plan a meal one night and then my schedule for the week changes so I do not have time to cook it, so I am scrambling to cook it or end up grabbing food at a fast food restaurant,” Leffler said. “It is difficult especially if you have meals that are time consuming and it is hard to find meals that are quick.

He stated he finds his recipes all over the internet, some of his favorite recipes are from scrolling through Facebook and finding TastyTasty videos and from watching the Food Network on TV.

“I would suggest making a meal plan,” Leffler said. “It definitely makes it easier so you do not have to think about what you are cooking every night and you can use your plan to create your grocery list.”

Although Leffler creates his meal plans in the notes of his phone after finding recipes, I found five different apps that can help you save time and money with recipes and planning your meals:

  1. MealPlan Meal and Grocery Planner
  2. Yummly
  3. AnyList
  4. Pepper Plate
  5. Mealboard

After you have the recipe and have bought the ingredients for your meal, the next step is preparation. Leffler said that, “it is really difficult to cook for one person and I definitely struggle with it.”


If you are struggling to cook for yourself, there are many sites to find recipes for one and Purdue even offers classes for students to learn various recipes, explore different ingredients and prepare for life after college with their demonstration kitchens in the Co-Rec.

After interviewing Jacob Leffler, he shared his meal plan with me for the week. He stated that during busy school weeks he will make a recipe for two and save half of it for the next day. It may take some planning, time and courage to cook for yourself but Leffler says he enjoys it much better than eating at the dining courts and at restaurants all of the time.


Week of: February 26 – March 4




Quesadillas, Guacamole


Quesadillas, Guacamole


Orange Chicken, Rice


Orange Chicken, Rice


Panko-crusted Tilapia, Broccoli


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce



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