Real Answers from Real Pilots

Eating habits while at ATP housing

Hi, so I already reserved a starting date for October, and besides studying the kings school modules and reading the handbooks that ATP sent me, I’ve been also trying to plan my eating habits, I know it might sound strange, but this is my situation… I’ve been living with my parents since the day I was born, and never left my house for more than 2 weeks. Now almost 22 years old private pilot, something that I have to think about before moving to ATP housing, is, asking my self, 'will I be cooking everyday,? Will I just go to a restaurant or call and order food?.. I cook at my house but is really basic, my amazing mother is the cheff of the house, so I don’t get to cook much. My question is for those that used ATP housing option. How did you guys manage your eating habits, did you all just go to restaurants, cook In the apparent, or a combination of both?. I just want to have an idea, so I can arrive more prepared.

I still live with my parents for training but I’m there most days so I usually bring lunch or stuff to heat up since we have a microwave. Personally I’d probably get things that are easy to cook, basically college food like ramen or something, sandwich’s things that are nice and easy


It is not a strange question at all, I was in the exact same situation when I went to ATP. Eating out can get really expensive, really quickly. I basically got a bunch of frozen meals and would cook them for my meals. If you go to the frozen section in your grocery store, you will find a whole plethora of them to chose from. It isn’t exactly fine dining, but they get the job done.



Budget, appetite, skill and desire will lead you. If money’s not an issue eating out is fast and easy. Problem is there will be some long days and you may just want to hurry home or sometimes you just don’t feel like eating out. I have no doubt you’ll figure something out and maybe even get adventurous. The internet is a wonderful tool and cooking really isn’t that difficult. Def easier than flying a plane.


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Thank you!..any opinion helps, and is not that I’m lazy and want everything serve in front of me, but I’m considering the time it will take me to cook a full healthy meal to keep my brains neurons active so I can absorb everything I’m learning VS the time I could spend studying instead of cooking that daily healthy food …instead I could get the frozen food Use the microwave and get it over with. I might be exaggerating because is my first time in this situation, but like Adam said, I’ll find a way to deal with this.


Just promise me that you’ll eat more than donuts and a monster for breakfast!


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Ok what’s wrong with donuts and a Monster? That is literally my first flight of the day go to! :slight_smile:

McDs burritos, LIH fried rice or a 7/11 musubi will also do the trick.


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I’m not going to lie, this is probably one of the toughest areas to manage well during your time as a student (and especially an instructor). I subsided on a lot of canned and microwaveable goods. My roommates generally either cooked for a couple of days in advance or prepared something simple nightly. Be mindful that if you’re sharing an apartment with up to 5 other hungry individuals, kitchen and fridge space is at a premium and you may not have the liberty of making large meals and storing them for a week ahead. Right now a couple of my fellow instructors use meal prep services like Freshly to get their meals delivered weekly, and bring and store their frozen lunches at work. Our ATP location had a fridge, microwave, and plenty of strong FBO coffee to keep you going during the day.

I would recommend a crockpot. There are thousands of really simple recipes on the internet that only require a few simple ingredients.

In college I would prep at night, throw all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning, and by the time you get home you have dinner for the next 4 days waiting for you. Best part, you only have one pot to clean.


I go with Diet Coke. Nothing starts the day out better than fizzy caffeine.



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Definitely prep your meals. I would have saved soooo much money if I had done so. Make stuff that will last a few days (lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, tacos, roasted chicken, roast). Plus eating home-made stuff will just make you feel better overall.

My breakfast is generally just pop-tarts and a piece of fruit though

Thank you all for the opinions… seems like I don’t have to worry much about breakfast, but I thought it was the most important meal of the day? :grin: … anyways, I will start watching those MasterChef episodes.

Hi all,

I’m not a pilot, but I was a stay-at-home mom for a long time before going back to work full time for a government agency. I, too, had to figure out how to eat without blowing all my money in the cafeteria or eating junk from the vending machines. Zachary has it right. Prep your meals, freeze/refrigerate appropriately, and take out as needed. It makes for a bit of work on the weekends, but it is well worth it in the long run, both bodily and monetarily.

Zachary, you can do the same thing with breakfasts, by the way. I make five vegetable/cheese omelets on Sundays and freeze them in individual sandwich bags. I pull one out each night and place in the fridge (so it’s not a rock in the morning). Heat up in the microwave in the morning, and you have a healthy breakfast! Pop Tarts have a shelf life of, like, 800 years, just behind Twinkies, so do some prep! Your body will thank you. :slight_smile:



Everytime I eat a Twinkie (which is often) my body thanks me! :slight_smile:


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…and 1000 years in the future when archaeologists discover Adam’s perfectly preserved remains, people will wonder what glorious elixir kept him intact all this time. In trying to replicate the formula, which will be reconstituted from DNA fragments and an accidental stray thread from a Yankees ball cap, scientists will create an incendiary concoction whose mere proximity to the chemical signature in Adam’s desiccated body will result in a thermonuclear explosion.

A cautionary tale, Zachary! Prep your food! :smiley:

Perfect! I always wanted to be famous and now I know my legacy is assured! :slight_smile:)




I myself mostly cook my own meals, I honestly can’t imagine going back to college eating habits at the age of 37, :joy:.

No offense to any age group, but I have observed several younger students who either don’t seem to know how to cook, or just don’t want to take the time.

I am a big fan of meal prepping, and usually do it weekly on Sunday/Mondays, for lunch and dinner for the week. There are plenty of quick, easy, mostly healthy, and affordable options out there (think things like casseroles, skillet meals, or pasta/rice dishes.) One of my favorite sites is As Anderson also mentioned, the crock pot can be your friend.

As one example, I made a simple noodle dish with ground pork, vegetables, and a simple sauce last week, it yielded 5 servings (lunch for the whole week :grinning:), at a cost of $2.07 per meal, as well as a simple meatloaf dinner that yielded 4 meals at $4.26 each.

That’s 9 meals for less than $28.

I heard more than one student, who eat a lot of Chick-fil-A type meals, spending $10-12 a whack, complaining recently they were out of money for food; two actually had to call the finance folks and ask for more money on their loan, and I heard another student this morning on the phone with her father asking for more money for food.

Not trying to scare you, lol, but with a little simple planning, that DOES NOT need to take significant time away from flying/studying or drain the bank, it can easily be done. :grinning:

7-11??? They let you live in Hawaii and talk like that? LOL. Somewhere and ABC store manager is crying.