7 Quick and Affordable Meal Ideas for College Life
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When you are pressed for time and money, it can add to your stress to have to think about what you are going to eat. Luckily, we have a list of cheap dinner ideas that will save you while you are studying for that final.
Whether you’re short on time or you are strapped for cash, here are easy meals you can make on a budget.
Ramen has been a college staple for years. But did you know you can make it taste even better? Add one or two eggs while you’re cooking the noodles or add some scrambled eggs to the broth. Another option is to soft boil eggs ahead of time so you have a soft yolk with the noodles. Adding soy sauce and Asian style hot sauce will give it a little kick!
2. Mac and Cheese
No, you don’t have to buy mac and cheese in the box! You just need milk, elbow macaroni, sharp cheddar cheese, onion powder and dry mustard powder to make 6 servings with this recipe. Add canned tuna if you want some protein in your meal. It refrigerates well, so you can make it ahead of time and eat it through the week.
3. Loaded Baked Potatoes
One of my personal favorites, potatoes are a really inexpensive way to get filling food. Add butter, cheese, salt and pepper for a basic baked potato. If you have chicken or bacon on hand, you can really load it up. The possibilities are endless.
4. Beans and Rice
Beans and rice is a staple for a reason. Beans and rice are both cheap, and it’ll fill you up while giving you protein and nutrients. There are also so many variations, such as red beans and rice, black beans and rice, and even refried beans and rice. Add shredded cheese and salsa for a cheap burrito bowl.
5. Tuna Salad
Every college student should have canned tuna on hand. It is cheap, packed with protein and it’s really filling. Tuna salad is really delicious when you add chopped veggies with almonds like this recipe, but if you’re short on time (and cash), mixing mayonnaise with tuna will be just fine. Serve as a sandwich or with crackers for a quick meal.
6. Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Chicken Alfredo is a perfect meal if you like to get a $5 rotisserie chicken. It’s already cooked and seasoned, so all you need is the noodles and Alfredo sauce. If you like to cook, Alfredo sauce is relatively simple to make as all you need is butter, garlic, heavy cream, pepper and Parmesan cheese as shown in this recipe. But for those extra short on time, you can purchase Alfredo sauce at the grocery store.
Spaghetti is a college student staple for a reason. Pasta sauce and noodles are both cheap, and there is so much variety for sauces and noodles that you can try endless combinations. Add meatballs or ground beef to give it extra protein and flavor.
If you find that you love cooking and you are looking to learn more elaborate recipes, check out a cooking related MasterClass such as Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking II: Restaurant Recipes at Home.
It can be really challenging to figure out what to eat on a budget and with limited time, but these suggestions will help you make it through your college career. They might just become your favorite meals!
- “Homemade One Pot Mac and Cheese.” - https://www.fivehearthome.com/homemade-one-pot-macaroni-cheese/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=848413108_35702342_267507
- “Tuna Salad Recipe.” - https://natashaskitchen.com/tuna-salad-recipe/?utm_term=salad+recipes&utm_campaign=8481602826
- “How to Make Alfredo Sauce as Good as Your Favorite Italian Restaurant” - https://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-make-alfredo-sauce/?utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=bhg_bhg_5433269&utm_content=standard_topweekly&utm_term=comfortfood_202001
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