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Top 5 College Foods - Ramen Noodles Anyone?

Updated on December 25, 2012


College students know what is cheap, delicious, and available. You have to when you are living on such a tight budget. I am providing you with my list of the top 5 College foods. My choices are based on popularity, cost, and nutrition. While I tried to make nutrition important in this list, it is by no means a health food list. Let the rating begin!

Ramen Noodles - Cheap, but little nutritional value.
Ramen Noodles - Cheap, but little nutritional value.

#5. Ramen Noodles:

When it comes to college food, I would be naïve to omit Ramen Noodles. Why did it get 5th place when it is usually number one on these types of lists? Ramen Noodles are notoriously cheap, but they offer little in the way of nutrition. Ramen noodles are great in moderation, but should not be lived on. Ramen Noodles are not a glamorous food, but I think all college students can relate to the Ramen Noodle budget.

Another reason that I put Ramen Noodles on the list is that they are versatile as it can be eaten as a soup, or by simply draining the water before adding the seasoning you can eat it as a more flavorful pasta dish.

Hotdogs, cheap and good.
Hotdogs, cheap and good.

#4. Hotdogs:

Brought to America by a German, the Hot Dog quickly became one of the iconic foods of America. The hot dog is cheap, delicious, and portable. These are some of the reasons why it is such a popular college food. It's nice to be able to buy a pack of hot dogs and hot dog buns and be able to eat for a few days for less than $1.00 a meal!

The hot dog also offers one thing that no other food on this list will allow: The ability to cook out. College students love football games and tailgating, and that's what college's are known for; the hot dog makes this possible at an affordable price.

Chef Boyardee - American Icon and College Staple.
Chef Boyardee - American Icon and College Staple.

#3. Chef Boyardee:

Another American icon, and the often used insult to a chef, Chef Boyardee is on our list at number three. Each can averages less than a dollar and they have a surprising amount of nutrition for that price! Don't tell college students this though, they like the cheap price and the relatively good taste. Chef Boyardee offers a variety of foods on a shoestring budget, although most of the varieties are the same ingredients just repackaged.

Chef Boyardee is on this list because it is cheap, tastes good, and offers a more than fair amount of nutrition for the price.

Macaroni and cheese, cheap, delicious, and nostalgic.  This is #2 on my list of top 5 college foods.
Macaroni and cheese, cheap, delicious, and nostalgic. This is #2 on my list of top 5 college foods.

#2. Macaroni & Cheese:

Nearly every American has had some form of Macaroni and Cheese. The most famous is obviously Kraft's Macaroni and Cheese in the blue box. Macaroni and cheese is a great college food in that it's very affordable, it offers a modest amount of nutrition, mainly because milk is a required ingredient and it has enriched properties. Macaroni and Cheese is undoubtedly a hugely popular college food.

Hot Pockets offer unrivaled variety, portability, and convenience for a college student at a great price.
Hot Pockets offer unrivaled variety, portability, and convenience for a college student at a great price.

#1. Hot Pockets:

For the college student with a couple of dollars in the piggy bank there is the legendary Hot Pocket. Many people poke fun at Hot Pockets, but they offer an almost unrivaled taste for the price. Very few foods offer the convenience, portability, and flavor selection of the Hot Pocket.

Now being manufactured by Nestle, Hot Pockets are now available to college students in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain.


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    • lauralolita profile image

      lauralolita 8 years ago from Florida

      Great List Debris! I'm kind of glad you didn't put Ramen Noodles as Number 1. They're so bad for you!

    • debris profile image

      debris 8 years ago from Florida

      I took a different angle with this article because many like to cover this topic without addressing the health aspect. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


    • Chris1|Chris2 profile image

      Chris1|Chris2 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      A brand of mac & cheese I especially like (and actually see quite frequently in a variety of grocery stores now) is Annie's Macaroni & Cheese. If you haven't had it before, I recommend you try it. It's fairly healthy, made with natural and organic ingredients and isn't expensive at all.

    • debris profile image

      debris 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Chris,

      I'll have to check that out sometime. Does it have its own unique taste or is it similar to the Kraft stuff, just healthier?


    • MelissaWood profile image

      MelissaWood 7 years ago

      Man, someone should talk about cheap foods for vegetarians. Oh, and the lactose intolerant. Haha. Maybe I will.

    • MickS profile image

      MickS 7 years ago from March, Cambridgeshire, England

      no wonder the standard of education is dropping if the people we pin our future hopes on are eating this sort of junk.

    • profile image

      Nigger 6 years ago

      just add some spices to the ramen and it'll taste better :I

      i add curry powder to mine. i'll be going to colledge next year.

    • pbsandwichofdoom profile image

      pbsandwichofdoom 6 years ago

      Really, plain old fruit from the produce section is a cheap option. People always seem to think that eating healthy is expensive, but a piece of fruit like an apple usually costs a few cents, is just as portable as a hot dog, and is full of fiber and vitamins. Good article, though. You hit a lot of the really iconic college foods for people on a shoestring budget.

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