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Cheap Meals for College Students

Updated on December 23, 2009

Back when I was a college student, it was common for kids to live on Ramen noodles and spend whatever food allowance they were earning/receiving on far, far less important things like music, movies and beer. And other things I won't get into as I'm sure your imagination can sort that bit out. Anyway. Ramen was a way of life for years and years and it's got to be one the nastiest, unpalatable and boring diets out there. If you're a poor uni student and need to eat like one, there are better things to spend your money on to at least provide you with some variety. Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, you may want to invest in one of the following items for your kid before sending them off to college.

Grilled Cheese

This is pretty damned cheap, and you don't even need a stove or frying pan to sort it out. You can get you one of those spiffy sandwich makers and keep it in your dorm room. You can make grilled cheese or you can get all fancy and spice it up and make other things in them as well. They are very affordable and the cleanup is easy -- no washing required! Bread and cheese are pretty cheap and you won't stink like Ramen when you're done eating it.

Cold Tuna Casserole

You need to be able to boil pasta for this one and if you have the means, this is a tasty little dish that will feed you for days and days. Personally, I never get tired of this cold tuna casserole recipe and you can adapt it as you see fit by adding or taking away certain ingredients. You can also make it as healthy or fattening as you like (the latter tastes the best, obviously!)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Plain ordinary spaghetti with plain ordinary spaghetti sauce gets very dull and boring very quickly. The secret to keeping it tasty is to use meat sauce and Parmesan cheese. All of these ingredients will last you a few days at least and it will be tasty yummy good. If you're really frugal you may want to get yourself a pasta machine.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

An oldie but a goodie. They do not eat peanut butter where I live and most Europeans find the idea of mixing peanut butter and jelly to be rather disgusting, but we know how good it tastes, right? You just need a fridge for the jelly.

Cereal and Milk

I ate a lot of this in college and I still do. If you want to be healthy you can buy cereals like Bran Flakes or Corn Flakes or Muslix, etc. If you want to be a fat cow then you can do like me and only buy things like Cookie Crisp and Honey Smacks.

Spring Rolls

You don't need to cook anything for this Vietnamese spring roll recipe, but you do need to be able to boil water (a tea kettle will do). This is yummy and cheap and is a very healthy way to fill up!

Steamed rice and chicken

Make you some rice (get a rice maker and make it easily!) and fry up small pieces of chicken and then season it with your favorite spices. If you're really hungry, combine it with the spring rolls and have a proper Asian dinner!


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