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How to Cook For Yourself While in College

Updated on December 20, 2010

Getting started

So you’re finally living on your own, going to college, working part time, and now you’ve come to the realization; you don’t know how to cook. Before you panic and start eating fast food for every meal take a deep breath and read this article thoroughly. Anybody can learn to cook a few basic dishes that will help keep culinary monotony at bay and supplement all of that ramen that we students inevitably end up consuming, and all this nice food won’t even break the bank. This hub will give a few basic cooking tips and recopies that will work for anyone who has a stove, microwave or Crockpot. It will also explain the use of such items as the stove, microwave and Crockpot.

Now not all students are alike, and nether are their available resources. Some students live in dorms with nothing but a microwave and some live in apartments with full kitchens. I respect these differences and will try to advise accordingly.

The Grocery Store

Regardless of your resources everybody should know how to shop for themselves. Grocery stores are all basically the same; there are produce, bread, deli, frozen, dairy and meat sections. What you need to know basically are what brands you prefer, what you can afford and what is offered. Stores these days offer a wide selection of precooked food and frozen side dishes that can supplement many different meals. Most stores have a discount meat section that is perfect for students with refrigerators, and don’t worry; this meat is perfectly edible as long as you cook it within a day or two. The deli has meat for sandwiches; all you have to do is ask them to shred it for you, along with many ready-made appetizers.  So get familiar with your local store, see what they stock and what you like.

The Dorm/Small Apartment Student

So, you live in a dorm and are just dying for something to supplement that cafeteria meal program you bought. Well there are a few options open to you if your dorm allows microwaves. Now I know that microwaved food doesn’t sound like real cooking, and it isn’t, but it sure can taste like it at times. The trick to microwave cooking is to buy as much precooked food as possible and then combine and heat, trust me, it will taste better than all those cheese burgers you would be eating. Items like microwavable rice and almost any meat from the deli can be combined to make filling meals if you know what to get. Here’s a recipe to try:

Chicken Casserole with French Bread

You will need: One cooked rotisserie chicken (can be found by the deli), One can of cream of chicken soup,  three cups (when cooked) of microwavable rice, One loaf of French bread, spreadable butter.

Heat your rice and soup separately. Shred up your chicken into bite size pieces (drag a fork across it to get shredded pieces). Once the rice and soup are done combine rice, chicken, and soup together and sprinkle cheese on top. Melt in microwave and eat with slices of buttered bread.

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To be continued in part 2

If you have any questions or have anything you would like me to hub about please comment!


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    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 7 years ago

      Great suggestions. Agree -- stay away from fast foods. There are some great hubs about healthy snacking and easy meals. A good cookbook or 2 might be handy also.