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Food and Recipes Discuss cooking, your favourite foods, and share recipes here.

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Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 17th 2016, 09:25 PM

Hi guys!

This semester I had to purchase one of the smaller meal plans for school due to my low funds haha. I was wondering if any of you know some easy or cheap ideas that I could fix for lunch and dinner?

I will have access to a kitchen and most of the utensils as my roommate is an RA and we'll most likely be eating together!


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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 18th 2016, 01:33 AM

One meal I love that is very versatile and cheap is a bowl of rice with veggies and a protein. You can eat each on their own on a plate, but I prefer to toss it all into one bowl and mix it together. I buy off brand minute rice that I make in a big bowl the microwave in the bowl I will be storing it in (no pot involved!) for convenience, but you can also buy large bags of rice to cook in an actual pot on the stove. As for veggies, I buy frozen. You can buy them in bulk too if you wish and there's a lot of variety, too! If you want fresh veggies, always buy what's in season to get a better deal on the price. As for protein, I personally use ground chicken or turkey. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can easily swap that out for tofu, beans, and any other kind of thing.

The possible combinations for a rice bowl is almost endless. I also add sriracha hot chili sauce almost every time and occasionally gravy, ranch, or curry sauce. One thing I do to the rice before I microwave it is toss in some spices. Nothing to fancy. Just to your own taste. I like garlic, onion, curry, and pretty much any spice works if you like it (maybe except cinnamon).

I've lovingly named this "recipe" the Dump Bowl. Not as appetizing as it sounds, but when I'm low or without cash I go through my kitchen pantry and refrigerator to find things to toss in my bowl of rice.

Oh if you do eat meat/fish and like canned tuna, keep cans in the fridge. Instant cold tuna salad. Unless I'm the only person who gets frustrated about waiting for their tuna salad to get cold for a sandwich. (Tuna salad is another thing I add hot chili sauce too. I put that on virtually everything savory. )

If I think of any of my other ~poor~ relatively healthy recipes I'll post them.


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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 20th 2016, 06:07 PM

Tuna casserole: You can google the directions. I make it with mac and cheese, tuna and potato chips. It's actually pretty good and relatively cheap.

Chicken with rice is also relatively cheap as well.

These are the only things I can think of.


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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 20th 2016, 08:52 PM

Hi there
There's this really good book I have called Nosh for Students and its full of loads of different recipes, and it prices them all per person so you can see exactly how much everything is. It also has several pages designed to help you budget each week, and spend as little as possible, and they are honestly really cheap but really tasty!
Hope this helps!


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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 22nd 2016, 02:08 AM

I make the same thing as Oliver. One thing I do is make a ton of rice and then keep it in my fridge to just heat up with different proteins all week, haha.

Ricearoni is honestly a really nice thing to have around too. It takes 7 minutes to cook and you can pair it with a quick protein. Then, if you eat them, eggs are a great source of protein, easy, and versatile. You can put them in fried rice, have them scrambled, make an omelet, etc.


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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 22nd 2016, 05:04 PM

Thank you for all the help guys! These sound pretty good and I plan on trying them when I get back to campus.


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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 24th 2016, 12:48 PM

The cheapest thing I have been able to cook for dinner is definitely pasta. You can but a huge bag of it for like 2-3$ and it lasts a while, then sometimes you can get jars of pasta sauce on sale.

Lunches, you could make wraps or salads. They both seem cheap to me.

Good luck!



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Re: Easy and/or cheap dinner and lunch ideas for college - July 24th 2016, 10:12 PM

Anything you can freeze! You can make a veggie soup and freeze it to eat later in the week for lunch or dinner, just chop up some carrots, leeks, potatoes and whatever other veggies you love and throw it in a vegetable broth. It's nice with a little bit of mint sauce too!
Chicken fajitas are quick and easy too, you only need some seasoning, peppers,onions and tortilla wraps. They're good with some potato wedges!
I also have a couple of student cook books, but usually I modify the recipes to something I'll like a bit more because they can be a bit strange. Just throw together some things with rice or pasta, always keep tinned tomatoes in the cupboard and you're good to go! I always have chicken and mince meat in the freezer too for extra lazy days. Meatballs or bolognaise are always good.



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