When it comes to making great food on a college budget, it can always feel like an uphill battle. Yet with a few cheap hacks and fresh ingredients, you can have five star meals that cost you under $50 a week. But how do you go about these cheap delicious meals? Society19 is here to help. Here are 5 meals for a college budget.
1. Chicken And Cheese Enchiladas
While most enchiladas recipes are time consuming, this meal is fast, easy and delicious. And these ingredients are both cheap and easy, cutting out time for enchiladas more than in half. This meal is also great for leftovers and feeding you for several days. This protein packed meal is a great way to satisfy that cheese and chicken craving while staying within your budget.
- 6 to 8 corn tortillas
- 1 can of red enchilada sauce
- 1 cup Rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
- 1 cup Mexican cheese blend
- ⅓ small white onion, finely chopped
Begin by heating up your corn tortillas on a stove top on low heat. We just want them to warm enough for them to soften so we can roll them. While your tortillas are heating up, preheat your oven to 350F. And proceed to shred your rotisserie chicken meat. When your corn tortillas are heated through, roll your chicken up in a corn tortilla with some cheese and lay seam down in a baking dish. Repeat the process. Gently pour enchilada sauce over the top of them, lightly sprinkle cheese over the top and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add your chopped onion over the top. Serve and enjoy.
2. Buffalo Chicken Salad
Looking for something that has that sweet spice to liven up your next salad? This meal takes less than $10 and is a great way to save money and up your salad game in a meaningful and flavorful way. When you’re looking for a way to liven up your salad, this meal certainly will not disappoint.
- 1 cup of rotisserie chicken
- ⅓ cup buffalo sauce mix
- 1 serving of greens of your choice
- Blue cheese crumbled, or cheese of your choice
- ⅓ red onion
- ⅓ cherry tomatoes
Being by chopping your rotisserie in bite sized pieces. Place in a mixing bowl and add your buffalo sauce. Combine and make sure all surfaces of the chicken are covered. Plate your greens and add your chicken over the top. Add your tomatoes and onions. Top off with your blue cheese crumbles. Serve and enjoy.
3. Italian Fusion Spaghetti
When you’re craving something warm and rustic at the end of a hard day, this meal is the ultimate comfort food. And while the prep takes about an hour to make in total, it will feed you for days. I personally love this recipe because it is a combination of fresh ingredients and available ingredients that your mom used to make. And if you’re like me and have a love for jarred sauce but think that something is missing, this meal is a perfect happy medium. This recipe will cost you about $15, and is a great way to add that sense of warmth back into your life when you need it most.
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice
- 3 bunches of fresh basil
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 pinch crushed red peppers
- 1 serving spaghetti
- 1 splash of olive oil
Begin by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the packaging. While your pasta is cooking, in a small saucepan, add your garlic and olive oil. Cook until soft. Rinse and drain your pasta before adding it back to your pot. Add your marinara sauce, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Stir until warm and fragrant. Top with your fresh basil. Serve and enjoy.
4. Refried Bean Tacos
While this meal may sound a little strange, these tacos are perfect for some quick comfort food under a college budget. If you’re a fan of fast tacos that are full of protein and sweet crunch, this recipe will certainly not disappoint. The soft bite of lettuce and the beautiful combination of beans and cheese makes for a perfectly balanced taco that will have you asking for seconds.
- 3 to 4 corn tortillas
- 1 can of refried beans
- 1 serving iceberg shredded lettuce
- ⅓ cup Mexican cheese blend
Begin by heating up your corn tortillas in a small pan on low heat, flipping often. While you’re warming your corn tortillas, in a small pot on medium high heat, begin by heating your refried beans. Be sure to include some of the liquid from the can in it, as the moisture will help the beans cook evenly. When your tortillas and beans are thoroughly warmed through. Plate them by adding your beans onto the corn tortillas, followed by your lettuce and cheese. Serve and enjoy.
5. Pad Thai
Do you ever crave some fast and easy Thai food but don’t know where to get started? No problem! This meal has a sweet kick and the great flavor of peanut sauce that make this recipe well worth the try. The rice noodles are soft and tender. This recipe will be well below budget. The only downside to this recipe is that you won’t have any leftovers because it is simply too good.
- 1 serving of rice noodles
- ⅓ cup peanut sauce
- 2 tbsp chili paste
- ⅓ cup green onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp peanut, coarsely chopped
Begin by cooking your rice noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and return to the pot. Add in your peanut sauce and chili paste, thoroughly mixing until noodles are coated. Place in a bowl and top with your green onions and chopped peanuts. Serve and enjoy.