Cheap College Food You’ll Actually Want To Eat

Some would argue that there is nothing worse than flavorless, disposable, cheap college food. After all, college students are only armed with a microwave and mini fridge, right? As a college student myself, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that completely negate the college food stereotype. Here are a few tips on how to make the best of cheap college food!

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Breakfast

Upgraded Oatmeal

Oatmeal is something that is extremely underestimated for being a great breakfast! Quick, healthy and fun – what’s not to love? Get a big carton of quick-cook oats to store in your dorm room. In the morning (particularly on those days you’re running late to your 8 am class and don’t have time to hit the cafeteria), just mix water and oats and throw it into the microwave for a few minutes. Then for the fun part, get creative with your toppings. Everything from fruit, nut butters, chocolate chips, seeds, jam…literally anything will give your boring bowl of oatmeal one delicious upgrade. I bet this cheap college food will very quickly become one of your favorites!

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Microwaved Omelette

If you’re looking for something a bit on the savory side, try a microwaved omelette. Yes, you read that right! Forget the stove, just stir two eggs, 1 tbs of milk, and whatever toppings you prefer (AKA cheese) into a mug and microwave for about a minute (or until the egg is cooked through). The best thing about this meal is, just like with oatmeal, you can add in whatever toppings you’d like. You name it; you got it!

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Lunch/Dinner

A Bird Dog

Picture this: a hot dog bun stuffed with a chicken finger, honey mustard, melted cheese, and bacon – that’s what we in the South call a “bird dog,. It’s basically like a bunch of cheap college food all tucked into one tasty meal…and it’s SO good, trust me! You can likely find all the ingredients in your cafeteria, so this is a great way to really vamp up the monotonous meals you find in your cafe.

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Instant Quesadillas

Quesadillas are an awesome option for eating in your dorm! Take the left over chicken fingers from your bird dog, chop them up and throw ’em onto a tortilla with some cheese. Microwave until the cheese is nice and melted, and there you have a chicken quesadilla made right in your dorm room!

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Curry Ramen Noodles

We all know Ramen Noodles are a cheap college food staple, but how can you make them just a little tastier? Easy! Prepare your Ramen by following the instructions, but instead of water, use coconut milk. Once the noodles are cooked in the microwave, add a splash of curry powder to really kick it up a notch. You can even throw in some chopped veggies or chicken if you have it to make the meal a bit more hearty.

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Dessert

Banana Pudding

Do you ever crave banana pudding? Just me? Okay. Well if you do while you’re in college, you’re in luck! This is a super cheap, and easy dessert to make. All you need are bananas, vanilla wafers, instant vanilla pudding mix, and milk. Mix your pudding with the milk and let it set in the fridge until it hardens. Once it is done, add your bananas and vanilla wafers and voila!

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Chocolate Cake

Nope I’m not talking about those cheap, processed, packaged cakes you can find at the checkout counter, I’m talking about homemade chocolate cake…that’s right, HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CAKE. Never thought decadent cake would be on a list of cheap college foods? Hear me out. Mix 3 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 egg, 1/2 tbsp cocoa and and 2 tbsp of sugar in a mug, microwave for 1 minute and…you’re welcome!

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Snacks

Fruit

Okay so usually, fruit isn’t necessarily cheap. BUT, when you’re in college and have a meal plan…fruit is essentially free! Utilize your Cafeteria! Grab some fresh fruit like bananas, apples or oranges. These are great snacks if you’re walking to class, or to even eat in your classes. And I’ll say it again, it’s free!

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Veggies and Dip

Bring a small container or plastic bag to the cafe and fill it with fresh veggies and your favorite salad dressing (I love carrots and ranch), hummus or salsa. Free, delicious, and oh-so healthy!

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Finally, remember that just because you are in college, does not mean you are limited on your food options! Think outside the box and use your microwave, fridge, and other resources to make the best of cheap college food!

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Featured image source: highcarbhannah.