Finding easy recipes on a budget can be difficult, especially when it calls for a long list of obscure ingredients. Luckily, this list is simple. These thirteen recipes keep your tummy and bank account full.
Skinny Egg Bites
It can be easy for skipping breakfast to become a habit when you barely have time to get ready in the morning. These eggs can be stored for about five days, which is perfect for a hectic school week! All you need is a muffin pan. If you’ve ever made an omelet before, then you’re already halfway there. Dice up your preferred vegetables, spinach and cheese to create mini, bite-sized omelets. For something heartier, try sausage and bacon bits. Fifteen minutes of baking gets you a week’s worth of breakfast.
Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry
Healthy meals have never been easier or quicker to make. Take, for instance, the joy of flash cooking coleslaw and ground beef together for a delicious stir fry. Not only is it cheap, but it also saves you space when there are no leftover vegetables lying around. There are many different directions you can take this recipe. Try sliced mushrooms, peppers, and shaved carrots. It’s yummy and colorful.
DIY Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
It might seem intimidating, but making a healthy, homemade granola bar is a lot easier than you think. Not to mention a lot less expensive! Pinch your pennies by using kitchen staples like butter, brown sugar, honey, and peanut butter to mix your favorite granola mix together and layer with yummy chocolate chips. It only takes a minute in the microwave. After leaving it in the fridge for a couple of hours, you’ll have enough granola bars for finals week.
Egg in a Nest
This timeless quick-fix breakfast has been around since the age of man. It takes less than a shake of the tail to make and never gets any less delicious. Get your morning boost with a protein-packed egg and an extra few minutes to yourself before class. Garnish with chives to jazz it up or sprinkle some cheese on it. You don’t have to try with this dish. It’s forever a classic.
One-Pot Chili Mac
Packed with protein and only one pot to clean. This is a recipe that can be portioned out to last a week, saving lots of cooking time. If you need it to last longer, stick it in the freezer. It freezes well and is easy to reheat – just toss it back in the pot! The ingredients are simple and the flavor will take you back to having Hamburger Helper with mom. Add tomatoes, corn, and peppers for a southwestern vibe.
If you think fudge is difficult or expensive to make, think again. This fudge recipe only calls for three things: semisweet chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and a microwave. Plus, whatever other delicious add-ins you want. After the chocolate has melted in the microwave, try mixing in almonds, candied cherries, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or swirling in some peanut butter. For a sweeter flavor use white chocolate instead. Or dark chocolate, if that’s what you’re into.
Tuna Stuffed Avocado
Healthy, keto-friendly, and even Whole30 friendly if you opt for high-quality ingredients. This quick lunch has healthy fats, lean protein, and will leave you feeling completely satiated. Try adding diced onions, celery, and parsley for extra flavor. If you’re looking to add protein, toss a sunny-side eye on top. You can even drizzle your favorite condiment on top – like spicy hot sauce. If you aren’t completely full, consider using shredded chicken instead of tuna.
Ham & Pickle Rolls
Look, I’ll admit, the first thing I do when I get home after a busy day to ease hunger pains is grab whatever I see in the fridge and eat it cold. If you’re like me, then this “recipe” is for you. There’s no cooking or microwaving involved. Grab your favorite deli meat, give it a savory spread and slap a pickle into it. This is a great snack to keep you fueled in the middle of an all-nighter.
Save time on wrapping perfect burrito parcels with this one. Rice, beans, cheese, and diced greens make for the traditional deconstructed burrito, but if you still miss the tortilla, just layer it on the bottom of the pan. Add a dollop of sour cream and avocado on top. This easy recipe can last you the whole week. The best part is you can pick your protein – carnitas, chicken, pork, or even tofu. It’s like a DIY Chipotle.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
Here’s a powerful snack your sweet tooth will appreciate you for. You get all the protein of savory peanut butter and rich chocolate in one decadent bite. They also make for an incredibly “poppable” snack in between classes. Most importantly, there’s no oven required. One batch of these can last you week – or ten minutes.
This one might even make you feel fancy. Plus, they’re a great paleo option for a busy student. Cut back on carbs with this vibrant dish. You can fill them with a fun taco salad mix or a savory rice and cheese duo. For extra presentation points, try to get a good sear on the peppers to give it that grilled look. If you want more whimsy, place the tops of the peppers on them like little hats.
Pesto Chicken Bake
The hardest part about this recipe is sticking it in an oven. Grab a few choice cuts of chicken, pesto, thick mozzarella slices, and tomatoes bursting with tangy sweetness for a dinner made in heaven (or I guess your dorm room). This dish hits the trifecta of recipes: cheap, easy, and delicious. Pesto is the star of the show here, with its versatile flavor, multiple uses, and affordability. The best part is leftovers are perfect for lunch sandwiches the next day.
Spinach Mac & Cheese
Trying to cozy up after a rough day but still get your nutrients in? Try this warm, soulful bowl. Swap out your normal cheese blend for a creamy sauce made with milk, white cheddar cheese, and fresh spinach. Add in some peas for extra health points. For a snazzier version, try using cavatappi noodles instead of elbow macaroni. You’ll feel like a goddess eating this delightful green dish.
What’s your go-to meal? Leave a suggestion for us below!
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