Most students don’t have a lot of cash to spend on food, but that doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. With the right recipes and some kitchen savvy, you can eat great even on a student’s budget. Here we’ll share 100 tasty recipes that you can make on the cheap. Along with saving money on meals, budget-savvy students can also save big on a college education by attending inexpensive online colleges.
Get a good start to your day with these cheap-o breakfasts.
- Hash browns: Hash browns are cheap and easy to make, and cheaper than a trip to IHOP.
- Puff pastry chicken and bacon: You can make bacon and chicken in puff pastry using this recipe.
- Microwave scrambled eggs: Make scrambled eggs in the microwave with this recipe.
- Breakfast burritos: You can make these burritos ahead for a quick microwave breakfast.
- Onion quiche: This quiche makes a delicious, incredibly cheap breakfast.
- Omelet in a bag: Boil eggs and some handy ingredients for this simple, cheap omelet.
- Frittata: Add eggs to cheese, vegetables, and herbs you have handy in your fridge to make a frittata.
A college staple gets dressed up in these recipes.
- Antipasto ramen salad: With ramen, pepperoni, black olives, onion, and Italian dressing, you’ll find yourself with a great ramen salad.
- Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry Ramen: This dish makes a delicious stir fry from ramen.
- Chinese style ramen with veggies: Make your ramen a little bit healthier with some vegetables added in.
- Ramen noodle alfredo: Turn your ramen noodles Italian with this recipe.
- Beef & Broccoli Ramen: Add some meat and veggies to your ramen to make this dish.
- Spring ramen salad: Take a fresh approach to ramen with recipe.
- Hamburger ramen: Ground beef with ramen makes for a great meal.
- Chicken hollandaise ramen: Add chicken and hollandaise to your ramen for this meal.
- Egg drop noodle soup: You’ll combine ramen, eggs, and flour to make this tasty soup.
- Lo mein ramen: Follow this recipe for ramen lo mein style.
- Creamy veggies and ramen: Add celery soup and vegetables to ramen, and you’ll have a great meal.
- Pasta ramen salad: Use ramen as the base to make this delicious pasta salad.
Use these recipes to step up your sandwiches.
- Hot Dog Egg Sandwich: Get a good portion of protein and flavor from this sandwich.
- Egg Salad Sandwich: Cook up some hard boiled eggs for a cheap, tasty sandwich that’s really versatile.
- Monte Cristo Sandwich: This sandwich is a delicious hybrid of grilled ham, cheese, and french toast.
- Grilled chicken and apple sandwich: This hot sandwich is healthy, affordable, and delicious.
- Canned salmon sandwich: Add celery, horseradish, and swiss cheese for a delicious, healthy meal from a can.
- Turkey, chutney and avocado grilled sandwich: This sandwich is an exotic, cheap treat.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich: The classic college staple, grilled cheese sandwiches pack a lot of flavor for very little cost.
These simple recipes can be pulled off in one pot.
- Creamy cauliflower soup: This vegetable soup is cheap, easy, and surprisingly tasty.
- Cheap chili: Use chopped beef, tomatoes, and more for this cheap chili.
- Butternut Squash Soup: Take advantage of cheap winter vegetables with this soup.
- Slow cooker BBQ chicken: Combine cut up chicken with your favorite barbeque sauce for this recipe.
- Crockpot lemon chicken: Get inexpensive cuts of chicken and make this lemony meal for lots of flavor without lots of money.
- Minestrone soup: Eat this classic soup for a healthy, cheap meal.
- Cheeseburger soup: This soup is hearty enough to be a meal.
- Slightly Italian crockpot chicken recipe: With chicken, artichoke, onions, and spices, you’ll get an Italian chicken meal in a slow cooker.
- Cranberry pot roast: Beef roast and cranberries offer a lot of flavor in this crockpot meal.
- Crockpot potato soup: Make this soup from chicken broth and potatoes.
- Corn, Bacon, and Potato Chowder: This hearty chowder is great for winter eating.
- Chilled avocado soup: Check out this recipe for a healthy, refreshing treat.
- Slow cooker pulled pork: Make pork shoulder in the crock pot using this recipe.
- Middle East Chicken Soup: This ethnic chicken soup is a cheap, tasty, treat.
- Bean soup: In this bean soup recipe, you’ll find lots of protein for just a little money.
Use these healthy recipes to make cheap, delicious salads.
- Caesar salad: Combine romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing for a classic salad.
- Simple spinach salad: In this tasty salad you’ll find sweet pears and spinach.
- Bowtie Pasta Salad: Throw together some pasta, tomatoes, and other vegetables for this salad.
- Cucumber salad: This salad is fresh, delicious, and cheap.
- Caprese salad: This caprese salad is simple and delicious.
- Chicken Caesar salad: Eat this recipe as a salad, or put it into a wrap for a healthy, cheap treat.
- Simple green salad: Here you’ll find a simple, inexpensive salad with great flavor.
- Pecan mandarin orange salad: Get a bright and sweet salad from this recipe.
- Cucumber salad with sour cream: This salad is cheap and refreshing.
- Salmon orzo salad: With salmon filets, or even canned salmon, you can put together this salad treat.
You’ll find delicious casseroles in these recipes.
- O’Brien Casserole: Use O’Brien potatoes, beans, lean meat, and some veggies for a great potato casserole.
- Baked Tuna Chow Mein Microwave Casserole: Pop this tuna casserole in the microwave for a quick meal.
- Easy cheap casserole: This casserole combines easy, affordable ingredients.
- Penne Pasta Casserole: Make this tasty pasta casserole for $3 or less.
- Meatloaf: ground beef combined with ketchup, onions, and more makes a great meal for less than a dollar per serving.
- Four Bean Casserole: This casserole is popular at potlucks and with barbequed meals.
- Tuna casserole: With canned tuna, you can make a healthy, delicious tuna casserole on the cheap.
Pizza & Pasta
Get your grains with these recipes.
- Microwave Mexican pizza: Use tortillas, cheese, salsa, and sour cream for this pizza.
- Bagel pizza: Use this recipe to make pizza on a bagel.
- Spaghetti: Pick up multigrain pasta with tomato sauce and mushroom for a big meal without a big budget.
- Feast of Pasta: Create this casserole with pasta, onions, and other simple ingredients.
- Shrimp with ricotta sauce on pasta: Upgrade your pasta dish with this recipe.
- Easy calzones: Use cheese, vegetables, and pepperoni in these easy calzones.
- Olio e Aglio Pasta: This side dish combines angel hair with oil and garlic.
- Pasta salad: Combine your favorite pasta with salad dressing, and olives, vegetables, or herbs you have handy.
- Pasta and Ricotta Cheese: This pasta favorite is a crowd pleaser.
These recipes offer affordable main dishes.
- Baked potato: Often served as sides, a baked potato can be the main dish-just add lean meat, beans, or chili.
- Mexican hot dogs: This twist on hot dogs is extra delicious.
- Chili: With beef, tomatoes, and beans, you can make a delicious chili.
- Tuna patties: Put tuna, egg, relish, crumbs, salad dressing, and other simple ingredients together to create yummy tuna patties.
- Cheap beef stroganoff: This recipe offers a cheap version of beef stroganoff.
- Vegetarian chili: Use soy protein, tomatoes, and beans for a protein and fiber packed chili without any meat.
- Eggplant parmesan: Eggplant parmesan makes a cheap and delicious vegetarian meal.
- Vegetarian sweet and sour tofu: If you’re looking for a great vegetarian meal on the cheap, check out this recipe.
- Parmesan chicken: With breadcrumbs, parmesan, and chicken, you can make this very tasty main dish.
- BBQ chicken: Slather chicken with barbeque sauce, pop it in the oven, and enjoy.
- Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken: Make some delicious chicken in a slow cooker with this recipe.
- Salmon patties: Use canned salmon, bread crumbs, and other simple ingredients for this healthy, cheap dish.
- Meatballs and orzo: Make these easy meatballs instead of using store bought frozen ones.
Use these recipes to complement your entrees on the cheap.
- Buttered baby carrots: Sweet, tender carrots make up this side dish.
- Roasted asparagus: Follow this simple recipe for a healthy, cheap vegetable side.
- Spicy mac: Make macaroni and cheese with Taco Bell hot sauce.
- Garlic toast: Use this recipe for delicious garlic bread that will please any taste.
- Microwave macaroni and cheese: Make your own homemade mac and cheese in the microwave.
- Scalloped potatoes: These scalloped potatoes are easy and creamy.
- Bean and rice salad: This salad is delicious and cheap.
- Green beans amandine: With this recipe, you can omit almonds for even more money savings.
- Onion scones: In these simple scones, you’ll find lots of flavor.
- Potato croquettes: These croquettes are a great way to use your leftover mashed potatoes.
- Twice-baked potatoes (microwave): Make this cheap potato classic in the microwave for easy cooking.
- Broccoli and cauliflower salad: This salad is cheap and packed full of nutrients.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these affordable dessert recipes.
- Chocolate chip cookies: Create cookies with chocolate chips, M&Ms, nuts, or even pretzels with this recipe.
- 1 step brownies: Turn a chocolate box cake into simple, cheap brownies using this recipe.
- Balsamic strawberries with marscapone cheese: A few delicious ingredients make for a tasty, cheap treat.
- Cheap and quick cookies: This recipe will show you how to turn cake into cookies.
- Lemonade pie: Simple ingredients go into this delicious, cheap pie.
- Easy baked apples: Apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and raisins come together in this microwave recipe.
- Super easy microwave peanut butter fudge: Only two simple ingredients to into this peanut butter fudge.