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Easy Meals to Cook on a Student Budget

Easy Meals to Cook on a Student Budget

If you are moving into a flat or house this summer or for the start of the university year in September, then you will soon be cooking for yourself, and most importantly, looking how to do this in an affordable manner. Here are some top tips on how to cook affordable meals, minimise on washing up and also make your food more exciting!

Liven up your pasta!

We have all been there with a bowl of basic spaghetti complete with ketchup on top, still, pasta can be really exciting, cheap and tasty with just a few added extras! Pasta bake is a great way to liven up your food, just a simple tomato sauce with pasta, you can add cheese, herbs, chilli and even breadcrumbs on top to add some crunch. With dried pasta being well under a pound, along with tinned tomatoes, this dish is brilliant because you can make it as expensive or as cheap as you want.

Minimise on washing up!

A great way to make an affordable dish and save on a lot of washing up can be done through only cooking in one pot. One pan rice is a great meal when you are using whatever it is you have in your cupboard. Just add veg, beans, spice or cooked meat into steamed rice for a hearty and quick meal.

Get spicy!

Have the staples to a Thai curry in your cupboard; curry paste, coconut milk and rice, this can really help when cooking a cheap meal in a hurry. Just add whatever else you want in the form of vegetables or meat for a wholesome dish. Opt for frozen vegetables and no meat if you are really trying to budget.


Breakfast ideas

Making your own granola can really save on grabbing breakfast on the go, it can also be fun because you can add whatever you want to it to make it your own special recipe. Adding dried fruit and nuts can stock up on those vitamins whilst keeping it in an air tight container will keep the crunch. This is great for budgeting as you can make it in bulk in order to save on buying individual packets.
Top tip: you can also make the granola into cereal bars by adding peanut butter or honey to bind it together. Chill for three hours before eating.


Fajita wraps are a failsafe for any student. The pack is usually brought for around £1, all to be added is chicken and veg. If you are really saving then you can make your own spice blend instead of buying the packet.



Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a third year history student studying at The University of Manchester.