A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.

Random Tip: You can organize your bookmarks into folders!  Read more here.
Total Members: 320,277
Currently Running With Scissors:
239 Guests and 11 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5  All
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Cheap meals for students...that don't involve ramen?  (Read 11709 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit
The Paper Alchemist
Offline Offline

Posts: 984
Joined: 15-Aug-2005

Fueled by the scent of rubber shavings....

View Profile
« on: September 03, 2010 04:17:00 PM »

....so, I'm a student, but my food budget has been severely *fuct* up.  I blame gifts for a wedding, planning on being a bridesmaid, and general craziness.  (Also, yarn addiction...)

So...any tips?

I have access to a full kitchen with an oven.  I'm also bringing a rice cooker, and a decent pot of rice.  (I also have peanut butter at the moment...so my first month is going to be interesting...)

I handcarve stamps, knit and have organic catnip.

Personal Swapping...activated!

Looking for:  ATCs, some dry non-sanded grout mix

Got a 3DS?  I can clear save data from your games!  (Including RE Mercs 3D.)
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010 05:00:04 PM »

This is one of my go to low budget meals.

Taco Soup

2C chicken broth (or water w/ bullion)
1C salsa
1 can refried beans
1 can corn
pack of taco seasoning
cubed or shredded chicken if you have it

Bring the water and salsa to a boil mix in the refried beans (they'll be clumpy at first, but will eventually mix in).  Stir in the seasoning, corn and chicken.  Simmer for a bit. It's good served with sour cream and shredded cheese on top.  Cornbread or corn chips go well with it too.

You might be able to make it in the rice cooker depending on the model you have.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010 05:03:12 PM by KristyDi » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Some people juggle geese.  -Hoban Washburn
Offline Offline

Posts: 437
Joined: 08-Jan-2010

I heart crafts!

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010 06:54:35 PM »

Sandwiches and salad are quick and easy to make.

Peanut and jelly sandwich.
Ham Sandwich - Ham, mayo, ketchup, lettuce
Egg salad or sandwich - simplest is chopped hard-boiled eggs mix with mayo (you may add pickles, chopped onions, salt and pepper, whatever you desire)
Mixed greens salad with chicken fingers.

When I'm not making crafts, I'm dreaming them up!
Offline Offline

Posts: 81
Joined: 08-Sep-2009

Eat anything, but if it bites back, boil it.

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010 07:22:46 AM »

Ohhh I've been poortown before.

Proteins are the most expensive items (i.e. chicken, beef, sadly bacon...) so if you do buy them, see if you can't stretch them. Buy a whole chicken (usually go for $5ish), then you can have roast chicken one night then you can make soup to have the next/freeze for a cold day. Same applies with beef, get something with the bone in if you can find it and same thing. Stir-fries are cheap and that's one way to use up any extra meat you didn't eat the night before. You have a rice cooker, try adding some boullion cubes to the water next time you make rice. Beans are cheap as well, could make a 3-bean chilie, chick peas are also very hearty, fill you up fast. You could cook those down in the liquid from your chicken soup that you made, add garlic, parsley, maybe some curry, some honey, whatever you fancy. Spices are cheap too, and a little will go a long way! Pasta and tomato sauce goes a long way, you can also make olive oil sauces just by adding some garlic, dried herbs, spices... possibilities are endless. Best ideas are keep an eye out for specials at the grocery store, stock up when they're cheap and freezers are your best friend.

Just because you're poor, doesn't mean you have to eat bland food! Maybe have a cooking day with friends where you all cook a week's worth of dinners and freeze them. I find planning meals will also help save a buck or two...

Just my $0.02.

Spice *IS* the spice of life.
The Paper Alchemist
Offline Offline

Posts: 984
Joined: 15-Aug-2005

Fueled by the scent of rubber shavings....

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010 08:26:25 AM »

Thanks, you all!  I tended to eat out a lot, but it felt kind of dirty paying for my Korean food with a credit card.

I'm also bringing a chest freezer in, so I can decently shop for myself in the cheap sections.


I handcarve stamps, knit and have organic catnip.

Personal Swapping...activated!

Looking for:  ATCs, some dry non-sanded grout mix

Got a 3DS?  I can clear save data from your games!  (Including RE Mercs 3D.)
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010 10:24:49 AM »

Just remembered The Hillbilly Housewife!  When DH and I were 1st married and really poor I used a lot of her recipes as starting points. Nothing's wrong with them as they are, I just can't seem to make a recipe as written.  I always have to play with it.

Here's a link http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/category/recipes
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010 10:26:06 AM by KristyDi » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Some people juggle geese.  -Hoban Washburn
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010 09:11:29 AM »

    Try thinking of ways to use a meal in several ways. If you cook up a bunch of rice you could add milk, sugar, raisins, almonds, coconut and / or cinnamon to make a breakfast or dessert. You could also fry some of the left over rice with butter and add onions, eggs, cheese, mushrooms, peppers and / or other veggies for a quick meal. You could do the same with left over red potatoes.
   I tend to keep certain items around for variety. If you have access to a Costco or some other bulk food store, you could keep a huge jar of sundried tomatoes and / or artichoke hearts in the fridge for quick meals. They are great for pasta dishes and placing on premade pizza shells especially if you could splurge on some feta cheese. stock up on tuna eggs and canned chicken. When things are tight try to think of tuna and eggs as "extend-a-meals" instead of as a dish onto themselves. A single egg fried doesn't seem like much but when you add it to mac and cheese or ramon noodles it adds a lot more. Instead of making tuna salad that will last only a short while, you could again add it to mac and cheese or make a different tuna noodle cassarole with wide noodles and mushroom soup. I've even added tuna and frozen veggies to instant potatoes to make a quick and dirty meal.
   Stapples for the kitchen: fresh carrots, fresh onions, fresh potatoes - red and brown, canned tuna, canned chicken, jar of bulk sun dried tomatoes, jar of bulk artichoak hearts, garlic, rice, varieties of pastas (speggeti, wide noodles, thin noodles, and macaroni at least) dried lentles, cans of chick peas, cans of black beans, cans of kidney beans, cans of veggies of choice, variety of pastas, dried herbs and spices. Ive made some interesting sauces from mayo and / or mustard or itallian dressing these can be used to flavor meats and then you can add meat and sauces over rice or pasta.
   Here are some tidbits of knowledge that are invaluable. To tell if eggs are fresh enough to eat place in water to see if they float, if they float don't eat, if it sinks or just stands up you will be fine. Sulpher gasses are released into the egg as it ages making the egg float eventually. If you cannot remember try it with an egg you just bought from the store, that will give you a visual as to how it should look. Keep potatoes and onions seprate they tend to make each other rot faster. Neither need to be refrigorated and can be stored in metal hanging baskets or in seperate dark storage. Fresh fruits and fruity vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, eggplant) make non fruity vegtables rot faster when stored together.  If you can find large jars with tight lids store dried goods in to prevent bugs and in the event that there is regular extermination in your dorm or apartment you will keep your food safer from the poisons. 
   Um, I think I got a bit carried away, but I hope this helps.

« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010 10:18:03 AM »

I've heard ramen isn't too bad a meal so long as you don't use the seasoning packet, which is full of sodium and chemicals.  That means you can use the noodles (which by themselves aren't nutritionally bad).  Add some chopped fresh or frozen veggies, and that aforementioned $5 chicken.  Use the bones of the chicken to create some low sodium broth, and there you go!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010 02:13:25 PM »

I understand you perfectly, being a broke-as-hell student myself. Here's

Instant noodles don't have to be boring, I use those noodles everywhere I'd use "standard" ones! with tomato juice, melted mozzarella cheese, and mushrooms sauted in garlic, or more traditionally, served in a miso broth (or a bit of soy sauce), a hard boiled egg, chopped seaweed and green onions, cubed tofu and mushrooms, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Plus, they're great in a stir-fry.

Also, for protein, I started looking into less "pleasant" types, such as pork liver and tofu. Both, when correctly prepared with a good marinade made with cheap stuff such as soy sauce, ketchup, sriracha sauce, salt, pepper  and lemon juice, are great when served warm & sliced with sauted zucchinis and mushrooms on a bed of rice seasoned with a bit of sesame oil and rice vinegar. Sesame oil may seem expensive, but believe me when I say a little goes a long way. One of the most usefull things I have in my pantry.

Or try making salmon burgers; a can of salmon mixed with lemon juice, salt&pepper, an egg or two and lots of crumbled bread or crackers to thicken up the mixture and make the portion more substantial. Add some basil or italian seasoning, make some patties, roll 'em in flour and fry 'em in a bit of olive oil. When served with mayo, cucumbers and tomatoes on toasted bread, it makes for a great meal.

Oh, and that peanut butter? when you're tired of eating it in PB&J sandwiches, melt it with a bit of sesame oil, curry powder and coconut milk. It makes a great sauce for all kind of meats, pasta & veggies.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010 02:19:05 PM by ars_anima » THIS ROCKS   Logged

For all things creepy & crafty, take a look at My Blog!
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010 05:22:15 PM »

My favorite, cheap & not at all fancy meals is Veggie Quesadillas!
All you need are:
1 can refried beans, 1 package tortillas, 1 package taco seasoning, ANY veggies you like or have on hand, salsa -- the great thing is this will feed one person like 5x and an open can of beans stays good in the fridge for over a week.
- Mix refried beans with taco seasoning to taste - I use about 1/4 of a packet for 1 can of beans.
- Spread seasoned beans on a tortilla & fold in half.
- Cook until brown in either a well heated cast iron skillet or a lightly oiled skillet
- Cut into two wedges, pile chopped veggies & salsa on top & enjoy!

If I have things like mushrooms, broccoli, or potatoes on hand I cook them up ahead of time & put them inside the tortilla with the beans. And as weird as it sounds I really do put any veggies I have in/on these and it's all yummy.
PS I don't know about yours, but my dollar store has a good selection of frozen foods, it's a great place to shop when you're broke!

My Wist - http://wists.com/InShambles
Art + Music = Happiness
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5  All Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Jump to:  

only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search

Latest Blog Articles
Tute Tuesday: Ribbon Scarf
The Birds and The Bees
Meatless Monday: Homemade Sauerkraut

Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...

Follow Craftster...

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2018, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.