neon sign for meals

If you are a college student like me, you will take all the advice about saving money you can get. Not to fret, I’m here to tackle the topic of food savings with some inexpensive meals I have made in the past. Usually, you can “rent” all your dishes from the front desk at the dorm. So, all you need to do is grab your ingredients and find an open kitchen in your building.

Now, the dining hall can get pretty boring after about a week and a half (plus, the food is not what I consider top tier) and fast food adds up fast. So, get on the magic school bus for some tasty ideas! (Disclaimer, the teacher, Ms. Frizz, from The Magic School Bus will not be joining us.)

  1. Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn

I made a similar meal for my roommates on our so called “Family Nights” and they thought that it was a pretty tasty meal! These ingredients could be used again if you have the proper storage (i.e. a mini fridge), for your ingredients or you can invite some people to share the meal with you!

Click here for a simple recipe and don’t forget, you can substitute ingredients as needed! I would say pay attention to the preparing of the chicken and the cooking of it very closely.

Here are Walmart’s current prices for your ingredients:

  •  Chicken Tenderloin (1.25 lbs) ~ $6.22
  • Mashed Potatoes (4 individual cups) ~ $2.92
  • Sweet Corn ~ $0.50/can
  • Seasoning varies
    • ESTIMATED TOTAL – $9.64 plus tax (Side note )this recipe can serve up to four people, cost per person would be $2.41.)


Making tacos is simple, cheap, quick, and let’s be honest…who doesn’t like tacos? Here I have linked a simple recipe. Some of the ingredients are substitutable, or not needed at all, like the tomatoes. Unless you really like tomatoes!

Again, this is a meal that is a great way to meet new people. Send out a group invite to others on your floor for a taco night or just serve it to your roommates! Of course, remember to adjust your ingredients as needed based on the number of people you are feeding.

  • 80% Lean Ground Beef  (1 lb) ~ $4.34
  • Taco Seasoning (Optional) ~ $0.87/packet
  • Taco Shells ~ $1.82 (10 count)
  • Shredded Cheese (8 oz) ~ $2.78
    • ESTIMATED TOTAL: $9.81 plus tax

3. Spaghetti

Any type of pasta is a quick and simple meal. With proper storage and a handy microwave you can even make a few good meals out of it! It is also so simple! I thought I would be the one to give you this recipe myself.

  1. Fill a large pot ½ – ¾ of the way full. You have to give that pasta room to move around a bit!
  2. Put the pot of water on the stove and turn your burner to high heat.
  3. Next, put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pot as well as a few good shakes of salt.
    1. The olive oil and salt help with flavor but also keep the noodles from sticking together.
  4. Wait for the water to start bubbling; once the bubbles are constant drop your noodles in.
  5. Put the lid on the pot and keep a close watch to ensure that the water does not boil over while you wait for your pasta to cook. If needed, turn down the heat once it gets to boiling.
  6. While the pasta boils, take a medium sauce pan to pour the desired amount of sauce. Turn the burner on medium heat stirring occasionally.
  7. When you think the pasta is ready, take one noodle out and either
    1. Throw the noodle on a cabinet and if it sticks, the pasta is ready.
    2. Taste the noodle and use your best judgment.
  8. Finally, get your noodle strainer and drain your noodles. Shake all the water out (not like a Polaroid picture, that wouldn’t end well)!
  9. When the sauce is bubbling it is also done. Make sure you stir occasionally to avoid the sauce sticking to the pan.
  10. Grab your bowl and bon appetite!!
  • Spaghetti Noodles ~ $1.00
  • Pasta Sauce with Meat ~ $3.48
  • Iodized Salt ~ $0.50
  • Olive Oil ~ $2.52
    • ESTIMATED TOTAL: $7.50 plus tax

At the end of the day, you could always pop a mac & cheese bowl into the microwave. Those bowls, and things like ramen, tend to get old and boring though. Hopefully these recipes will help you liven up your meals while you’re away from home.

Happy cooking and saving!

(PRO-TIP: By using store brand ingredients, you can save even more!)

A Little About Me

Hello, my name is Reagan! I work at Central National Bank as a marketing assistant, while at Wichita State University. I love to write and this blog gives me a perfect excuse to do some of the things I love: help people, hang with some pretty cool folks, and write!

 I was born in 2003 which puts me at the beginning of Generation Z! I’m here to give some helpful insight to my fellow zoomers and discuss some topics my colleagues haven’t yet written about. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Cheap and Easy Meals: College Edition
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