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Cooking on a student budget

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So you’ve got towards the end of the month and your bank balance is looking a bit low, or you’ve had a really expensive week and need a cheap week to make up for it! The best way I’ve found to make up for expensive weeks is to have a cheap food week! Below are some of my favourite, quick, cheap and easy recipes that I have come across at my time at uni.

Cheesy broccoli pasta


This is a really quick, cheap and easy meal that will give you two (or more) days worth of food very cheap as it uses mainly cupboard ingredients.

For this all you need is pasta, broccoli, butter, flour, milk and cheese.

Chilli Con Carne


This is a favourite of mine, especially around exam time. Chilli is incredibly easy to make, and I like to make this in bulk and freeze some, making meal times around exams super easy as you can just take your chilli out the freezer the night before and cook a jacket potato or some rice!

All you need is: mince beef, 1 onion, mushrooms, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tin red kidney beans, tomato puree, chilli powder and rice

Tomato pasta sauce


Lots of shop bought pasta sauces are full of salt and sugar, so I prefer to make my own pasta sauce. It’s really tasty and sugar free!

You just need: 1 onion, garlic, tin of plum tomatoes (chopped up), tomato puree and basil (fresh or dried). Then just add some pasta or spaghetti – whichever you fancy!

Chicken noodles


I found this recipe in my student cookbook. It is really quick and easy and is a healthier alternative to pot-noodles! This recipe needs: 1 nest egg noodles, a few mini chicken breasts, chicken stock cube, an onion (or spring onions) and a pepper



Pancakes are a little treat of mine. I personally like American pancakes. They’re really quick and tasty, especially when eaten with jam, golden syrup, chocolate spread, or if you want a real treat, ice cream!

All you need is: plain flour, egg, milk, butter, baking powder, sugar. Simply mix them all together and fry them with a little butter.

Pasta bake


Pasta bake was first introduced to me by my brother, and its so quick and easy and lasts me for 4 meals. You can put whatever you like in a pasta bake: chicken, sausages, tuna. Personally I like to put carrot, sweetcorn, mushrooms and peppers in. Simply cook the pasta, put it in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle your choice of ingredients on top of the pasta, pour over a jar of pasta bake sauce, sprinkle some grated cheese over the top and cook in the oven for 15-20 mins.

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