As mentioned before, food costs can be hefty, especially if you eat out all the time. If you’re a student, you probably are already extremely well acquainted with a variety of cup-o-noodle and ramen noodle products which are also expensive when purchased on campus. Buy these things at the grocery store, because they have a decent shelf life, so you can stock pile ’em for when you’re too lazy to make anything. You can get 6 packs of ramen for $1 or 3-4 cups of noodles for $1 when they’re on sale. Instant oatmeal is also cheap and easy to stock for when you don’t have time to cook and goes well with a variety of fruit.

When you do have time to cook, why cook from scratch? Get a head start with pre-cut frozen vegetables (or pre-cut and freeze some yourself when you find produce you like on sale), pasta noodles, and the CostCo rotisserie chicken.
oftena LOT cheaper to just buy vegetables you like when they are on sale at an international grocery store like Zion or sometimes even the dollar store, then wash them, chop them, blanch them and freeze them yourself.
Pasta noodles (uncooked): ~ 2 lb/$1 (on sale)
CostCo Rotisserie chicken: 1 chicken/$5
Can of condensed soup: 2/$1 (when on sale, otherwise, $1 each at the dollar store)

Now you can have all sorts of chicken pastas depending on whatever condensed soup you use for the sauce, and that giant chicken can easily last for several meals. You can also throw the bones in a baby crockpot (these can go for <$10 during black friday) to make a decent broth, then make a good congee with the broth. Throw in some beans from a bulk store and you can make another decent meal. All in all, it can end up costing less than $2/meal since you can usually get about 4 to 8 servings out of $8 worth of ingredients. Just freeze up anything you can't finish within a day or two and treat them as frozen meals.

Other things to do with that CostCo chicken can be found at, but may require significantly more effort and ingredients.

Anyone else have budget recipes (besides the egg in ramen noodles)? Share it!


4 thoughts on “Stipend ready meals

  1. Barilla Cheese Tortellini (~$5) mixed with frozen creamed spinach (~$2), the creamed spinach makes a tasty sauce and you could also add in whatever other veggies you like. Makes around 4 servings and you could probably get the ingredients even cheaper on sale! Great post Ginger!

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