Cheap and Easy Meals for College Students

Image by Shanice Garcia,

Image by Shanice Garcia,

As a college student, we know you’re very busy. You juggle schoolwork with part-time jobs and may have to subsidize your living expenses from your own income with student loans. But despite the busy schedule, it’s important to eat healthily while keeping food costs practical. So here are some recipes to help you get started:

1. Hash Browns

Potatoes are the perfect breakfast or snack if you’re looking towards a full morning with little to no time to spare. A good way to cook potatoes in the morning (or to keep in your brown bag for later) is to turn them into hash browns.

● 2 large Russet potatoes
● 2 tbsp cooking oil
● 2 tbsp butter
● Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and wash potatoes. Grate potatoes and place into a kitchen towel to drain. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick pan and add in oil and butter. Place a thin layer of grated potatoes into the hot pan or skillet and cook until brown and crispy. Flip hash browns and cook other side. Season with onion powder or other dried herb if desired. Serve with ketchup or sour cream.

2. Spinach Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This is an awesome comfort food that is cheap and easy to make. Adding in spinach also makes it healthier.

● 1/2 cup spinach
● 4 slices whole wheat bread
● 2 tbsp feta cheese
● 1/2 tbsp olive oil
● 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
● 1 clove garlic, minced
● A dash of salt and pepper

Saute garlic in a skillet and add in spinach. Cook for 5 minutes. Season spinach with salt and pepper. Divide feta cheese for two sandwiches and layer on two slices of bread. Add cooked spinach on top of feta cheese, then cover with mozzarella cheese. Cover with the remaining slices of bread. Grill sandwiches on a grill pan until browned and cheese melts.

3. Veggie-egg Muffins

Perfect for breakfast, you can also prepare these muffins in advance and freeze them. When you’re hungry, you can simply reheat them in the microwave.

● ¼ cup chopped spinach
● 2 whole eggs
● 5 egg whites
● ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
● ¼ cup skim milk

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Meanwhile, whisk spinach, eggs and egg whites together. Pour in skim milk. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Spray oil into the muffin tray and pour in egg and spinach mixture. Top each cup with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and remove with butter knife.

4. Easy Pita Pizza

Instead of expensive and unhealthy pizza, make one in your own dorm or apartment. It tastes good and costs less!

● 1 whole wheat pita
● Chopped bell peppers, spinach, onion and tomatoes
● Shredded mozzarella cheese
● Pizza sauce
● Parsley for garnishing

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Spread toppings (pizza sauce, bell peppers, spinach, onion and tomatoes) evenly over pita. Top with shredded cheese. Garnish with parsley. Bake for 10 minutes or until pita is toasted and cheese melts. Slice and serve.

This article was contributed by guest author Katherine Tuggle.

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