The post-Thanksgiving feelings are kicking in, and you’re realizing we only have about 3 weeks left in the fall semester! The leftovers that your parents sent home with you will only last so long and after that, grocery shopping is a must.

 

student grocery shopping

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21

 

Nobody likes spending a ton of money on food and since we’re going to need to dedicate extra time to staying on campus and studying for the rest of the semester, here are 10 easy recipes for under $10 to easily pack up and take with you when you’re on the go!

 

1. BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls

BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls

Chipotle, who? Make 4 servings of your own burrito bowls to share with roommates, or keep for the week and save plenty of money doing it.

Total Cost: $7.10

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

 

2. Pesto Stuffed Shells

Pesto Stuffed Shells

As an Italian, I approve of this message. This is a great meal to make for you, or share with your friends during a study session at your place.

Total Cost: $7.81

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 5

 

3. “Make-ahead” Microwave Breakfast Scrambles

Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles

Every time I pass those “just crack an egg” breakfast scrambles, they are tempting to me. But, here is a way to make your own for way cheaper.

Total Cost: $3.93

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1

Servings: 4

4. Weeknight Black Bean Chili

Weeknight Black Bean Chili

A light, and easy way to make chili for these super cold nights we are about to endure. Also, bonus points if you have a way to bring it to the library and keep it warm. You’re ready for a cozy night.

Total Cost: $7.19

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

5. Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

On the opposite end, this is a meal for the days when you are longing for summer. It doesn’t have to be re-heated, so take it on the go to the library or to class.

Total Cost: $8.91

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

6. Rice Cooker Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Rice Cooker Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Fun Fact: you don’t have to have a rice cooker to make this. But, it makes it easier if you do! You can make it all in the rice cooker and it will make your life so much easier.

Total Cost: $4.41

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

7. Vegetable Lo Mein

Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

As it goes with all of these meals, you can customize this in different ways. Add meat and toppings to make it how you like!

Total Cost: $6.33

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

8. White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

This is an easy way to up your mac and cheese game. Blow your friends away with your skill and enjoy this awesome comfort food.

Total Cost: $6.66

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

9. Freezer Ready Mini Pizzas

Freezer Ready Mini Pizzas

Curb your urge to buy frozen pizza and make your own with this easy recipe. They last for 3 months in the freezer and you can look cool while eating your mini pizzas.

Total Cost: $4.31

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 12

10. Chicken and Mandarin Salad

Chicken and Mandarin Salad with Simple Sesame Dressing

If you know you won’t have time to re-heat food, here is a quick salad that you can just grab from your fridge!

Total Cost: $5.20

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Final Thoughts:

Here are some pro-tips to help you through this!

  • If you have roommates, share spices and items that are less frequently used. Really, you don’t need 3 different containers of garlic salt in your pantry. Just share and you’ll have less waste and ultimately, you’ll spend less money.
  • Write a list of what you need at the store. Wandering aimlessly leads to over-spending. We’re on a budget here, so stick to it!
  • The world is your oyster, and there are plenty of options on the internet. Google, Pinterest and other search engines will help you with your search to find cheap and easy meals for you.

Share your successes, mishaps and favorites in the comments!

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Violet DeStefano

Violet DeStefano is a public health major who will graduate in 2020. She is from Oak Park, IL and she enjoys reading, painting and hanging out with her pet hedgehog, Phillip, in her free time.

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