Quick Meals on a Budget

As a student who is always on the go, I do not always have time to cook for hours. I also have a monthly budget which makes kraft dinner look delicious on most nights. However, my mother always told me to be conscious of what I put in my body, so over the past two years on my own I have developed an arsenal of go-to easy and tasty recipes. Today, I am going to share my top five!

1. Avocado Toast 

This may sound basic, but if you like avocados then this is the perfect meal that is high in good fats, flavourful and can be made in five minutes. It’s simple, just squish the insides of the avocado on a piece of toast! I also enjoy adding hot sauce or hot chilli flakes for an extra kick. For some protein, you can choose to add an egg on top. Due to the small number of ingredients, this is a budget friendly option that’s also filling as well!

2. Spaghetti and Meatballs 

This is a filling and delicious dinner idea that is quick to make. It is not expensive to buy a large package of pasta and a container of sauce. These ingredients will last for multiple dinners. I suggest buying a package of frozen meatballs which can be cooked in the microwave or oven by following the instructions on the box. Making pasta is a quick process with only a few steps: boil the noodles until soft, drain the water, add the sauce, and you’re finished! Add in your meatballs to complete the dinner. 

3. Grilled Cheese 

This is the least healthy option of the five meals, but we all deserve a treat once in a while. Grilled cheese sandwiches are fast and easy to make, with a small number of ingredients. You can make grilled cheese on the stove with your cheese of choice, just keep it on low heat so it doesn’t burn. Whether it’s for lunch or a midnight snack, it is a student essential. 

4. Rice Stir Fry

This is a dinner option which can sound complex but actually takes little culinary skills. To make this dinner, I suggest instant rice since it is an affordable and quicker option and most of them come pre-seasoned which is more convenient. To the rice, add scrambled eggs and sautéed vegetables, with a sauce of your liking. I personally use soya sauce. While the ingredient list is slightly longer, choosing eggs over chicken for protein will keep the cost more inexpensive. 

5. Quinoa Salad 

This is a great idea to meal prep. As a student, meal prepping is convenient because you will have food already prepared when you are in a rush, have school work to focus on, or just don’t feel like cooking. To make this salad, add any produce you like to the quinoa. I personally add cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and lemon juice as dressing. A clever way to add protein to the salad are nuts, beans or chickpeas that come in a can. Meal prepping quinoa salad is preferred to a green salad because the quinoa will stay fresh for a longer period of time.