Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Budget Friendly Meals for Students

Whether it’s the end of the month, you’ve spent too much money on takeout or you’re just trying to save up for that Daisies ticket, there are many ways to save money and have homecooked healthy meals without the hassle.




In season

When grocery shopping this might seem like a given, but always check if the fresh vegetables and fruits you are buying are in season. Buying your produce in season will ensure they’re at their lowest price and are full of the nutrients your body needs that season.



Always check your pantry!

Before going grocery shopping you might want to peek at what you’ve already got stocked up and plan your meals around these. This will ensure you’re using up the ingredients you already have, and you aren’t buying unnecessarily.



Partner up

A good way to cut costs on meals is create a cooking roster with your roommates. Buying in bulk for one meal is cheaper than buying separate ingredients for a meal every day. Plus, it gives you extra time to hang with your girlfriends ( friends) over a homecooked meal.



Here are 8 budget friendly meals:


Meatball Sub

Meatball subs are great for when you’re wishing for something sloppy and juicy that still has that homecooked taste. Try substituting individual rolls for longer French bread style rolls, they’re cheaper and great for when its not just a party of one. Enjoy this takeout style meal minus the uber eats expense. Read the recipe here!

Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad

This Mexican salad is perfect for the summer or when you need a quick meal. Substitute ingredients for items you already have at home e.g. Top with feta cheese instead of dressing, adding diced tomatoes or avocado. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make this salad your own! Tip, using canned black beans and corn and instead of corn off the cob is preferred as its affordable and has a longer shelf life, so need to worry about ingredients going bad. Read the recipe here!

Butternut Soup and Garlic Bread

Heart-warming butternut soup, toasted garlic bread on a rainy day… NEED WE SAY MORE. This meal is super flexible and can be prepared in many ways and is packed with Vitamin C and A. To make the garlic bread, slice a French loaf in half, mix together butter and garlic in a bowl and brush the mixture onto both halves, top with cheese (optional) and place in the oven till golden brown. Read the recipe here!

Tuna Melt

The versatility of potatoes is endless and adding tuna to your jacket potatoes makes for a simple and very budget friendly dish. Don’t knock it till you try it! Read the recipe here!

2-Minute Noodle Chicken Chow Mein

Transform basic 2-minute noodles into delicious Chinese dish with this recipe. You can add on chicken to the recipe, extra veg or fry in some egg for a different spin on 2-minute noodles. A must try! Read the recipe here!

Chickpea Curry and Rice

This vegan chickpea curry is healthy, tasty and full of flavour. The ingredients in this meal have a long shelf life and most can be found in your pantry. Substituting sirachca for other hot sauces or adding in chilli’s for extra spice, makes this meal even more budget friendly. Read the recipe here!

Cottage Pie

Nothing beats a classic cottage pie for when you’re craving homecooked comfort food. Read the recipe here!

Grilled Cheese

This meal takes a twist on the classic grilled cheese which is my favourite when chowing course takes presidency over chowing kos! You don’t have to stick to the recipe with this grilled cheese and could use any leftovers you have at home which makes it the perfect study meal. Read the recipe here!

These meals should get you started on your budget friendly meal journey. Happy cooking!


Outgoing Virgo and avid cacti collector studying a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Politics at UCT. I'm an aspiring writer who would like to pursue a career in the social media field as a copywriter or creative director, to translate my love for words into a force for change to empower women across the globe.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️