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Student’s Guide to Cooking on a Budget

By FLcs 13 Oct 2020

Do you want to save time, money and always have something to eat? Let’s talk about meal prepping. I will share 5 easy recipes with you that got me through the first year of University, These are meals that are tasty days after cooking them so if you’re looking for something that will keep you full throughout the week, this is for you!


1. Lasagne

This was probably the tastiest meal that got me through the weeks while busy with uni. So simple to make, and still delicious after microwaving it, you can’t go wrong with it!


So, a few things that you will need to have around for this:

  • A lasagne dish – tip: you can get it from Wilko, it’s only a couple of £ there AND you can use it for other meals such as enchiladas, shepherd’s pie, casserole, burritos, pasta bake etc.
  • Lasagne sheets – you have no idea how many times I forgot to buy them! Tip: stock up! They don’t go out of date that quickly so will last you quite a while.
  • Lasagne sauces – another thing to stock up on! Tip: wait until there is an offer on them and buy a few in one go. This will save you money and you will always be prepared to cook lasagne.


Some easy recipes for Lasagne:

  • Classic Lasagne (20min prep) – BBC Good Food

  • Classic Lasagne (20min prep) – Delish

  • Veggie Lasagne (less than 30min prep) – BBC Good Food

2.3. Chicken and Rice (or quorn and rice)

Chicken and Rice is not only easy to make but there are also so many variations of this meal, you will never get bored! You can do the same meals with quorn pieces, it totally works!


Tip: To reduce the prep time, you can buy already sauces for the meal you are cooking. I never had the right spices on hand so used pre-made sauces such as curry or sweet and sour. Not only does it save time but it also makes your shopping list so much shorter.


3. Some ideas for chicken/quorn and rice:

  • Oven-baked risotto (5-10min prep, 25min cook) – BBC Good Food

  • Chicken and Tomato spiced curry (5min prep, 25min cook) – Tesco Real Food

  • Sweet & Sour Chicken (less than 30min prep, 10-30min cook) – BBC Good Food


  1. Stir Fry (my personal favourite!)

Forget what someone said: stir fry can be the easiest meal to make. I am not a fan of cooking so I absolutely love how easy it is to make a stir fry. A bonus: it’s healthy!

I make it either with chicken or tofu, both very delicious!


Tip: always buy the vegetable mix. It’s not expensive, it has so many different vegetables and they’re already cut so all you have to do is empty it out and it’s done! No time to waste.


Some recipes for stir fry:

  • Quick Chicken Chow Mein (10min prep, 10min cook) – BBC Good Food

  • Tofu Stir Fry (10min prep, 15min cook) – Well Plated by Erin


  1.  Pasta (with literally anything)

I probably don’t have to introduce this one so here are a few recipes for you:


  • Easy Spaghetti Bolognese (10min prep, 1hour10min cook) – BBC Good Food

  • Ultimate Spaghetti Carbonara (15-20min prep, 15min cook) – BBC Good Food

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs (20min prep, total cook time: 1 hour) – Delish

  • Easy Tomato Pasta (5min prep, 15min cook) – Easy Peasy Foodie

a plate of food sitting on top of a wooden table

5. Wraps

Another favourite of mine. Perfect to eat on the go and easy to prepare it before going out in the morning!


Here are some ideas for the wrap fillings so you never get bored:

  • Best Wrap Fillings – Olive

  • Lemon Chicken Wraps (5min prep, total cook time: 50min) – Delish

  • Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps (5min prep, total cook time: 1hour5min) – Delish 

Rusne Ramonaite
13th October 2020

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