8 Easy, Quick and Cheap Meals to Master for University
Starting University comes with a lot of ‘firsts’, or for me it did anyway! One of the biggest ‘firsts’ was cooking for myself every day. I love cooking, which I certainly think helps when you’re trying to avoid take-aways or microwave meals- so in this blog I am going to suggest some meals that would be worth knowing how to cook. The summer after your A Levels is long and you end up itching to prepare for University, but don’t always know where you’re going or your grades. So why not prepare for what to cook? Have a practise at home and master them. They are my favourite cheap, easy and minimum washing up meals!
I feel like most students that come to University know how to cook one of these two. I put them in the same category, as once you can cook one, you can almost definitely cook the other. Minced meat is slightly more expensive than other meat- depending on the quality- but what I love about these meals is that they are so easy to freeze. You can cook a big Bolognese sauce and freeze it for as long as you like, with the knowledge that on a low day when you want a wholesome meal, you can put it in the microwave. Plus, when its spread over four helpings, it’s a cheap meal.
– this is the perfect ice-breaker/ group meal. I personally love having something like fajitas before a night out, it lines my tummy and tastes amazing. It’s a nice meal to eat with others too, and when four or five of you are chipping in, it’s a pretty cheap meal. You can get the ready prepared boxes in most shops, including in the on-campus shop- Rootes. It doesn’t take long, comes with instructions (bonus!) and tastes just as good the next day for lunch. One of my favourites.
I personally love a variety of curries and honestly they are so easy to cook, and again, can be brilliant left overs for the next day. Over my time at Warwick University, I have tried a few different curries, making them from scratch or from jars. My favourite curry is Thai Green, it’s quick, delicious, not too unhealthy (there is a fair amount of coconut milk- but it tastes all the better for it!) and filling. I started off University buying bags of rice, but recently I have started using the microwavable rice- that you just cut the corner off of and stick in the microwave for 2 minutes. It’s so much easier and actually only about 20p more expensive.
okay so this isn’t a meal as such but it’s a definite must-know. Sweet potato chips are actually a lot healthier for you than regular chips- and in my opinion taste better too! There are so many recipes on line, but they are quick, healthy and if you line your tray with tinfoil (one of the biggest Uni-hacks ever) there is virtually no mess. So on a day when you look in your freezer and you have chicken goujons, or sausages, or even vegetable burgers (you know the standard freezer fillers) you can chop up some sweet potatoes and your meal is complete. In probably less than 20 minutes.
– I love soups and would recommend to anyone starting University (that likes soup!) to pick out a few soups that you like and nab the recipe. My favourites are Mary Berry’s tomato soup, which is practically tinned chopped tomatoes and a tea spoon of sugar, and sweet potato soup. They are not only easy to do, but they are so good for cooking in bulk. I usually seal them in plastic food bags and freeze them for a later date. Then you just take them out the night before you intend to eat it and you have yourself the perfect, and healthy, lunch!
Now this sound extravagant but it’s really not- and if you wanted to you could make a massive Roast dinner with your friends- which would be mega cheap- and much easier to tidier up. The ‘skills’ you need to make a roast dinner are the same as any of the meals above. You need one baking tray, throw in a chicken, chop the vegetables into chunks and put them around the chicken and put it in the oven for about an hour. Get some gravy granules and voila- you are done!
this could be scrambled, poached, boiled- egg is one of my go-to foods. I love poached egg and avocado, I love scrambled egg on toast and I never say no to an egg sandwich. If I am completely honest, at the beginning of University I really struggled cooking poached eggs (and sometimes do now!) At home I never really needed to do it, so at University it was a rather stressful experience. Uncooked poached egg is nasty and over cooked is a little bit rubbery, so it’s well worth having a practise over the summer so you can make your egg on toast with confidence!
There you go- my most frequently eaten go-to meals at University. I really do think it’s worth having meals frozen for a rainy day, and definitely, if you have time, practise them before coming to University. If not, it’s not the end of the world- google will help you out with recipes and timings!
I hope this helps- please feel free to contact me J