20 cheap uni meal ideas that you might actually try

cupcake student meals

I have never really lived the student life to the full. I’ve done some pretty studenty stuff and I’ve spent my last £10 on Just Eat more than once, but I’ve never really gone all in for the student life. I basically always have an avocado in the house and doing this blog since I was a baby in first year means I’ve always been pretty food conscious, despite putting on about 4 stone in the same amount of years.

I’ve seen loads of posts on the internet about “student friendly” meals but let’s be honest, how often are you and your seven flatmates ever going to chip in a quid each to make spicy prawn fajitas? Maybe once, just for Instagram? When you get home from lectures or wake up at 3pm the day after a night of Ring of Fire based fun, you’re not going to fancy batch cooking a soup or whipping up some healthy granola bars are you? (Apart from maybe if you’re me.) You just want to feel full, with minimal effort, so you can get back to watching How I Met Your Mother. So here are some dinner suggestions you might actually find useful. Pin it, text the link to your mate, or write it down on your hand. Just thank me later.

  1. Pancakes – you can keep the ingredients to these in the cupboard so you can whip some up whenever you feel like. Once you’ve got the hang of it they are super easy to do too. One of my best loved recipes of all time are my oat milk pancakes, yum.
  2. Marmite linguine – all you do is cook linguine or any pasta you want and then add 2 parts cream cheese or butter to one part Marmite or Vegemite. I eat this like twice a week. (Matt, I put this one in for you.)
  3. Egg mayo sandwiches – this one also reminds me of Matt because he makes the best egg mayo. All you have to do is boil eggs, and add them to mayo on some soft white bread. Best eaten fresh and warm. When I moved house once I spent two days when I should have been unpacking sat on the floor watching the whole of Outnumbered on my phone data which a pot of egg mayo deli filler, a loaf of toastie bread and a knife. Well spent calories there.
  4. Get someone else to pay for takeout on their card and “forget” to pay them back – we’ve all done it. Or say “I’ll get the next one” and hope they wait to take you up on it until after you get paid.
  5. Go out with someone who wants to buy you Papa Johns – I also learnt this one from Matt. Shower them with love and affection in return for pizza. And reciprocated love, obviously.
  6. Get someone to add their PayPal to your Just Eat account – the holy grail of dinner options. If you manage this you are the luckiest. I know a guy who has like 6 people’s bank details on his account. That guy wins.
  7. Go to extra-curricular activities where snacks are provided – any sort of mingling event at the SU or talk or workshop may come with free snacks. Fill up on these and you won’t need dinner. Throwback to first year when we had a wine box full of indian snacks from a mingling event for no reason.
  8. Tesco meal deal – put Netflix on. Stick Monster Munch into a baguette. Wash it down with a Dr Pepper. You are welcome.
  9. Slightly shitty meal deal from the uni cafe – even better when someone bails you out when you say you “don’t have cash” and they wanna make a card transaction up to a fiver.
  10. Sausage roll and macaroni cheese – sounds odd but me and Deanna invented this in third year. You basically get some puff pastry, sausage meat and wrap it up. Pair with macaroni cheese and maybe some vegetables/salad if you feel like it. Idyllic comfort food.
  11. M&S spag bol microwave meal – this is one of my fave M&S hacks. This particular ready meal is actually loads cheaper than all the others and it’s tasty. Yeah sure, you can easily make your own bolognaise but can you really be arsed?
  12. Steal almost gone off food from your flatmates – keep close eyes on the fridge for anything that is about to go out of date or has just gone over. That way if they ask “what happened to my malt loaf/herring/bit of old leftover burrito?” you can say “oh it was out of date, turned really nasty, I threw it away” without a guilty conscience. Even though you threw it away into your mouth.
  13. Steal fresh food from your flatmates – and just take the consequences like a man.
  14. Go to bed – you don’t know you’re hungry if you’re asleep.
  15. Cereal – you want some cereal right now, don’t you? It’s healthy because fibre and all that.
  16. Beans on toast – it’s literally always better than you remember it being.
  17. Lasagne on toast – works best with day old lasagne from last night’s dinner. If you haven’t tried it you haven’t lived.
  18. Go home – your parents will make you food.
  19. Visit your Grandma – the sure fire way to get fed unlimited food for an unlimited amount of time.
  20. Get incredibly drunk on three bottles of beer and make your lecturer buy you street food out of a van – this never happened to me.


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