There is a prevalent thought about university life that students can’t cook. This is false. Students can be good cooks, if not excellent cooks! It’s also super easy to cook on the cheap. There are loads of student cook books out there, don’t buy them. That’s extra money you could be spending on food and other things.
Carbs are your friend; if you want to live as absolutely cheaply as possible, carbs will make up a large portion of your diet. Potatoes, rice, pasta. Do you know how many ways you can cook a potato? Boil ’em, Mash ’em, Stew ’em. Sam knows. Be like Sam.
But in all seriousness use the power of the internet to find good cheap recipes. Food Tube, Sorted Food, DJ BBQ, Food Wishes (my personal favourite). Sorted Food originally started out as a group of student friends who wanted to show others how to eat cheap, so their earlier stuff is much cheaper than their current stuff. Check out some of the subreddits like r/food (for inspiration/cheats) r/cooking (for any and all questions). The easiest way to eat cheaply is to not buy meat, so the vegetarians do really have the edge in this. This doesn’t mean you should go veggie (if you’re not already) but eating a reduced meat diet does really save you money!
Here are a couple great recipes that I’ve been eating the last few weeks that are both light on the wallet and the waist:
- Mixed Bean Chilli with Jacket Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken Thigh Curry (Serves 2)
1 Jar Curry Sauce
1 Red Onion (or White)
1 large pepper
2 Cloves Garlic
3 Large Chicken Thighs
Basmati Rice (per packet instructions)
Double ingredients for 4 people, etc.
Debone, and skin chicken thighs (a sharp paring knife is fine)
Cut into 1inch chunks
Season chicken with salt and pepper
Remove chicken from pan – set aside
Start warming the sauce
Fry off the veg in the same pan
Deglaze pan with water*
Add chicken and veg to sauce
Cook rice per packet instruction (up your rice game)
*Add a couple tablespoons of water to the pan to remove the fond that gets stuck to the pan. Adds loads of trapped flavour and makes cooking easier.
NB: bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are cheaper, and more versatile, great for a super cheap and easy roast dinner and curry.