Fast, Easy Meals & Snacks on a College Budget

It’s not easy being on a budget and enjoying a yummy, easy-to-make meal. The secret to eating well (and healthy!) without spending much is eating at home-once you start heading out for fast food, your costs can really skyrocket.

But if you’re new to the cooking game (as a lot of college students are) you probably can’t get past the fact that you don’t have the time to cook something fantastic, or you don’t have recipes you can make cheaply.

For today, here are a couple quick, tasty snack recipes. You can make these in the dorms with just a microwave and an oven or toaster oven!

Easy Baked Potato

First, prep your potato by washing it well. Poke holes all over the outside with a fork (this will keep it from exploding while it bakes!). If you like to eat the potato skin, too, you can rub the skin with olive oil or a little bit of butter to add flavor-yum!

Microwave Directions: Cook on high for 2 ½ minutes. Flip potato over and cook for 2 ½ more minutes. If you have an old microwave, you might need to repeat this process once more to get the best results.

Oven/Toaster Oven Directions: Bake at 425 F for about 40 minutes, then check. If it needs to be more tender, add 5 more minutes and check again. I like to eat mine with cheese, sour cream, or a little butter in them for flavor. Mmm. Add chili to it and you’ll be really full!

Creamy Chili Dip

This was one of my favorite things to eat in the dorms… but I don’t recommend eating it every day:

Directions: Add one can of chili (I like Dennison’s) and 1 small package of cream cheese (a lite or fat-free package to make it healthier) to a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel (to keep it from making a mess) and microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Stir. Continue to microwave in 2-minute intervals, stirring each time, until the dip is a creamy mix of the cream cheese and chili.

It seems like a weird combo, but it is oh-so-good to eat with some chips or crackers! (I like Fritos or Wheat Thins with it). Add some apples, on the side, too-they compliment the flavor perfectly. I’m getting hungry already!