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Best Things to Cook on a Student Budget

You’re probably feeling a little hungry now that you’ve started college. You’re surviving on dinners and soup in the Main Rest, and probably feeling like you need a little bit of Mammy’s dinner:
These are some recipes will make you feel right at home, and all for under the cost of €10.

1. The Obvious One: Spaghetti BologneseSpagBol


If you don’t know how to make it, don’t worry. First, stick on the kettle. Start by lightly coating your pan with about a dessert spoon of oil. Once the oil warms up, stick some beef mince into it. Dice an onion, and if you want, add some peppers. My mam usually put carrots in it too, but that’s up to you. When the kettle boils, pour the water into a pot and add your pasta. Once your mince has browned, add your pasta sauce, if it’s powder, made sure to mix it with water first. You can get all your ingredients for €6.50 in Tesco.

2. Muffin Tin PizzaZa

I made this before, and so easy and tasty, I just had to share it. You will need a muffin tin for this, but I’m sure your apartment will come fitted with one. First, put some circles of pita bread into your tin, make sure it’s greased first with some butter maybe.Then put some pasta sauce on it, and cheese. Then, just add your toppings as you like. Pop it into a preheated oven for about 5 minutes, and it’s done. The ingredients for this will cost you.about €2.20 in Tesco.

3. Chicken Noodle Stir Fry/Sweet & SourStirFry


This meal is so easy to make, and you can put your own twist on it too. Start by boiling the kettle again. Then fry off some diced chicken fillets (average one per person).Once the kettle has boiled(mine takes easily 10 minutes), add the water to a standard packet of noodles in a pot. When your chicken is cooked (please make sure you cut the biggest one and make sure it’s not still pink because raw chicken is terrifying), add some onions, peppers, sweetcorn or whatever else you want. You can get different stir fry packets, depending on the flavour you want. My favourite is sweet and sour. Your noodles should be cooked by now, so drain the water and toss them into the pan and leave it for about 2 minutes. Then, simply toss it into a bowl and you’re done! The ingredients for this costs about €6.50 in Tesco.

4. Sweet potato and pea vegetarian curry

This time, stick on the kettle, your most useful utensil. Add some curry sauce to  a pan, you shouldn’t need oil. Add a peas, sweet potato cubes and coconut milk to taste. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. While that’s simmering, boil your rice with your already boiled water in a pot. Serve with a sprinkle of coriander. This will cost you €6.80 in Tesco.

5. Beef Stroganoff

I cooked this as my Junior Cert home-economics practical and it is BeefStragliterally one of my favourite dishes to cook. As usual, stick on the kettle, and start boiling your rice/pasta. I’ve done this dish with both rice and pasta, and I’ve seen it been done both ways, so its up to you which you prefer. Personally, I think its better with rice. Now, I know its a beef stroganoff, but it can be anything really, chicken, duck, turkey, lamb, anything that you fancy. Make sure if you’re using beef, that you buy diced beef, not minced. Stick it into your lightly oiled pan and cook until browned. The best way to do this is to then put your mushrooms into the pan with the beef, and when they have browned a bit, add your sour cream. Simmer it until it’s thick and hot, and serve. It’s yummy in your tummy. This will cost you €7.80 in Tesco.

Still hungry? I’ve also set up a group on facebook as an exchange of recipes and ideas for students in Cork, so check it out here.

Have any more recipes you though were great? Email them to Features@UCCExpress.ie and we’ll have a look!