Cheap meal ideas for students on a budget

I know how hard it is to budget properly when you’re first starting university (or even after uni!). Over my first year I found a way to save some money while cooking meals, and I thought this could really be helpful for people looking to eat well but not break the bank. I will try to include approximate pricing for each meal and the portions the meals make.

  1. Baked potatoes with carrots and onion in tomato sauce, 4-6 portions, 2 hours prep and cooking, ~£2.55


5-6 medium-big potatoes, slices in half or in thirds

1-2 onions, sliced

3-5 carrots, thickly sliced

Salt and pepper

Olive oil, a thin layer at the bottom of the pan

1/4 bottle of sriracha or 100-250ml of tomato sauce

Garlic flakes, optional

Lemon juice, optional

Baby tomatoes, optional


Fill your pan with the potatoes, onions and carrots. cover them in salt, pepper, your choice of sauce and garlic. Fill the rest of the pan with water (careful not to spill anything!). Place in a preheated oven, and “bake” for an hour and a half at 200°C. Turn potatoes and carrots upside down every half hour!

I promise you that this will become your favourite meal, I would make this for me and my flatmate at least once a week! It’s super easy, cheap and delicious.

2. Egg sandwiches, 6 portions, 50 minutes prep and cooking, ~£3.31


6 medium eggs, boiled and sliced

1-2 onions, sliced

12 slices of bread

1 pack of cream cheese

Any sauce of preference


After the water comes to a boil, boil your eggs for about 12-20 minutes. After that, remove them from the water and let them cool down. Slice the eggs and onions and make a sandwich! Easy peasy.

3. Rice with chicken or sausage, 1-2 portions, 35 mins cooking and prep, ~£1.75


Microwave rice, any type

1/3 of an onion, diced, optional

Sauce of preference

Chicken fillets/nuggets


This one is fairly simple, just follow the instructions on the rice bag and bake your chicken in the oven and voila!

I hope these recipes inspire you to make something yummy for you (and maybe even your roommates 😊)! Have fun with it.

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