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Quick Eats: Easy dorm room meals on a budget

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By Tyler Wegleitner

Transitioning to college life is challenging. From moving to a new city, starting new classes and meeting new people, college can present itself with many obstacles. Coming up with meal ideas shouldn’t be one of them.

Here is a list of 10 budget-friendly meal ideas you can make from the comfort of your own dorm room.

1. PASTA

One essential food item in any dorm room is pasta. A great source of carbs, this is one staple that you can vary significantly to your liking. By adding cheese, vegetables, seasonings, sauces or protein, you’re sure to find something you like. Microwave pasta cookers are available online and in stores, usually for less than $20. These pasta cookers make it easy and quick to make a meal without a stovetop, perfect for any busy college student.

2. RICE

Another staple for any dorm room is rice. Not only is it extremely versatile, but it’s easy to make. It can be paired with vegetables and protein for a quick and easy meal. Be sure to purchase instant rice, which can be made quickly in the microwave, along with a large microwave-safe container.

3. SOUP

Not only are cans of soup cheap, but they’re easy to store and have a long shelf life. Within minutes, you can have a hot dinner ready. You can even make them your own by adding vegetables, cheese, herbs and spices. Make sure to purchase a microwave-safe container prior to the start of the semester. There are plenty available for purchase in stores and online for relatively cheap.

4. POTATOES

Potatoes are so well-loved for their versatility. Just because you’re in a dorm room doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of them. Both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes can be cooked in the microwave, as long as they are pierced multiple times with a fork to allow steam to escape. You can also add a wide variety of toppings to suit your taste. There are many recipes online for microwave potato chips, scalloped potatoes and even mashed potatoes.

5. QUESADILLAS

Quesadillas are another great snack or meal that you can make using a microwave. Place shredded cheese between two tortillas before microwaving. You can consider adding vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes, along with protein or herbs to make it your own.

6. SANDWICHES

Sandwich ingredients are also great to keep in your dorm room. Not only are sandwiches cheap and easy to make, but extremely variable, perfect for anyone’s diet. By changing the bread or ingredients inside, this is one quick meal idea great for any occasion.

7. WRAPS

Wraps are another quick, great way to add variety to your weekly meals. There are so many ways to customize them, from different types of tortillas or bread, proteins, vegetables and sauces, there is surely something for everyone and every diet.

8. OVERNIGHT OATS

Overnight oats are a simple breakfast that you can make ahead of time. You can add any ingredients you might like and can therefore accommodate many different diets. By making them the night before, you can have breakfast ready by the time you wake up. To begin, you can add oats along with any type of milk to a container. Then you can consider adding other ingredients such as chia seeds, syrup or peanut butter. Then let the container sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you can add fresh fruit such as bananas, strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.

9. EGGS IN A MUG

Maybe you’re in the mood for a hot breakfast. You can make eggs quickly using only a microwave and great to keep in your dorm room. Not only are sandwiches cheap and easy to make, but extremely variable, perfect for anyone’s diet. By changing the bread or ingredients inside, this is another quick, great way to add variety to your weekly meals. There are so many ways to customize them, from different types of tortillas or a microwave-safe mug, along with butter and milk. There are many recipes and variations online that allow you to add cheese, spices or herbs of your choice.

10. MUG CAKES

One dessert you can make easily from your room is a mug cake. These are perfect for those busy evenings, between classes or during a study break. For mug cakes, all you really need is a microwave and a microwave-safe mug, along with the appropriate ingredients. Whether you like peanut butter, angel food, chocolate or vanilla, there are plenty of different recipes to choose from online. CT

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