Budget-friendly recipes for off-campus residents

By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
@bufoodist

One-pot meals, like stews, are great options for college students living off-campus./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Pelican

One-pot meals, like stews, are great options for college students living off-campus./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Pelican

If you are planning to live off campus for the first time next semester, it  can be difficult to budget how much to spend on food, especially when there is no dining hall to swipe into (unless one of your generous friends guest-swipe you in). Once you figure out how much you can spend, you should probably figure out the best way to make the most of your groceries. 

Go-to, easy recipes with very few ingredients will help you stay under budget and keep you from breaking down and ordering Chinese. After a long day, having a meal waiting at home is not only smart, it’s cost effective. I’ve compiled three types of meals and even more recipes for the college chef – most of them one-pot and easy to make.

1. Make a stew, soup or curry on Sunday and eat that throughout the week

One-pot meals with multiple forms of protein are smart for weekly dinners, and can often involve shortcuts (a can of soup, tomatoes or red beans). There are thousands of food blogs that offer these sorts of recipes, but for those vegans or gluten-free foodies out there, this chipotle black bean stew is filling and tastes better the longer it sits. Meat-eaters can try out this hearty jalapeno popper chicken soup.

2. Make large batches of oatmeal or steel-cut oats for breakfast all week

Foods like steel-cut oats are filling, cheap and easy-to-make: You can buy four packs of 24-oz oats online for under $20. This oatmeal recipe is from the recipe site NoshOn. It teaches you how to make oatmeal ahead of time, so you have easy breakfasts all week. You can take them on the T, bring them to class or eat them over some last-minute homework.

3. Buy a rice cooker and get creative

Rice is cheap, and it serves as a filling, warm, gluten-free base for a lot of casseroles and three-ingredient dinners. Try pouring soup or jarred sauces over rice, mixing in curry paste and coconut milk or even sticking to Sriracha or teriyaki sauce. As you start to develop your inner college chef, you can get more creative with whatever’s in the pantry. To start off, try out these recipes for Mexican rice, Bourbon chicken and rice or a classic Jambalaya.

Not sure about making the jump to off-campus housing? Try out some of Boston University’s apart-style housing available.

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