Student Budget Cooking: How To Make Cheap, Easy Meals

Cooking On A Budget

Ready-made meals fresh from the freezer seem have a particularly strong appeal when your bank balance is teetering dangerously close your overdraft limit.

So, doing our best Jamie Oliver impression (pukka this, pukka that), we've teamed up with to bring you a three course meal which won't break the bank, but which mean you don't have to survive on Tesco Economy sausages and Iceland chicken nuggets for the rest of January.

As all their recipes are submitted by students, they're naturally student-proof - although we don't recommend cooking them at the end of a night out. Gas cookers and alcohol have never been the best of friends.


• Fish - canned tuna fish is ideal

• Potatoes

• Egg

• Butter

• Milk

• Onions (optional)

• Seasonings


1. Cook the potatoes - peel, then either boil them or microwave them until they are soft. If they are

large potatoes, chop them up first to make it quicker.

2. Finely dice and then fry onions in some oil.

3. Mash potatoes, adding some butter and milk to make them creamier.

4. Add the tuna fish and the onions, mix. Here you can throw in anything you want - spices, salt and

pepper, chopped peppers or tomatoes.

5. Beat one egg until fluffy, then add to mixture to bind.

6. Take a handful of the mixture and roll into a ball, then flatten to make your fishcake.

7. To cook, fry in some oil for a few minutes on both sides. The best thing about this recipe is that

you can make loads and keep the leftover mixture in the fridge or the freezer and then cook it as

and when you need it.


Serves 2

• Peas (2 handfuls)

• Potato (1)

• Carrots (2)

• Tomatoes (4)

• Green chillies (2)

• Turmeric (half teaspoon)

• Salt (pinch)

• Pepper (pinch)

• Garlic

• Ginger

• Poppy seeds

• Olive oil

• Rice


1. Peel skin off potato and dice, cut carrots into slices and boil them both along with peas.

2. Meanwhile, cut an ‘x’ on the bottom of each tomato and place in boiling hot water for 3


3. Place tomatoes in cold water for 1 minute and peel off the skin from the x. If still hard, place in

hot water for another 2 minutes. Then mash up the tomato after removing the seeds.

4. Put oil in the pan, add chillies, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, poppy seeds and turmeric.

5. Add vegetables and tomato sauce, and cook for 5 - 10 minutes.

6. Serve with rice


• No eggs!

• 12oz self-raising flour

• 8oz soft margarine

• 8oz caster sugar

• 2oz dark chocolate drops (or anything else you fancy putting in; smarties, white chocolate

drops, raisins etc.)


1. Mix the ingredients together in a big bowl, use your hands to knead the dough, it shouldn't

be at all crumbly, so add a little more margarine if it is.

2. Take a small ball of dough, about the size of 1 and a half ping pong balls and squeeze it so it's

a circle about 1.5cm thick.

3. Place on a greased tray.

4. You can make between 16 - 22 cookies, so use 2 trays.

5. Cook in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.

6. Eat them while they're hot! Taste magic with a glass of milk :)

If you've got a recipe or dish you want to share with the world, email us at: and we'll publish it, just like we did with this lot (although some are more inventive than others...):

Student Recipes

Before You Go