Struggling with food is part of the college experience and seen as a rite of passage, as graduates proudly boast of the atrocities they ate in college.
Eating in college is affordable if you know where to go. Scroll interviewed nine BYU-Idaho students to find out their favorite fast and cheap foods.
“I would say the quickest thing for me to make … I just make a salad and bring it with me,” said Isabel Valenzuela, a freshman studying graphic design.
Spice up the salad by adding things already at home, like a slice of lunch meat or diced cheese.
“I like to make this burrito,” said Emily Simmons, a freshman studying biology. “I get like a whole wheat tortilla, I get chicken … cut into little slices. I cook the chicken and microwave some lentils and some rice … and then I put corn … and I mix it in with the chicken, then I put cheese on top.”
Rice, tortillas, lentils and corn are all incredibly cheap with little to no effort involved in cooking them.
3. Pigs in a Blanket
“My favorite cheap and easy meal would be pigs in a blanket, which sounds stupid, but it’s easy to make,” said Abby Allen, a freshman studying music education.
Pigs in a blanket are iconic — not to mention cost-effective. Hotdogs can be found at Dollar Tree and most grocery stores stock cans of biscuits. Just cut the hot dogs and biscuits into bite-sized pieces and wrap them up.
4. Spring Rolls
College students sometimes don’t get to stick to their own dietary preferences due to expense. Adeline Faleono, a sophomore studying accounting, talked about one of her favorite fast and easy foods that fit her pescatarian lifestyle.
“My go-to is spring rolls … just because you can get like any type of vegetable and make a spring roll,” Faleono said. “Cucumbers, bean sprouts … glass noodles, lettuce, carrots and … a noodle sheet of paper that you wrap everything in.”
5. Biscuits and Gravy
Biscuits and gravy is a southern staple; a meal that has persisted throughout the ages.
“I make them all from scratch,” said Nathan McCall, a sophomore studying recreation management. “The only ingredients I use are butter, milk, heavy whipping cream, salt pepper, baking powder … and then sausage.”
“I get some chicken breast, some rice and then green peppers, which are like the cheapest vegetables ever,” said Chase Collins, a freshman studying business management. “Just season the chicken, cook it on the stove, make some rice and cook up some green peppers.”
For other cheap options, you can substitute the chicken breasts for thighs or drumsticks.
Ben Blake, a junior studying biology, has a gourmet and relatively inexpensive meal that is sure to wow a date.
“I really like to make pesto pasta with some fried onions and bacon,” Blake said. “I’ve made my own pesto sauce in the past, but I find it’s a lot easier to buy from the store.”
Cooking is truly a creative art; the same ingredient can be used in so many different ways.
Staci Moore, a senior studying F.C.S. apparel entrepreneurship, also agreed to share her wisdom on pasta, one of her favorite variety ingredients.
“Pasta is cheap,” Moore said. “You can add things to the pasta and make it different. I like doing chicken or vegetables … or shrimp.”
Spaghetti sauce and pasta are low-cost and come in large amounts, a combo our next student takes advantage of:
“My usual go-to is a small pot of spaghetti, something that can be prepared within 6 to 10 minutes,” said Brett Brown, a junior studying art illustration.
Food is an art, but cheap art materials can make great beauty just as much as expensive ones.