10 of the Best Cheap and Cheerful Student Meals

By on November 9th, 2021



Moving away from home and going to university can be the first taste of cooking for a lot of students. Getting comfortable with how to cook a few easy and affordable home cooked meals will save you valuable time and money.

At Downing Students, we have come up with our ten favourite ‘cheap and cheerful’ student meals to help you enjoy home cooked food without breaking the bank!


Pasta Bake

Pasta is a staple for any student. With so many variations of sauces, shapes and toppings – the possibilities are endless but pasta bake has to be the student’s favourite. If you are sticking to a tight budget towards the end of term or rushing to eat between university and going out, pasta can be your ‘break glass in case of emergency’. If you are struggling for motivation all the best recipes are linked here.


Full English

A classic British dish designed specifically to cure a hangover. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a meat-eater, there are endless options to what you have on your Full English. Most products you can buy tinned or frozen so you will have plenty of stock to make it again.


Katsu Curry

Fancy a Wagamama’s but it doesn’t fit in that student budget? Don’t worry there are plenty of recipes to make this student favourite at home at a fraction of the cost – we are a fan of this Mob Kitchen one. You can easily substitute out the chicken for aubergine or tofu for vegetarians too.



You don’t need to go to McDonald’s or Burger King to get a good burger. You can easily make yourself a satisfying burger – that is way healthier. If you are a meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan, there are great options out there for everyone from all supermarkets. Our favourites are Beyond Burgers!



You haven’t lived a student life until fajitas are your go to flat meal. This chicken fajita recipe from Delish will have your flat mates begging you to make them again – and it make it even easier – you can get the kits from any supermarket for your convenience.



Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne is the perfect meal for a student on the go. Designed for batch cooking, you can freeze portions or put it in the fridge that week for your tea, or lunch the next day. It is quick and easy to make and saves you having your fifth meal deal of the week.


The perfect Jacket Potato

Jacket potatoes are pretty healthy, packed full of fibre and vitamins, which both help to aid digestion. They’re also a filling and versatile option when it comes to dieting. Once you know how to cook a baked potato, it’s all about choosing the right fillings. – and there is a world to explore!

When you are on a tight student budget eating well may seem impossible, however when you know the right places to buy your food and the best meals to cook, you can still enjoy great food, feel great and not break the bank.


Where ever you are staying during your time at Uni, cooking skills will prove invaluable. At Downing, we have modern contemporary student accommodation across the UK, with properties in Cambridge, Coventry, Exeter, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Newcastle.

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