Cheap, easy meals for students on a budget

McDonald’s and Taco Bell are great, but there comes a time in every college student’s semester when he or she is forced to put down the Five Layer Burrito and cook a real meal. Since this realization does not come with a pile of money, below I have provided a three-course meal to get students started on their journeys into the world of real food. So, put down that $1.59 burrito and get cooking.

Pepperoni and Cheese Toppers

Ingredients: Crackers, cheese and pepperoni

Ritz Crackers

A block of cheese



Open crackers and pepperoni, slice cheese and enjoy.

Pizza Burgers


1 pound of ground beef

1 jar of pizza sauce

1 pack of hamburger buns

Several slices of American cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Brown ground beef in skillet, drain and return to skillet.

2. Add the pizza sauce and simmer until thickened.

3. Slice cheese into four or five strips.

4. Open five buns and lay them on a cookie sheet.

5. Spoon ground beef mixture onto each bun half. Adding pepperoni slices at this step is optional.

6. Lay four to five strips of the sliced cheese on each bun half in a crisscross pattern.

7. Bake in oven until cheese is melted to preference and the bun is a little brown.

You could pair any side of your choosing with these.

Peach Cobbler


Two cans of peaches in heavy syrup or substitute for preferred fruit of pie filling.

1 box of Jiffy Yellow Cake Mix

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons butter


1. Open peaches and dump into 8 by 8 inch baking pan.

2. Sprinkle sugar on top

3. Pour dry cake mix over and use a knife to spread it around and make sure it is blended down into the peaches.

4. Distribute butter evenly on top.

5. Bake according to cake mix directions or until brown.

Cobbler is good straight out of oven as well as cold.

Serving sizes:

Pepperoni and Cheese toppers – 5

Pizza Burgers – 2

Peach Cobbler – 6

Shopping List

Pepperoni and Cheese Toppers

Ritz Crackers $2.50

Kraft block of Cheese $2.98

Total $5.48

Pizza Burgers for two

1 lb Great Value ground beef $5.68

1 jar Great Value pizza sauce $1.14

Hamburger buns $1.48

Kraft American sliced cheese $3.28

Total $11.58

Peach Cobbler

Two cans of Great Value peaches in heavy syrup $2

1 box Jiffy Yellow cake mix 74 cents

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons butter

Total $2.74

Total Overall $19.80

Three course meal serves two

*All food purchased at Wal-Mart