Easy & Affordable College Meals/Snacks

Being in college means you have the independence to do basically anything you want, but part of this newfound freedom means that you have to learn to cook for yourself, or find food options that work for you!

This is definitely an adjustment for some people, especially if you do not know how to cook easy and affordable College Meals/Snacks. Luckily, cooking has always been something I liked to do, so this wasn’t a huge problem for me when I started school.

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College Meals/Snacks

While there are options like dining halls and food courts, depending on your schedule and preferences, there will be times when you want to cook for yourself! Here is my collection of some easy meals and snacks that have been my go-to in college!

The ingredients for these are pretty affordable, which is crucial for a college student. Some of these options may be difficult to make if you are living in a dorm without a kitchen, I will provide some microwavable options as well! 

College Meals

Quick and Easy Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is a versatile and quick meal that allows you to incorporate a variety of vegetables and proteins! All you need is a pan, some pre-cut veggies, protein (like chicken, tofu, or shrimp), and any stir-fry sauce.

Cook everything together, and within minutes, you’ll have a balanced meal packed with nutrients and flavor. (This meal may not work in college dorms depending on what kitchen appliances you have access to)

Power-Packed Salads

Salads don’t have to be boring, and they can be a quick and nutritious meal option. Start with a base of greens, add a variety of colorful vegetables, throw in some protein (grilled chicken, chickpeas, or quinoa), and finish with any dressing.

You can make salads in advance and store them in containers for easy access during the week. This meal can be made almost anywhere, as long as you have access to a fridge!

Avocado Toast 

This is one of my favorite meals to have for breakfast or lunch; all you need is a ripe avocado and a toast of your choice! You can also add toppings such as tomatoes, eggs, and any seasoning! 

Egg Bites

All you need for this is a simple muffin or cupcake pan, eggs, and whatever else you want to add! If you don’t have access to an oven, there are so many good microwavable options that are sold in any grocery store! These are filled with protein and a great option for a quick meal.

Microwavable Meals

If you’re short on time or cooking equipment, don’t underestimate the power of your microwave. Many healthy options can be prepared using this kitchen appliance.

Steamable veggies, rice cups, and frozen meals were all some of my go-to options when I was living in a dorm!

Brands like Lean Cuisine, Tattooed Chef, and Power Bowls are my favorites! Just be sure to have some basic kitchen supplies like microwave-safe containers and utensils on hand.

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College Snacks

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Layer Greek yogurt with granola and your choice of fruits like berries, bananas, or mango for a delicious and protein-rich snack! 

Trail Mix

Create your own trail mix with a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a small amount of dark chocolate for a balanced and convenient snack.

Cottage Cheese with Fruit

Pair cottage cheese with fresh fruit like pineapple, peaches, or apple slices. It’s a protein-packed snack that’s both sweet and satisfying. Cottage cheese with toast is also so good!

Veggie Sticks with Hummus

Cut up carrot, celery, cucumber, and bell pepper sticks and dip them in hummus for a crunchy and nutritious snack. 


Blend together your choice of fruits, Greek yogurt, and a handful of spinach or kale for a refreshing and vitamin-rich beverage. You can also add protein powder or nut butter!

These additional meal and snack ideas offer variety and flexibility, making it easier for college students to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet even when time is limited.

Remember to keep healthy staples on hand and plan your meals and snacks ahead to make healthy eating more accessible during your busy college days!

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