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Fakeaways: Student Meals on a budget

Coming to uni and never cooked before? Our savvy saver and Economics and Accounting undergraduate Sandisiwe Nyanda shares some cheap and cheerful recipes.

Student life in Belfast is affordable, but takeaways can still put a dent in your student budget. If you find yourself spending £10+ on Deliveroo while your groceries rot away and you’re trying to cut back, ‘fakeaways’ are a great way to get a takeaway experience without breaking the bank.

Below, you’ll find some personal faves which will save you money and still satisfy your cravings for tasty, easy-to-prep food! They also make great packed lunches if you’re trying to cut spending while on campus. The meals are easy to prepare and each use under 7 ingredients which you may already have in your fridge. Better yet, you can be munching away in under 30 minutes. Each meal should cost about £5 and can serve more than once person or allow you to have multiple servings.

Pancake stack

This is not your ordinary, measly 3 pancake stack. These are delicious, golden and definitely way more than what you’ll get for £5+ at your favourite breakfast spot. I’ll admit, I may have gone a little overboard, but why not? You’ll need the following:

 Flour

 A Banana

 Milk

 Oil

 Baking powder

 Salt, Sugar and some cinnamon (optional)

Once you have all the ingredients to replicate this beauty of a stack, mix it all together in a bowl then fry in a non-stick pan on low heat flipping once you see the bubbles.

Garlic, butter & mushroom Pasta

This is one of my favourite lunch/dinner meals. It’s quick, easy and it’s super tasty.

All you need to do is:

 Prep your pasta according to the packaging instructions

 Fry some garlic, butter, olive oil, chilli and mushrooms on medium heat in a pan while your pasta cooks.

 Add your pasta to the sauce and mushrooms once its cooked

 Lastly, grate some cheese over it and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal.

Literally, that’s all it is.

Garlic, butter, olive oil, mushroom, some chilli (optional) and some pasta that’s it!

Fries two ways: Oven Curly Fries or Homemade chilli-cheese fries.

Your choice will depend on how lazy you’re feeling.

For the chilli cheese fries:

 Chop up and rinse two potatoes

 Heat up some cooking oil

 Toss the chips in the hot oil a handful at a time. (be careful not to burn yourself or burn the place down, please!)

 Remove them from the oil and season to taste  Cover them in cheese and chopped chilli while their piping hot  Add some hot sauce and enjoy!

If you’re not in the mood to chop potatoes, then go ahead and put your store-bought curly fries in the oven. A bag of these will only set you back £2 at Lidl or Iceland and it should make about 4-5 containers of fries. #bigsavingswhilesatifyingcravings. Just pop them in the oven for 20 minutes and make sure to use the fan setting so they become deliciously crispy. 

I love a guacamole dip with these. Its quick easy and tasty – just mash up and avocado and add some salt and chilli. If avocado isn’t your thing, your favourite sauce will do just fine.


You can follow any 3-bean-chilli recipe with:

 Tesco’s 3 bean can

 a vegetable stock cube

 a can of tomatoes

 onions and spices of your choice

Or if you’re lazy you can use some store-bought tomato-based sauce and throw the beans in with it for about 5 minutes. Top your pan-warmed or oven baked tortilla (depending on if you like hard- or soft-shell tacos) with some cheese, guacamole and veggies of your choice and BAM you’ve got some tasty tacos.

Looking for more ways to save money in Belfast?