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Student meals for under £1 a portion

We understand you want to make your student budget stretch as far as possible, and with these fast and easy recipes, cooking on a budget is a cinch.


Bacon and broccoli pasta

Slimming World's bacon and broccoli pasta salad recipe | GoodtoKnow

This super simple Slimming World's bacon and broccoli pasta salad is perfect for nights when you don't want to spend ages in the kitchen. You only need a handful of basic ingredients to make it and it takes just 15 minutes from start to finish - plus, because it's a Slimming World recipe, you can rest assured that it's just as nutritious as it is delicious.

Pasta is a staple in any student diet, so this quick and easy dish is a sure-fire winner for a quick dinner. And because it’s a Slimming World recipe, its low fat too.

Average cost for four portions: £3.94 (Tesco)

Items: Tesco Fusilli (500g) 50p, Tesco Smoked Streaky Bacon (300g) £2, Tesco pre-pack broccoli 55p, Tesco baby leaf spinach (130g) 89p

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Classic carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara recipe | GoodtoKnow

Spaghetti carbonara recipe is a classic Italian dish which makes for a brilliant mid-week dinner. It's quick and easy to make with egg, Parmesan and plenty of pancetta. This recipe serves 2 people and will take around 15-20 mins to prepare and cook. This traditional carbonara recipe is a real favourite!

All you need is pasta, bacon, garlic, eggs and cheese for this classic Italian dish. The pros use Parmesan but you can sub in a low-cost Italian cheese to keep the costs down, while cooking bacon is a cheaper alternative to pancetta.

Average cost for four portions: £3.37 (Tesco)

Items: Tesco 6 eggs 70p, Woodside Farms Cooking Bacon (500g) 57p, Tesco Everyday Value Grated Italian Style Cheese (150g) £1.60, Health Food Co. Spaghetti (500g) 20p, Tesco Garlic 30p

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Bean burgers

Bean burgers recipe | GoodtoKnow

These chunky burgers will please both vegetarians and meat lovers. Packed with fibre and flavour, they are simple to prepare and can be made in advance and frozen (defrost thoroughly before cooking). You can use any combination of canned beans or replace half with cooked chickpeas or green lentils.

Got an almost-stale loaf in the cupboard? Use it to make breadcrumbs, the base of these oh-so-simple bean burgers. Just add tinned beans, coriander, onions and spring onion.

Average cost for four portions: £3.70 (Tesco)

Items: East End Chick Peas (400g), East End Red Kidney Beans (400g) 30p and East End Butter Beans (400g) 3 tins for £1, Tesco Bunched Spring Onions (100g) 55p, Tesco Fresh Cut Coriander (30g) 70p, Tesco Seeded Burger Buns 6 Pack (6) 75p, Tesco 6 eggs 70p

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Sausage and potato casserole

Easy sausage and potato casserole recipe | GoodtoKnow

This cheap and easy sausage casserole is comfort food at its best. Not only is it filling, it's simple, uses just six ingredients and the kids will love it too! This recipe serves 4 people and will take approximately 35 mins to prepare and cook, so you won't have to be in the kitchen for long to prepare this delicious dish.

The potatoes are the most expensive ingredient in this easy-to-make filling meal.

Average cost for four portions: £2.52 (Tesco)

Items: Onion 17p, New potatoes 72p, Green pepper 80p, Value pork sausages (8 pack) 50p, Value pasta sauce (440g) 33p

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Chilli potato cakes with fish fingers

Chilli potato cakes recipe | GoodtoKnow

Delicious hot or cold and great for a packed lunch, these these chilli potato cakes are as easy to make as chips and have a spicy kick too! 800g potatoes, diced 1tbsp olive oil 1 red chilli, finely chopped 1tsp smoked paprika 100g Cheddar cheese, grated 2tbsp flour 20g coriander, chopped Oil for shallow frying Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.

Fish fingers are a staple in every student freezer, but you can take them from good to gourmet when you serve them with these quick and simple spicy potato cakes.

Average cost for four portions: £4.00 (Tesco)

Items: Tesco Charlotte Potatoes (1kg) £1, Tesco Lighter Mature Cheese (200g) £1.55, Tesco Fresh Cut Coriander (30g) 70p, Hearty Food Co Fish Fingers (10 per pack – 250g) 75p

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More cheap recipe ideas


Notes: Prices calculated from, the nearest supermarket to Queen’s main campus and Elms BT9.

Store cupboard ingredients: Stock up on essentials like oil, flour, butter, milk, dried herbs and stock cubes.

Adapted from original recipes on

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