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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

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

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

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

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

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

More money-saving tips and budgeting advice from our students.

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