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5 Cheap and Easy Foods That Aren't Ramen

Are you dreaming about ramen noodles from eating so much of it? Well, your college days of surviving on a ramen diet may come to a halt with the alternative dishes in this blog. Don't worry! These meals can fit within your limited budget, and they are easy to make.

Quick Meals for the Financially-Challenged College Student

Ramen noodles - the broke college student's best friend. With 101 ways to fix ramen, from chicken ramen to beef ramen to ramen with vegetables, ramen Alfredo and even ramen with BBQ sauce, most students have had more than their fair share of ramen! So if you'd rather starve than eat one more package of Top Ramen, here are a few quick ideas to break the monotony without breaking the budget.

1. Chili Macaroni

You can make several meals of chili macaroni for about $5. Simply prepare plain macaroni noodles and add a can of chili, your preferred spices and some frozen corn (optional). And if you've got a couple of extra dollars, grated cheddar cheese or cottage cheese goes great with chili macaroni.

2. Pasta Salad

This quick and easy dish is a great way to get some veggies in. Just boil your favorite pasta, such as macaroni, penne or bowtie pasta, add your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables and top with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. In addition to vegetables such as peas, corn, carrots, broccoli and bell peppers, you can also add cut or canned chicken.

3. Tuna and Noodles

If you need to get a little 'brain food' in, whip up some tuna and noodles! Prepare a package of egg noodles and add tuna, mayonnaise and season to taste. Voilà! If you like, you can also add frozen corn and peas.

4. Quesadillas

Make magic with your microwave! A couple of tortillas, cheese (salsa if you've got it) and 30 seconds later dinner is served! Depending on what is on sale at the local store, you can use pre-grated cheese, brick cheese that you grate or slice yourself or those prepackaged slices.

5. Canned Soup

For those nights when you are just too tired to even boil noodles, don't forget the good old can of soup. The standards, such as chicken noodle, bean with bacon and beef and vegetable are easy, satisfying and affordable. Most store brand soups can be purchased for less than $2 a can.

A Few Other Staples

There are many other cheap and easy foods out there, but it is also important to keep some foundational ingredients and snacks around, such as eggs, cheese and crackers, peanut butter, bread, mayonnaise, oatmeal, pasta and marinara sauce. For example, eggs are a versatile and great protein to keep in the refrigerator; you can scramble them, make egg salad sandwiches, add them to your ramen or just boil them for a quick and handy snack. Also, pasta, whether it is macaroni, spaghetti, fettuccine or any one of the myriad available, can be mixed with almost anything you have at the time; you can throw leftovers in, scrambled eggs, marinara sauce, frozen veggies, tuna, chicken, chili and whatever else you can think of. Bon appétit!

If you do get stuck eating ramen, you might want to at least try some cheap ways of dressing it up.