Friday, September 22, 2006

Starving Students

We all know of the stereotypical diet of starving students. It usually consists of a few shelves and a little mini fridge in some poor college students’ dorm room full of ramen noodles, beer, and maybe a leftover pizza. It’s sometimes augmented by Twinkies or Oreos and the occasional trip to the cafeteria during which the students gorge themselves for awhile before returning to their dorms in a stupor. This diet is usually only altered slightly by upperclassmen living in apartments, either on or off campus. The upper-class starving student usually throws in the occasional dinner of spaghetti or instant mashed potatoes along with the ramen, beer, and pizza standards. Though the occasional student will venture into the realm of canned goods, these chefs are few and far between.
Fortunately, the student diet doesn’t need to be quite so bleak. You don’t have to be a world-class chef to make decent meals, and you don’t have to have a huge budget either. Usually all it takes is a “base” of some sort to your meals, and then you can dress up the base any way you’d like. For example, one of the most versatile and cheapest bases for meals is pasta. You can get a box of pasta in just about any shape you’d like for $1-$2, and you can do a lot to dress it up without a lot of additional time or money. Of course, canned spaghetti sauce is an old stand-by, but you can also fine jars of basil or sun-dried tomato pesto for nearly the same price. Or slice up some olives and throw in some tuna with lemon juice for a completely different meal.
Though the meal options for starving students are limited if they’re living in dorm rooms, many dorms offer the use of kitchen facilities somewhere in the building. If this is the case, make a big meal every few nights which will provide enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Think about ways for recipes to do double-duty; today’s spaghetti sauce can be tomorrow’s sloppy joe mix. If you’re living in a house or an apartment with other students, consider having one roommate cook dinner every weekday and buying groceries together. Buying in bulk will make it cheaper for everyone, and since it isn’t much tougher to make a meal for four or five people than it is to make a meal for one person, everyone gets a full dinner every night without all the work of cooking every night. Of course, you could always break down and get a job in order to eat. The moving company "Starving Students" was started by a college student who was looking to pick up some money in his spare time, and is now a nationally-known company, which definately puts food on its owner's table.

1 Comment:

Aphrodite said...

I can't help eating ramen noodles all the time too! It indeed tastes all right and takes no time to make