Cooking To Survive: A Guide

N.B. I totally stole this idea from Val. You can read the (better) article here 

Due to the rising prices of out of state tuition and crude oil, I have had to drastically change my diet. Luckily, as a proper outdoorsman and miser, I know how to properly scavenge for food on the cheap! Here’s the main food groups:


This is probably the cheapest full meal you can make yourself. You can buy a big bag of tortillas for like 2 dollars and a giant block of cheese for 4. That’s like 10 full meals right there. Just chop off some cheese and throw it in the tortillas. Put the frying pan on medium and cook until black. Well, preferably dark brown but close enough. Cooking tip: put your smoke alarms back in once you’re done cooking! If you’re feeling fancy (or just need the protein to not die), put some ham in it. If your roommates are making steak, sneak some leftovers and put that in too!


Buy a bunch of them! Cooking tip: that’s a pun! Bananas are super cheap and 4 will make a pretty good meal. I like to buy a big carton of strawberry yogurt and dip my way through it with a few bananas. Cooking tip: this meal won’t actually make you feel full! You’ll want to use greek yogurt but they don’t sell costco size greek yogurt anywhere I can find, so just stick to regular.


You’ve got some extra tortillas, so why don’t you make yourself a jam sandwich? Cooking tip: that’s when you jam two tortillas together with hummus in the middle! Choosing your hummus can be a challenge. Intuition tells me to avoid Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and anything that hates gluten and chemicals, but they really do have the tastiest hummus for a good price. I recommend you try the garlic hummus from Trader Joe’s. They also have a pesto flavor that I’m dying to try as well.

Rice & Beans

I guess the biggest problem with making rice and beans is that it takes like 40 minutes to properly make. But if you go all out and make a big pot, you’ve got lunches for a whole week. Cooking tip: red beans are tastier than black beans! Just buy the boxed stuff from Zatarain’s. It’s totally decent and the store brand will probably be awful. It’s got so much protein that you’ll actually feel full!

Ham & Cheese Rollups

Don’t buy anything for this. Just throw some ham and cheese on a tortillas. If you feel fancy, put some yellow mustard on it. Cooking tip: You won’t feel fancy though, you’ll feel like a hobo.

Eating Out

About once a week, I can’t stand those 5 food groups, so I go ahead and binge eat at one of the following restaurants. It resets my palate and allows me to continue eating awful food!

Pizza Di Roma

Easily the best pizza on campus, Pizza Di Roma knows how to make a good ol’ slice. Everyone goes nuts for Ian’s, but you need to get past their gimmicks of putting everything (fries, hamburgers, legos, etc.) on their pizzas. Just get the pepperoni pizza at Roma and you’re in for a great meal.


I guess you can go to Jimmy John’s if you’re in a big hurry, but Potbellies is totally tastier. Just get the big ham sandwich on wheat and you’ll be happy. Cooking tip: they only have deli mustard so bring your own yellow mustard!

A8 China

Just with the other restaurants I visit, I only order one dish ever. For A8, I only eat the sesame chicken with fried rice. Cooking tip: The lady that takes your order is super mean!



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