Arm your pantries, arm your refrigerators.
As a college student, you understand that time is difficult to manage. You have to read textbooks, do lectures if they are online, or study for exams or quizzes. Some people do not have time to cook or do not know how, and that is completely fine. This is a guide to explain what you need to have in case you are on a time crunch every day or on certain days. These require very minimal effort if need be and very quick to eat. Some of these can be on the go as well.
1. Instant Ramen
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The most iconic college entrée to ever be served, ramen. Not just any ramen, but the ones that come in a block form with spice packets. Ramen is very easy to cook, serve, and eat. Simply add boiled water, or microwave, and the contents from the packet and serve. Instant ramen has typically low calories ranging from less than three hundred or a little above that. I highly recommend that every college student should acquire ramen, especially with cold winters coming. I also recommend not to strain the ramen, keep the broth. Do not waste the broth unless it instructs you to, but some ramen packets are rare to instruct you to do that. That hot broth from the ramen is super satisfying to sip on a cold winter day. If you are wondering what my go-to instant ramen is, it has to be MAMA Instant Ramen Noodle Shrimp Tom Yum flavor.
2. Instant or boxed mac & cheese
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Honestly, you can make instant mac and cheese by simply popping it into a microwave with water, have boxed mac and cheese with some basic cooking techniques, or go all out and make a béchamel sauce and bake it. Whatever decision you choose, it is essential for college students. It is filling, cheesy, and comforting when you feel stressed out. I do not know a single person who dislikes mac and cheese, instant or not instant. If you are interested in making a nice mac and cheese meal with a lot of time on your hands, here is my recipe.
3. Canned soup
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Soup is simple, basically like ramen. However, with canned soup, all you need to do is put it in high heat in either a microwave or on the stove with a pot. If you are putting it in a microwave, put all the contents in a bowl and microwave it. You would be very surprised at how many people do not do this. I mean come on, it is metal. You do not put metal objects in the microwave.
4. Anything pizza related
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People in general love pizza. However, if you are on a time crunch, it is nice to have pizza in your refrigerator. Especially they are pizza rolls. They are quick and easy to cook. Either pop it in the oven or simply microwave it in order to have a warm gooey pizza or pizza roll.
5. Fruits & veggies
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You still need some good nutrients in your system, do not forget that. Of course, it is nice to take vitamins from a tablet, but it is not intended to completely replace food. A better and delicious way to get your vitamins and minerals is to actually consume fruits and veggies. Sometimes when I am studying, I like to eat an apple versus a chocolate chip cookie because not only is it healthier, but it is jam-packed with nutrients that would benefit me a lot more than a chocolate chip cookie. Plus, I do not have to deal with a sugar crash, even though some say sugar crashes are not real. Always have fruits and veggies ready in your food arsenal.
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The best thing about bread is you can do so many things with it as well as make a lot of food. You can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a deli, French toast, or even eat it plain. It is easy to have when you are on the go as well. If you are hungry in the middle of class, sometimes a sandwich is nice to have. If you are studying in the middle of the night and you are hungry, it takes less than two minutes to make a deli sandwich.
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Popcorn is a simple, easy, and quick snack to have. You can either pop them in a microwave, put it in a pot with some canola oil or whatever oil you choose, or buy a bag of pre-popped popcorn. It is a convenient food to have around the house and on the go. Additionally, it is a nice snack to have when you are watching a movie with friends after a long day of studying.
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Similar to popcorn, it is a quick snack to have. You can eat it at the comfort of your own home or bring it on the go if you know you are going to be hungry in class. I would not recommend bringing it to an exam though. That crunch will get a lot of people looking at you.
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Some people have a love and hate relationship with Pop-Tarts. I see no problem with it. It is a convenient piece of food that I simply enjoy a lot. I have it with me all the time in my backpack when I am going to class. You can either eat it right away, put it in the microwave, or cook it in a toaster. When it is cooked through, it has this nice warm, gooey, sweet taste that I always love when studying for an exam or taking a break. Surprisingly, it can be filling. You can serve this for dessert if you wanted to.
10. Ice cream
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After a long day of studying, or did not do so hot on an exam, it is nice to have that cold, yet comforting friend waiting for you. It is a no brainer essential, even if you are lactose intolerant like me. That smooth, creamy, and rich flavor you just got to have when you are a college student. Ice cream cannot betray you unless you are lactose intolerant. It soothes you, it comforts you on the toughest days, it is basically your best friend and it will wait for you in the freezer when you need it the most.