12/02/2011 05:45 pm ET | Updated Feb 01, 2012

Quick and Healthy Meals on a Budget

By Nicole Hillstead
Brigham Young University

Often, the staples of a college kid's meals include Top Ramen, Easy Mac, and Captain Crunch. While they may not be the most healthy go-to items, they're effortless and cheap which make them the easy choice for a busier-than-busy college student. Here I plan to present a solution that might just keep the ramen, macaroni, and cereal at bay -- a few super simple inexpensive recipes for the student with hand-to-mouth syndrome.

Toss the Ramen and grab some real noodles which can be boiled in a pot of water within a matter of minutes before they're ready to be tossed in sauce, cheese, or butter. Add some steamed or stir fried vegetables and you've got yourself a dinner with a lot less sodium and a lot more flavor in less than 15 minutes.

Easy Mac is microwaveable and ready to go in just a matter of minutes, which is what makes this dish so easy and appealing to any college kid. How about we switch the Mac with some minute rice and while that's in the microwave, heat up some Chunky canned soup or some chili on the stove, combine the rice with the soup and enjoy.

Cereal is a snack that's cheap and super simple to just open and consume. But rather than snacking on boxes and boxes of sugar-coated carbs, try a little air popped popcorn instead. This tasty treat satisfies the need to crunch and is the perfect hand-to-mouth snack while studying or working on homework.

These are just a few solutions to some highly popular college student meals; if you enjoyed these here are some more great recipes that are quick and inexpensive!