Real Life, Dirt Cheap Recipes for Single Girls Who Don't Cook

10:00 AM

Problem #1: Everything costs lots of money, and a part-time paycheck earns not a lot of money. I can shut off the air conditioning, forego Saturday movie nights at the cinema, and walk to work -- but I can't quit eating.

Problem #2: Eating involves cooking, and cooking involves a magical set of skills I do not possess. It's not like I'm bad at cooking (though I did ruin instant macaroni and cheese). It's just that I don't enjoy cooking. I don't enjoy eating, either. I'd rather write blog posts. And I tend to write them during normal dining hours (oh, hey -- like I'm doing now). 

These problems make living on my own a tricky situation. Eating ramen for an entire summer is not an option (is it?). So I invented these easy-peasy, super cheap fake recipes.


Off-brand Pop Tarts. Eat them while working, because you spent the morning sleeping in and writing blog posts. 

Free hot cocoa from the break room.

Half-a-donut from the 8 am career services summer lecture series.


A turkey and cheese sandwich for weekdays. Toss on some pepperoni slices because they remind you of pepperoni pizza -- what you really want to be eating.

Pretzel chips and hummus. Buy the off-brand "hommus" from Walmart. (I don't know how a company can make money off something they can't spell correctly, but they do, and it's 75 cents cheaper than correctly-spelled hummus.) 

A McChicken off the dollar menu. Buy only for emergencies when you put off grocery shopping for too long and ran out of sandwich meat. P.S. It'll take about 20 minutes to drive to the nearest McDonalds and back, even if you skip the drive-thru, which you should. 

Scrambled eggs, cheese, and pepperoni bits for Sunday brunch. 

Leftovers from the night before.


Baked potato and chili. Rub a potato with olive oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper, wrap in foil, poke holes in its skin, and bake for about fifty minutes at 425 degrees. Warm up a $1.25 can of chili and pour it on top of the potato. Sprinkle with the cheese used in your Sunday eggs. 

Corn on the cob. They're 12 cents each in season. Boil them for 15-20 minutes. 

Noodles, sauce, and chicken. All come pretty cheap. A full box and a full can will last you a week. Yay, leftovers!

Noodles, pepperoni, and cheese. It counts as a pasta salad.

Frozen pepperoni pizza. Eat the whole thing in one sitting. (Obviously.) 

Spinach, avocado, and strawberry salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing and expired craisins. A little pricier, so accidentally trick a friend who's allergic to strawberries to buy you the ingredients. (Long story.)

Pan-fried chicken. Chicken comes super cheap (a package of 6 drumsticks for $3.50). Google a recipe for the coating and fry them in a regular frying pan for about 15 minutes, turning them over every 3-5 minutes. This might be better than pepperoni pizza. 

Other ways to eat without effort or expense

Live with Southern women.

Date a domestically-inclined man. (This is reason enough to get a boyfriend. If you're starving, it's ethical. Trust me.)

Date a man whose mother sends you home with a week's worth of leftovers. (Pro Tip: Don't let this article show up on your computer search engine, or you'll never get a boyfriend. Men don't like women who can't cook.)

Mention living alone just enough to get invited over to adults' homes.

What are your real life, dirt cheap, not-necessarily healthy recipes?

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12 impressions

  1. I love the "live with Southern women" bit because it is SO TRUE. We're always cooking and trying to feed people. lol.

    1. Yup! Fortunately, I'm rooming with TWO Southern women next year! :D

  2. For some reason pork chops have been on sale a lot here, so they are cheap. Slice two pork chops into thin strips and fry them with onion. Add BBQ sauce and let simmer until hot. Serve with rice and green peas. :)

    1. That sounds amazing. I need to check Michigan pork chop prices!

  3. Cutie! I love your dirt-cheap cooking flare. I'm going to be living off your cute little paper you stuck in my recipe book. :) And don't worry - when you come from school, I'll have you over so we can practice the harder art of dirt-cheap cooking for three.
    Lol. Hommus. :D

    1. I hear Aidan's been buying steak and seafood. I don't think you'll be eating dirt cheap like this single girl. ;)

  4. Not bad ideas! Except your breakfasts need help. Maybe a hard-boiled egg?

    1. I should try that.....if all our eggs haven't gone bad by this point.

    2. You do know how to boil eggs, right? And slightly older eggs peel more easily when hard-boiled.

    3. ......mayyyybe I do, probably I don't......

  5. I always thought both spellings (hummus and hommus) were correct...?

    1. You're right! I looked it up after you pointed that out. "Hommus" is an alternative spelling, along with "hoummus." My spellcheck says it's wrong, and Google doesn't immediately recognize it as a word. Weird.


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