Cheap food for college student

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Hey guys,

 

I'm an American exchange student studying at Uni Stuttgart for the year. I'm trying to spend as little money as possible on food, but I want to go to bed each night with a full stomach. Does anybody have any advice as to what some good, cheap foods are in a regular German supermarket? Or perhaps any decent, inexpensive recipes?

 

Any help would be appreciated. Vielen Dank!

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Rice, beans, potatoes, noodles, canned tomatoes, Ja Products from Rewe, or Aldi, Lidl, Penny Markt for staples, veg and fruits. Go to farmers markets at the end of the day, especially on Sat. You can bring home bags of food, for very little, as they want to get rid of it. Lettuce, carrots, fruits.

 

If you have an oven, make your own bread.

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Potatoes ... they are pretty cheap now. You should be able to get 25Kg for ~6€ :P

 

Go to Lidl/Aldi/Netto/Penny(Germanys leading Hard-Discounter) and check their grocery. The prices for their own brand products(cheapest) should be identical.

 

For recipes use Google if you are too lazy to cook buy frozen pizza 3x Pizza Salami 2.49€ thats 83cents for a meal :ph34r:

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I lived of well soaked Muesli, rice pudding and rice with a spoon of instant broth for better taste for a couple of months in younger days. If you can cook basics, you can eat quite well and healthy with very little money. Apart from Aldi and Lidl there are a lot of turkish shops that sell fresh vegetables and fruit as well as rice for little money.

A lot of products have the cooking instructions printed on the package.And you can get a loaf of good uncut bread for less than 2 Euros.

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buy frozen pizza 3x Pizza Salami 2.49€ thats 83cents for a meal

 

Let,s say 1.24 per meal as you will need one and a half to be full.

You could bake your own bread. My mom does it and at Tegut 1 kg of wholegrain flour costs only 79 cents.

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Eggs are also cheap and versatile - hard boiled/scrambled/fried/omelette, frittata, quiche, French toast, pancakes/crepes etc.

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Go to your local Turkish shop and get cheap grains and pulses. I often make several servings of beans from dried beans and freeze in with water what I don't plan on eating in the next week. You can get Bulgar wheat for sort of couscous. At the moment tomatoes and onion are also very cheap, so take advange and make a healthy salad with Bulgur, onion, tomato and parsley (always cheap at Turkish shops).

 

If nearby go to Asian shops for rice, I prefer more expensive short grain rice which is about €16 for 10 kg there, you can get long grain rice for less. Rice is good for filling out most meals

 

As the other said, potatoes are cheap at the moment. Of course there is always pasta, at the local REWE I can get 500 g spaghetti for €0.39. Make your own tomato sauce (at the moment from fresh tomatoes because it is cheap at the moment, canned store brand tomatoes when the price starts going up) Fry onion, garlic in a bit of olive oil and some herbs and add the tomatoes, add salt and pepper to taste. You can add ground meat when it is on sale. Eggs are great for cheap food, you can poach the eggs in a spicy tomato sauce and put it over rice.

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Fried potatoes (sliced, peeled or unpeeled) with onions, some salad oil. Salt & pepper. Good, cheap and comforting.

Potato soup - peeled potatoes chopped up, flour, just enough water to cover, a bunch of different vegetables, and marjoram for flavor. Butter, more salt & pepper.

Baked potatoes served with lo-cal Quark & herbs, plus - once more - salt & pepper.

The potato is a wonderful vegetable.

Sandwiches made with German bread.

German bread spread with mittelscharf mustard.

German bread is wonderful.

For an occasional treat, have currywurst and pommes frites/French fries.

It may get dull, but you can eat cheaply and well if you're doing you own cooking.

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Sandwiches: Cheap & quick

2 Slices of bread

REWE sliced sausage 200 g 69 cents or REWE Junger Edamer cheese in slices 400 g 1,69 Euro

finished

 

Go to a vietnamese restaurant. Here you can have an evening meal for 6,90 and you can say you do not want to drink something.

This could give you a proper meal once a week.

 

Pasta

1. Buy Fuchs Kräutersalz mit Meersalz (REWE/Edeka 150 g 4,29 Euro, expensive but worth it)

2. Buy olive oil JA! 750 ml for 3,49 Euro, REWE/Tengelmann. Tastes very good

3. Buy red pesto forgot the brand, but is the low-cost product 1,49 Euro at Tengelmann. Tastes better than the low-cost one at REWE

 

If the pasta is ready, mix a little bit of the hot spagetti water (contains starch) with the pesto in the serving bowl. Then add the pasta.

Add a little bit of olive oil on top and some Kräutersalz. That also works without the pesto pretty well. Also for potato salad.

 

Cacio e pepe

Vincent Klink, a german cook that is on TV from time to time and has a michelin star, always tell people that they can do cooking on a high level without the need to spend much. In his restaurant the pasta is homemade and the pecorino cheese is Sardinian - you can cook something that tastes as good with a slight alteration. Google the original recipe and use this

 

Aldi:

Spagetti 500 g 55 cents

Parmiggiano Regina cheese 16,90 per kg. A chunk goes for 3-4 Euro

Whole black pepper 99 cents(?)

 

You do not need a grinder for the pepper, carefully break them with the blade of a big knife by pushing against the blade of another big knife. Best on a wooden plate. Here is a recipe http://talesofambrosia.com/2013/03/04/how-to-make-spaghetti-cacio-e-pepe-like-a-roman/ I did this already without any salt - I think it is not really necessary

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Pizza take-awy... 4€

 

4 bottles of Oertinger hell... 5€

 

less than a tenner a night!

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Asian stores have lots of noodle soups (in little bags, unlike cup noodles) for 69 Eurocents or thereabouts. Vary the taste and add more nutrition whisking an egg and cooking that with the soup in the microwave for 1 minute (to set the egg, don't eat gooey raw egg).

Or add diced cooked ham.

Or add finely chopped iceberg lettuce.

 

I lived on stuff like that for years.

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Many bakeries and even some supermarkets (LIDL, for example) here sell yesterday's bread and Danish at half price. Perfectly fine.

Check the farmer's market, some stands have boxes of slightly bruised fruit and vegetables for very low prices all day long, not just in the evening.

Butchers sell end pieces of ham and sausage cheaply.

 

If you feel like cooking, fish stores sell scraps/heads etc. (perfectly fresh) to make fish soup.

Same goes for bones at the butchers, especially the Turkish ones, to make broth, makes great soup with some vegetables and potatoes.

 

I did all of this myself when money was tight.

 

And most German colleges run a Mensa, the student cafeteria with subsidized lunches. Not great quality, but will feed you.

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Have you thought about getting together a group of friends and taking turns cooking dinner for each other? When I was an exchange student in Bamberg, there was a small group of us and we used to take turns cooking dinner for/ with each other on the weekend (as opposed to going out to eat together). It's easy to blow 9-10€ on a dinner out for one person, or the same amount can pay for ingredients for a decent home-cooked dinner for a couple of people. Sure, you spend 10€ cooking, but you're only up every couple of weeks. Everyone also enjoyed showing off dishes from their home countries and talking about their family's traditions.

 

American foods that my friends loved: hamburgers with toppings other than just cheese (grilled mushrooms, fried egg, bacon, tomato sauce...), pimento cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with a side of tomato soup, twice-baked potatoes, pita chips, ranch dressing/ dip (look for recipes online; don't shell out for overpriced Hidden Valley packets), grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It's not 100% American, but none of my friends had ever made homemade tacos or burritos and absolutely loved it - you know, where you put out little bowls of cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, beans, meat, etc. and decide what you want to put in the tortilla.

 

These days, I am a PhD student, so I am still kind of a cheapskate. I usually check out the ads in the free newspaper and see what I can make out of what is on sale. For example, this week, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and frozen peas were on sale - all of the basics for aloo gobi. Or, ground beef and sausage was on sale, and dried pasta and huge cans of whole tomatoes are always cheap, so it was the perfect opportunity to make spaghetti and meatballs.

 

I usually have some variation on these sandwiches in my fridge as well, with whatever meat and cheese is on sale in a given week. (Here's a similar recipe from The Pioneer Woman.) That way, after a long day, I have something easy that I can just throw in the oven, and I am not as tempted to buy a kebab on the way home. Also, those big packs of rolls that are 80 cents to a euro that you finish baking yourself at home are absolutely perfect for these. They'll just finish baking in the oven when you heat up the meat and cheese. Right now, my favorite combination is ham, horseradish soft cheese, and Handlmaier's mustard, with a little bit of prepared garlic butter spread on top. Prepared compound butter, like garlic butter or herb butter, is right next to the normal butter at the grocery store, and costs something like 60 cents.

 

Otherwise, one web site I have been using a lot lately is The Vegan Stoner. You don't have to make everything vegan; you can sub in animal products, like normal milk instead of soy milk, if you want to. The recipes are generally fast, inexpensive, and tasty.

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I can't edit my last post in this thread any more, but a friend/ former roommate just reminded me of the joys of homemade pancakes. They are easy to make from scratch and are pretty cheap - you don't need Bisquick or Jiffy Mix. This friend is a pancake-a-holic. On weekends, she cooks a whole bunch of pancakes for her breakfast for the week. You can either pop them in the toaster to heat them up or wrap up little packets of pancakes and warm them up in the oven or microwave. It's easy to slice up some fresh fruit for a healthy topping, or while they're cooking and before you flip them, you can add blueberries or a little bit of chopped-up chocolate bar for blueberry pancakes or chocolate chip pancakes. Most grocery stores have maple syrup, too. A bottle is around 4€ but with the real deal, a little bit can go a long way.

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Get a 20 kilo bag of rice from a local Asian shop. Beans and lentils are inexpensive and are also nutritional powerhouses. Cabbages also have good value.

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Archerius - it would be good to know what sort of cooking and storage facilities you have available to you - oven, microwave, freezer, blender etc. Are you living on your own or with a bunch of other students?

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If you have a pressure cooker, then you can throw in lots of vegetables in it with rice, water ( about double the quanyity of dry items) and lentils - only the red and yellow one as beans take lots of time to cook and in 3 whistles, your food is ready. Can add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, lime juice, as per your liking.

 

Food items surprisingly are more expensive in Turkish shops here as compared to big stores. Look out for deals in local flyers from these stores. Also on saturday evening, there are lots of vegetables in Aldi at reduced rate as they want fresh stuff for mondays. Canned or Frozen veg packs are also cheap.

 

Can make lots of food things from potatoes which are cheap these days - starting from mashed ones with butter and cream. Corn on the cob is also cheap these days and is delicious and filling.

 

Apples the local ones should be cheap at this time.

 

Eggs can be cooked in different ways - and are filling and healthy.

 

Salads- tomatoes, cucumber, roman or iceberg with paprika can be eaten alone or as sandwich filling

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You could also have a look here for lots of general tips on cooking on a budget and healthy eating for students. Plenty of recipe ideas too.

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It's worth looking out for German magazines or online recipe collections promising cheap meals: as your own post suggests, what's cheap at home may not be cheap in Germany, so they are more likely to provide reliably low-cost ideas.

http://www.essen-und-trinken.de/preiswert-kochen

 

Eggs are a cheap way to get in some protein - a big omelette with some cheap cheese (Gouda is cheap here and melts OK), a couple of tomatoes and a bit of garlic does wonders. Or for a German recipe, Eier in Senfsauce. Or for a snack, butter up some Toastbrot, stick some ham and cheese in the middle, crack an egg into a shallow bowl and whisk then dip your sandwich in the egg until covered. Fry in a pan and add a bit of salt.

 

Generally spice things up with garlic, curry spices, chillis etc. e.g. a nice strong lentil curry (butter daal) with rice.

 

If you do have a freezer, get some plastic bowls, cook for four at a time and freeze two portions for next week.

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