Dorm living can be a great experience for students. With the freedom to live on your own and the need to fend for yourself, there can be a lot to learn. But with this freedom comes some obstacles – namely, a kitchenless dorm and a barren wallet. So, how can you make the most of your meals with limited funds and appliances? Here are some easy food hacks to check out!

Coffee Pot Meals

No stove? No problem! With limited dorm space, students don’t always have access to a stove or even a kitchen. That’s why cooking with a coffee pot is genius!

Ramen

  • Crumble the ramen noodles in the package
  • Put the pieces in the coffee pot. Make sure that any block pieces are evenly placed so that they’re not stacking on top of each other
  • Put the seasoning into the coffee filter or in the pot with the noodles
  • Add about 2 cups of water into the reservoir of the coffee maker
  • Pour the noodles and water into your bowl
  • Add any desired toppings to ramen noodles

Chocolate Fondue

  • Heat 1 cup of heavy cream
  • Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and vanilla
  • Whisk together until blended
  • Serve with assorted skewered fruit and desserts

Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • Gently put the number of eggs that you would like to eat to the glass pitcher of the coffee maker
  • Put water into the reservoir of the coffee maker and close the lid
  • Turn coffee maker on
  • Allow the hot water to drip slowly over the eggs until they are completely submerged
  • Leave the eggs in the glass pitcher for 10 to 12 minutes after they become fully submerged in hot water
  • Carefully pour the hot water into a sink, and pour cold water over the hard-boiled eggs to cool them

Rice

  • Rinse and soak rice.
  • Put 1/2 cup of instant rice per person in the coffee maker
  • Run the appropriate amount of water (check the box for instructions) through the coffee maker
  • Run coffee maker for 5 to 10 minutes until the rice is fully cooked

Steamed Vegetables

  • Put your vegetables in the filter basket of the coffee maker
  • Run a few cups of water through the machine until they’re done to your liking
  • Use the same water each time to speed up the process

Oatmeal

  • Put oatmeal in a bowl
  • Place bowl beneath coffee drip (in place of coffee pot)
  • Select small/smallest coffee size (varies with coffee maker
  • Run coffee maker
  • Turn off coffee maker and remove bowl
  • Stir oatmeal

Microwave

Having a microwave in your dorm room is great for preparing food without using up much space. And it opens up a world of opportunities!

Baked Potato

  • Wash potato
  • Poke LOTS of holes in the potato with a fork 
  • Microwave for about 5 minutes
  • Cut into potato
  • Add toppings

Cheesecake

  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small microwaveable dish; tilt dish to coat the sides
  • Crush 2 sheets of graham crackers into fine crumbs
  • Add graham crackers to dish with the butter and mix well
  • With a spoon, press the graham crackers into a crust evenly against the bottom of the dish
  • In a small bowl, combine 4 oz softened cream cheese, 2 tbsp sugar, and 3 drops vanilla extract; stir until there are no lumps
  • Spread the filling on top of the graham cracker crust
  • Microwave at half power for at least 4 minutes, in intervals of 45 seconds at a time
  • Make sure the cheesecake does not bubble over the sides of the dish
  • Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, until completely cool to the touch
  • With a knife, loosen the edges of the cheesecake, then invert onto a plate, or eat straight from the dish

Quesadillas

  • Put a flour tortilla on a plate
  • Cover tortilla with cheese of your choice
  • Put a second tortilla on top of the cheese
  • Microwave until cheese is melted (35 seconds to 1 minute)

TIP: Try dipping your quesadilla in salsa, taco sauce, sour cream, or guacamole.

French Toast

  • Place ¼ tsp of butter in a large mug and microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until it is melted
  • Add 3 tbsp milk, 1 tsp maple syrup, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp vanilla extract, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1 large egg to the mug
  • Whisk until everything is well mixed
  • Add 1 cup of bread pieces to the mug and gently stir until all the pieces are saturated with the egg and milk mixture. Be careful not to stir too roughly or the bread pieces may fall apart
  • Let the bread sit and absorb the liquid for about one minute
  • Microwave the mug for 60-90 seconds, or until the mixture is solid. You may need to experiment to find just the right cooking time for your microwave and mug size
  • Serve immediately, or add your favorite toppings

Quiche

  • Coat the inside of a microwave-safe dish with cooking spray
  • Combine 1 large egg and 1 tbsp of milk
  • Whisk together
  • Add 1 tbsp diced ham, 1 tsp chives, ⅛ tsp (a pinch) of garlic powder, ⅛ tsp (a pinch) of onion powder, and ¼ cup cheese
  • Mix well
  • Tear half a slice of toast into small pieces, add to quiche, and stir.
  • Cook 30 seconds in microwave on high
  • Remove from microwave and stir
  • Cook 40 seconds to one minute more on high.
  • Stir. If middle in liquid, eggs will continue to cook as you stir

Waffle Iron Hacks

This is a favorite among college students. Waffle iron cooking requires little work and can make all sorts of delicious foods.

Cinnamon Rolls

  • Heat waffle iron to medium setting and spray well with nonstick spray
  • Place cinnamon rolls on hot waffle iron.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Heat icing in microwave or on top of waffle iron until slightly melted (about 10 seconds)
  • Top waffled cinnamon rolls with icing

Hashbrowns

  • Spray hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray
  • Place tater tots in waffle iron
  • Close iron
  • After 1 minute, open the waffle iron and fill in any empty spaces in the tater tots
  • Close the lid and cook until crispy and golden brown
  • Remove hashbrown from iron
  • Salt lightly and serve with desired condiments

Panini

  • Preheat a waffle maker to regular setting
  • Butter 2 slices of bread on one side
  • Flip 1 piece and spread the non-buttered side with 2 tbsp pesto
  • Place two slices of mozzarella and 1 sliced tomato on pesto
  • Put the second piece of bread on top, buttered-side up
  • Place on the waffle maker, close the lid
  • Cook until melted and golden
  • Remove from iron and enjoy!

Pizza

  • Preheat waffle iron and spray with nonstick cooking spray
  • Open crescent rolls package
  • Unroll crescent rolls
  • You will have 8 triangles. Pinch seams to connect 2 triangles so you form 4 rectangles
  • Place ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese and pepperoni in each rectangle
  • Fold over and pinch to seal all sides. Repeat with remaining sections
  • Place each piece of dough on the preheated waffle iron
  • Close and cook 5 minutes or until browned
  • Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping

Clothing Iron Hacks

Don’t have kitchen appliances or just want to try something new? Cooking with a clothing iron is as entertaining as it is tasty!

Reheating Pizza Slices

  • Wrap pizza in aluminum foil (one sheet on top, one sheet on bottom)
  • Heat one side
  • Flip and heat other side
  • Unwrap and it’s ready to go!

Grilled Cheese

  • Place a slice of bread on foil
  • Place 1-3 slices of cheese on bread
  • Place bread on top of cheese
  • Wrap sandwich in foil
  • Iron for about 4 minutes on each side
  • Unwrap and enjoy!

S’mores

  • Turn the iron on and let it heat up
  • Break a graham cracker in half
  • Place a marshmallow between the two graham crackers halves like a sandwich
  • Wrap the s’more in tin foil
  • Hold the iron on top of the s’more for 3 minutes, alternating sides every 30 seconds
  • Open up the foil
  • Add the chocolate to your s’more

A mini-fridge is a life-saver in a dorm room. If you don’t have one already, what are you waiting for?

Mini Fridge Organizing

Stackables

Stack what you can when you can! Yogurts, cans, bottles, food storage containers, etc.

Egg Carton Condiment Rack

Use an empty egg carton as a condiment rack to conserve space and keep your fridge more organized.

Bind Clip Racks

Use binder clips on wire shelves to clip freezer bags closed and hold them onto the racks. This will conserve space and they keep the bags’ contents fresh!

Dorm Room Herb Garden

Keep an indoor garden for a supply of fresh herbs! If you want to start an indoor garden, check out these herbs:

If you’re interested in more posts like this, subscribe to our weekly blog! And check out our post “How to Save Money On Food in College” for tips on how and where to buy food in college.

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