I think one of the major drawbacks to living on campus, aside from having to share a room, is that your choices are pretty limited when it comes to food. Not only do you not have access to a full kitchen, but you don’t exactly have a wide range of ingredients readily available. In addition, between classes and work, you need to get your food fast!
So, The Savvy Student has decided to launch a weekly series called “Microwave Monday” which will feature a variety of recipes you can make in your microwave! Bon apetit!
Doctors say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, it always seems to be the last thing on my mind. Between trying to squeeze in every last second of sleep, showering, brushing my teeth, and running back to my dorm because I’ve forgotten my ID (again) – I’m not usually thinking about breakfast until I’m halfway towards Engineering and I feel an awful hunger pain in my stomach.
Thankfully, the SAC is right there and the line usually isn’t too bad around 7:30am. I can usually grab some French toast, coffee, and delicious (but not always nutritious) tater tots and get it down on the way to class. Not-so thankfully, the French toast always leaves me longing for something a little more homemade. In addition, hitting the SAC for breakfast every morning is killing my wallet.
Coffee (medium) – $1.74
Tater Tots – $1.43
French Toast – $2.63
After I crunched the numbers, I realized that at $5.80 a day, and $40.60 a week, I’m spending close to $162.40 a month! That’s about $487.20 a semester! “There has to be a better way.” I thought to myself. So, after some experimenting, here’s what I came up with:
There are a lot of things the French do right – manicures, fries, berets. But one of the things they really excel at is my favorite breakfast food – French toast. Seriously, high five to the French dude who thought of that! But, as anyone who lives in a dorm knows, it doesn’t really allow for homemade cooking. Not only are you without a stove top or microwave in your room, but the conditions of the common kitchen area in some dorms are not the most tidy. Thankfully, microwaves are always available!
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 slices of bread
Pat of butter (use your judgment)
3 tablespoons milk
Dash of cinnamon
Drop of vanilla extract (optional)
1. Cut your break into little cubes.
2. Place pat of butter in ceramic mug and coat the sides – you can either rub the butter around the mug or melt the butter down and give it a swish.
6. Let everything sit for a minute or two so the bread can soak up the mixture fully.
7. Place mug in microwave and cook for two minutes. After two minutes, check on it and add ten seconds until French toast is cooked to your liking.
8. Top with syrup and enjoy!
*For a healthier morning breakfast, try using whole wheat bread, non-fat milk, and an egg white.
Eggs: $3.59 per dozen
Let’s do the math!
A loaf of bread yields anywhere from 20-25 slices. At $1.99 a loaf, that’s about .08¢ a slice, making the two slices needed for this recipe .16¢. A dozen eggs at $3.59 makes the total cost of each egg .29¢. Typically four sticks of butter come in a box, making each stick worth about $1.25 a piece. Each stick is comprised of eight teaspoons, making the teaspoon of butter we used .15¢. Now since vanilla extract and cinnamon don’t come with nutrition facts or approximated servings, I’m going to be generous and say their combined cost is about .25¢, putting the total cost of this recipe at a whopping: .85¢!
The ingredients for this dish can also be used throughout the week – eggs can be made in your microwave, bread always comes in handy for sandwiches (also, one of my favorite snacks is cinnamon toast so that takes care of those two), and milk is part of a well-balanced diet. Cinnamon and vanilla can also be put into plain yogurt to give it a little extra something.
So, no matter what meal plan you’re on, this microwave snack can save you time and money!
My roomies and I aren’t fortunate enough to have a Keurig or a coffee maker, but thank’s to BuzzFeed’s Dorm Room Survival Hacks, we’ll never be without hot caffeine again!
Cost Breakdown: Starbucks coffee can be purchased at $12.95/lb. The pound makes approximately 32 10 oz. cups, making each cup about .40¢…let’s call it .65¢ per 12 oz. cup.
OreIda happens to make Extra Crispy Easy Tater Tots that you can microwave! Crispy tots are only 3 1/2 minutes away and these are carried in most major supermarkets.
Cost Breakdown: $1.27 per bag at Target. Not sure how many servings come in a bag, but let’s say about 10 do, putting the cost of one serving at .12¢.
IN SHORT, THIS ENTIRE BREAKFAST (FRENCH TOAST BITES, COFFEE, AND TATER TOTS) COST YOU $1.62.
Granted, the combined cost of ingredients was about $34.06 (let’s round up to $40 to include tax), but the pound of coffee should last about a month, all the french toast ingredients can be used later down the line (or you could make french toast again later in the week and save some more meal points), and tater tots make a good snack morning, noon, and night.
And that, fellow Seawolves, is how the Savvy Student @ SBU does breakfast on a budget. Happy cooking!