Easy College Meals + Meal Creator {free printables}

Easy college meals complete with a monthly menu, shopping lists, and cost estimates perfect for your freshman or incoming college student that’s easy to use!  This is my favorite easy meal menu template that I’ve used for decades for meal plans which includes a monthly grocery budget.

This easy college meals menu and budget is a simple way to keep a grocery budget, at a glance know what recipe ingredients you have on-hand, and what cheap college meals you’ll be eating.

If you’re a parent of a college student, these college recipes are the easiest way to teach your college freshman what the cost of groceries are each month and how to quickly meal plan for the week.

RELATED:  Moms! Here’s how to prepare your college freshman

Free Easy College Meal Plan_TipJunkieEHprint Download File Here:
Easy College Meals with Shopping List (611 downloads)

 1. Easy College Meals Menu.

Click the link above to download the easy college meals that include a one month menu XLS file as an excel spreadsheet.  You can change any of the college recipes and dorm room food and add your student’s favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinners.

I love the monthly menu format that your college freshman can tape onto their pantry door. This way they’ll know exactly what they are eating and when.

Easy College Meal Creator
EHprint Download File Here:
Easy College Meal Creator (468 downloads)

2. Easy College Meal Creator.

Click the link above to download the easy college meal creator of food for college students in an editable Word Document.  You can change any of the college meals and add your student’s favorite breakfast, lunch, snack and dinners.

I can not take credit for this idea. My long-time friend Kim at Today’s Creative Life send me her sons copy and I tweaked it to what Dylan would eat.  He’s such a picky eater and doesn’t like to cook.  So since his college does not have a meal plan, I thought this easy college meal creator would be right up his ally. Bless you Kim!!

So when your freshman gets tired of the super easy recipes for college students in the one month menu then they can graduate to creating their own meals using these fun ingredient prompts.

Again, this would be great taped to the inside door of the pantry so when your college freshman is meal planning he can have great ideas on what to eat and add them to his grocery shopping list.

BYU Idaho Centre Square Dorm Room Decorating Ideas_TipJunkie

I created these easy college meals with menu and shopping lists for my son who’s attending Brigham Young University Idaho.  BYU Idaho does not have a meal plan and his dorm has a full kitchen.  Which is why a monthly menu was needed.

Dylan also needs to keep to a monthly grocery and dining out budget.  So we’re hoping these will help him understand where his money is going and how to be financially responsible while living on his own.

You can use just one or both of the college meals.  They are both FREE printables and instant downloads.  The links to download them are above.  {look for the flower}

Easy College Meals ~ Monthly Menu

Now beware… Dylan didn’t want to cook his first semester of college and he’s a very picky eater.  Therefore, the meals are not healthy meals for college students or well balanced with greens and protein.  {eek!}  They are super easy college meals that you can microwave and make in minutes.

Since Dylan is our first child to send off to college we were preoccupied with many other things and his menu was last.  I’m sure we’ll create a better version his sophomore year when he’s willing to cook.

Easy College Meals 3 Tabs in spreadsheet

Let’s dive into the monthly meal spreadsheet and show you around…  When you open up the Easy College Meals with Shopping List one month menu, you will find 3 TABS in the excel spreadsheet.

Easy college meals with shopping list includes:

  1. Month at-a-glance
  2. Shopping lists and recipes
  3. Cost of groceries and meals

As I mentioned, I created this food for college students and college recipes to teach my own son how to prepare for his freshman year.  You can edit these easy meals for college students in any way you’d like. Feel free to add the meals you want and remove the recipes you don’t.

Easy College Meals with Shopping Lists

Month At-A-Glance

In the first tab, you will find one month at-a-glace menu.  This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  This way you can manage your ingredients and cravings quickly with this at-a-glance menu.

Here is a list of what’s in the monthly menu.  Again these are cheap college meals for my son who currently does not want to cook.  We’ll let it evolve as he becomes more comfortable living on his own and cooking in the kitchen.

College Breakfast Ideas:

  • Eggs
  • Nutra-bullet protien shake
  • Bagel
  • Cereal
  • Sausage on a Stick
  • Ensure
  • Pancakes

College Lunch Ideas:

  • Left Overs
  • Sandwich
  • Soup or Stew
  • Hot Pocket
  • Spaghetti w/ Meatballs
  • Knor Pasta
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Pot Pie Cereal

College Dinner Ideas:

  • Sandwich
  • Mac & Cheese w/ Sausage
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Mexican Hot Dog {tortilla}
  • Chili Dog
  • Chicken Quesadilla
  • Ramen Noodles (12)
  • Bowtie Pasta w/ Broccoli
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Soft Taco
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Knor Pasta Sides
  • Spaghetti w/ Meatballs
  • Taco Bell Tacos
  • Pancakes

Dorm Room Food ~ Frozen:

  • Burritos
  • Hot Pocket
  • Voila bagged meal
  • Red Barron Pizza
  • Marie Callender’s Pot Pie
  • Stouffer’s Lasagna

Dorm Room Food ~ Canned:

  • Dinty Moore Beef Stew
  • Chef Boyardee Stuffed Ravioli
  • Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli

Feel free to change anything your college freshman will not eat and be sure to add in their favorite recipes, dorm room food, and meals.

Easy College Meal Grocery Shopping List

Grocery Shopping List

Use the second tab of the spreadsheet, to print your grocery list and recipes.  This is where you can add any of your favorites or remove any that your college student won’t eat.

Easy College Meal Recipes with Cost

In addition to the easy recipes for college students, I broke down the cost of each meal to buy initially and then how much it would cost per meal.

For instance, several of these recipes or products would feed one person for multiple meals. However, you have to buy all the ingredients to make the meal or purchase the product.  Therefore, the college student food budget is a little high but it gives you an idea.College Student Food Budget example in Excel Spreadsheet

3. College Student Food Budget.

In the third tab of the college student budget, is the college student food budget.  If your college has a meal plan then this isn’t necessary.  However, I would still plan dining out and snacks.

As I mentioned earlier, BYU Idaho does not have a meal plan and their freshman dorm has full kitchens.  Therefore, I needed to create Dylan a monthly menu with recipes and a budget.

Freshman Advice for College Meals:

  • Only buy what you will actually eat
  • Walmart Grocery app will calculate totals & allow pickup
  • Plan time in your schedule for you to menu plan
  • Plan time in your schedule to pick up groceries
  • Only cook on days you have the time
  • Schedule time to eat out, especially on busy days

You can download the free college student budget here.

Free College Planner for Freshman Year from Tip Junkie

How to organize your college meals?

Now you’re probably wondering where to store your college meals and shopping lists or how to organize them so your college freshman will actually use it.

I have two suggestions for you:

  1. College Life Planner
  2. Google Drive

I actually have the easy college meals, menu, and shopping lists in both places.  You can do the same or just pick one.

Google Drive is easy because it’s online and accessible anywhere at anytime.  You can also share it with parents and guardians and any adjustments can be seen by everyone.

I would also suggest you printing a hard copy and adding it to my College Life Planner.  It’s a great way to store all your important documents and everything your child will need for college life.

To create your College Life Planner, print off the free file and then simply add your medical records, insurance information, checklists and college major planning into a three ring binder so you can quickly find it when you need it.

It’s also a great way to help teach your college freshman organizational skills.

More College Prep For Guys

Since this was my first child I had to prepare for college I went a little overboard.  The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Here’s the complete list of my college prep for guys how-to’s:

There are FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.

Laurie Turk the Tip Junkie

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Free Easy College Meal Plan_TipJunkie
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