9 College Food Hacks You’ll Wish You Thought of First

If I’m being 100% honest, I hate cooking. This is my first year living off campus, and without a meal plan, you could say I’ve gotten a little creative with my cooking methods. So this blog post is for all students who want to get clever in the kitchen, whether its because you’re too lazy to cook like an actual adult, or maybe you’re already getting tired of the meal plan options and you want to experiment in your dorm’s kitchenette. Either way, I hope you enjoy some of the following college food hacks I’ve either come up with or come across in my days at IU. You’re welcome.

1. Lazy person’s grilled cheese

A grilled cheese

As far as I know, I made this up. But I may have not been the first person to ever think of it. Anyway, you will need:

  • toaster
  • microwave
  • bread
  • cheese

Toast your bread. Afterwards, add cheese. Then microwave your toast with cheese for ~2 min, or until cheese melts to desired point.

Variation: My sister will turn the toaster on its side, put in the bread with cheese on it and meat (e.g. ham), and make herself a hot sandwich. Put a plate next to the toaster so that when it pops out, it will land right on your plate (remember since it’s sideways).


  • fast
  • less dishes than regular grilled cheese

2. Stove-top s’mores

Marshmellow over a stove top

As far as I know, I also made this one up. You will need:

  • access to a gas stove
  • marshmallows
  • graham crackers
  • chocolate
  • roasting mechanism (e.g. chopstick? butter knife? Get creative)

Turn on the gas and start roasting your mallow until golden brown (or desired color).


  • chocolate
  • marshmallow
  • fast

3. Ramen-noodle spaghetti

Ramen with sauce

Credit for this one goes out to my sister’s boyfriend. You will need:

  • ramen noodles
  • microwave
  • spaghetti sauce

Make your ramen noodles, but leave out the flavor packet. Then add pasta sauce. Voila.

Variation: If you’re feeling fancy, try alfredo sauce.


  • fast
  • cheap
  • less dishes than preparing real adult spaghetti

4. Lazy apple pie

Sliced apples in a cup

You will need:

  • apples
  • cinnamon
  • honey
  • butter (optional)
  • a microwave

Slice up some apples, add cinnamon, honey, and a little butter if you want and microwave for about three minutes. Yum…

Variation: Try serving on top of vanilla ice cream, because “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts.”


  • fast
  • less dishes
  • de-stress with dessert

Check out these images I’ve seen floating around online of people being awesome and hilarious with their kitchen creativity.

5. Turn your coffee maker into a hot dog stand

6. When you don’t have a strainer

7. When you don’t have a microwave

Scenes from a college dorm

8. When (if) you have leftover coffee

Freeze them into cubes to use in iced coffee

9. And this genius piece of advice:

Dip Oreos in milk until soft then freeze. THey are delicious with the consistency of Oreos in cookies n cream ice cream

Share your own food hacks in the comments below! Tell your friends!

Annie Riley
Anne Riley

Anthropology Major, Tutor, Volunteer, Class of 2016

"I'm in the class of 2016, I'm from Greenwood, IN, and I'm majoring in anthropology with minors in Spanish and geography at Indiana University! I am most interested in studying biological anthropology and archaeology. Last summer I went on my first archaeological dig, 6 weeks of backcountry camping in Yellowstone National Park - it was awesome! I am a member for IU's chapter of Global Brigades where I am a part of the Water Brigade - over spring break we went to Honduras to build sustainable water collection and filtration systems to bring clean water to rural communities that don't currently have access to safe water. This year we are planning another brigade to Ghana in May! I intern in the Anthropology Department's Zooarchaeology Lab (zooarchaeology = zoo + archaeology = animal bones). My goal for future semesters is to also have a museum internship. I also work as a tutor with the writing center, Writing Tutorial Services (WTS). I am a musician as well and have played flute in the All-Campus Band; although I also play piano and saxophone. And of course, I am a student blogger for WeAreIU.com! I also love:
Indiana basketball
the SRSC
indie rock music
Pizza X
How I Met Your Mother
long walks on sandy beaches I'm psyched to share my experiences and advice! Thanks for reading and GO HOOSIERS!"

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