Residence food can be pricey, bland or just too far away from your room to be worth the trek. Here are some healthy ways you can create cuisine in the comfort of your room — without breaking the bank.

Bang-for-your-buck breakfast

Breakfasts are some of the easier and most nutritious gains you can make on cafeteria food.

Bulk Barn offers many varieties of oatmeal that you can supplement with trail mix. Anyone with a sweet tooth can go for the added chocolate, while the health-conscious student may opt for chia or pumpkin seeds paired with dried fruit blends.

You’ll also find cheap and clean plant-based protein here — pea protein can be added with jam and water in your blender for a simple and nutritious post workout shake.

Elevated icons

The tried-and-true favourites of university students are there for a reason —  budget-friendly Kraft Dinner and ramen noodles only require boiling water. For minimalist bonus points, you can make the ramen in your kettle or your floor’s microwave.

Remember to be considerate of the safety and cleanliness of your floor and suite by starting with lower cooking times and being present anytime you’re using cooking appliances.

To spice up your ramen or Kraft Dinner, consider stocking up on hot sauce packets from the cafeteria. A visit to Bulk Barn will give you access to cheaper ramen and mac n’ cheese, but also opportunities to add some more nutrition to your meals. Add lentils, beans or chickpeas to your cart for protein and consider nutritional yeast for added healthy flavour.

Ease up on the ramen sauce or cheese powder, as one package can amount to over half of your daily recommended salt.

Make it your own

Grocery stores have meals that can be made just by adding boiling water like chicken carbonara, rice dishes and even Mexican-style eats. Achieve expert level by bumping up your meals with pre-cooked bacon or falafel.

Explore your options down the aisles and remember, many grocery stores offer 10 percent student discounts some weekdays.

Simple snacks

For study gains, look for items that last a long time and won’t require refrigeration . Apples and peanut butter are a pair made for long study sessions; they feed your brain with short to medium-term sugars and long-term fats so you don’t crash. Skip Starbucks and go with a long-lasting, value-added snack.

Get chef’n

Eating out of your dorm is only limited by your imagination, creativity and safety codes.

Don’t be the floor chef who smokes the floor out or sets off the sprinkler system, but consider the possibilities small, residence-approved appliances can add to your life. Small blenders, kettles and coffee makers can offer many simple and nutritious meals that supplement the cafeteria and keep you rolling through that study grind.

For braver students, an instant pot can be used to cook virtually any meal. But keep in mind that it is more challenging to keep things clean and hygienic without proper kitchen facilities. Your desk isn’t a cutting board and washing dishes in the shared bathroom sink might not be the vibe you’re going for — unless, of course, you’re sharing food with your floormates.

Sharing truly is caring.

University is all about learning, experimenting and growing — the dorm kitchen is no different. Try out new recipes and combinations, strive for some healthy eats and look for inspiration from friends, on camping food blogs and in stores like Bulk Barn, for deals that will get you through university and out of the cafeteria.

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