The secret to conquering the kitchen while on a budget

Mary Athorp, Staff Reporter

Cooking in college is not for the faint of heart. For most, it takes some serious trial and error, perhaps a few explosions or two, and a whole lot of creativity. What people need is something simple, something easy, something cheap, especially if cooking is paired with an intense study schedule, athletics, and a job.

That’s why when something works, it sticks. So, look no further for the greatest college cooking hack(on a budget) known to man: mugs.

Now, yes, mugs are not a meal, nor are they even a food. But, a mug in a kitchen is a game changer.

A mug can literally be the start of somebody’s day. Crack an egg inside, stir it up with some cheese, peppers, and some bacon bits, and a mini-omelet will pop out of the microwave a minute later.

An overripe banana rotting on the counter? Turn it into an afternoon study snack by mashing it up into a mug, sprinkling in a little bit of vanilla extract, flour, and baking powder(and of course come chocolate chips), and 90 seconds later, the sweet smell of banana bread will replace the rotting scent on the counter.

Is Kraft just not cutting it? A mug can fix that. Throw some elbow noodles and water together for about four minutes. Add a splash of milk and some shredded cheese, let it spin in the microwave just a tad longer, and some homemade mac ‘n cheese is in order.

There, three simple recipes, minimal ingredients, inexpensive, and so easy it’s nearly impossible to mess up. Cooking just got a whole lot simpler. Mugs are the key to successful experience in the kitchen, and these three recipes are only the cusp of what could be. Perhaps the secret to cooking as a college student is not about food. It’s about how the food is made.


Omelet in a Mug

-One or two eggs

-Dash of milk

-Toppings of choice

Crack an egg into a mug and mix in the other ingredients. Cook in the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds until the egg is fully cooked. 

Banana Bread in a Mug

-½ ripe banana

-¼ tsp vanilla extract

-2 tbsp flour

-¼ tsp baking powder

chocolate chips(the more the better)

Mash the banana and combine it with the vanilla extract. Add this mixture to a dry mixture of the flour and baking powder. Don’t forget to add in the chocolate chips. Microwave for about 90 seconds or until the bread is cooked through. 

Mac ‘n Cheese in a Mug

-⅓ cup small macaroni noodles

-½ cup of water

-¼ cup of milk

-½ cup shredded cheese

Put the macaroni and water into a mug and microwave for two minutes, stir, then microwave in intervals of one minute with stirring until all the water is absorbed. Stir in the milk and cheese, then microwave for another 30-60 seconds.