Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in a food rut!

Here’s 5 fast, flexible and inexpensive dinners, perfect for busy international students.

1. Make-in-Minutes Personal Pizza

This Make-in-Minutes Personal Pizza is perfect as a fun dinner to make with friends, or just for a night in when you can’t be bothered to cook.  It’s completely customizable; you can add as many or as few toppings as you like, and there’s no extra charge for double cheese!  The ingredients in our recipe are simply a guideline for making just one of many delicious options.  Substitute the meatballs for ham, bacon, pepperoni, chicken, spicy sausage, or any other meat, and load up your pizza with any number of fresh veggies (like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach) for a pizza feast fit for a king.  For the more budget-conscious eater, skip the toppings and make it a simple cheese pizza, or use whatever ingredients you’ve got in your fridge to create a unique pizza masterpiece.

Cost: $10-12

Serves: 4

Recipe here

2. Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans is the perfect meal when you’re in the mood for something warm and delicious but just can’t work up the motivation to spend ages in the kitchen.  Simple Rice and Beans is exactly what it’s called- simple.  With only four ingredients, it’s a great inexpensive meal option that is so very easy to make and doesn’t compromise on nutrition.  Full of fibre, protein, and a multitude of vitamins and minerals, this dish is perfectly balanced to fill you up and keep you going, whether it’s late night of studying or a massive essay you’ve yet to start.

Cost: $4-5

Serves: 4

Recipe here

3. BBQ Chicken Nachos

If you’re tired of the same old nachos made with salsa and melted mozzarella, try BBQ Chicken Nachos instead and be prepared for them to become your new favourite!  Layered with rich BBQ chicken, crisp red onion, sweet red capsicum, spicy green chilli, sharp white cheddar, and then baked to perfection, it’s a brilliant combination of bright and bold flavours and the perfect dish to share with friends for a night in watching movies or the big game.

Cost: $12-15

Serves: 4

Recipe here

4. Sausage and Tomato Penne

Nothing beats a big bowl of pasta, and this Sausage and Basil Penne with Tomato Sauce is vibrant with rich flavours and so tasty that you’ll be going back for seconds.  Not only is it quick and simple to make, but it’s very budget-friendly and works well to make in larger amounts if you’re feeding several mouths.  For the best-tasting pasta, make sure to use fresh basil and high-quality parmesan, like Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Cost: $15

Serves: 4

Recipe here

5. Blue Cheese Burger with Pear and Rocket

You know those gourmet burgers they serve at upscale bistros?  The ones with fancy cheeses and unique toppings and artisan breads, which are usually accompanied by a hefty bill?  You can make them at home.  No joke.  This Blue Cheese Burger with Pear and Rocket tastes mouth-wateringly delicious and is totally easy to create at home.  The sweetness of the pear and the crisp spiciness of the rocket balance the creamy sharpness of the blue cheese, and the hardy ciabatta roll enhances the gourmet quality of this rich burger and won’t fall apart in your hands.

Cost: $12-15

Serves: 2

Recipe here