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Tip of the week: 5 cooking tricks every college student should know

College is stressful enough without having to worry about what the heck you’re making for dinner.

We get it. Sometimes, dining hall food just isn’t going to cut it. Worst case scenario, the closest thing to a kitchen some college students have access to is a microwave propped on a dresser or a kitchenette the whole dorm wing shares. 

Try these simple tricks to have something a little bit closer to a home cooked meal without having to leave your dorm.

1. Make a scrambled egg with a mug and a microwave 

Take an extra 90 seconds in the morning before dashing off to class to have a protein-packed breakfast — your body and brain will thank you. Grab a coffee mug and coat with nonstick spray. Crack two eggs and scramble, according to Epicurious. All you have to do is stick the mug in the microwave for 45 seconds, flip the eggs and then cook for another 45 seconds. Keep that mug clean, because you can… 

2. Have a single-serve brownie in a mug 

Sometimes, late-night study sessions call for something sweet. This microwave brownie in a mug is rich, gooey and enough to share with a study buddy if you really feel like it. 

3. Turn your dorm into a tiny greenhouse 

Plants add a bit of cheer to any room and a tiny herb garden is easy to take care of, even for the busiest students. Set aside a space on the windowsill that gets a lot of sunlight, or get hanging baskets for the ledge if your dorm or apartment has a balcony, The Daily Texan reports. Just think how much better that bowl of Ramen would be with some fresh herbs subbed in for the preservative-packed spice pouch.

4.  Use your Keurig for instant oatmeal and noodles 

K-Cups could be considered an indulgence on a college student’s shoestring budget, but that grad gift can be used for more than just coffee. Instead of waiting to heat up water on a stove or in a microwave, use the hot water in the machine for instant oatmeal, instant noodles or anything that requires you to just add water, according to BuzzFeed.

5.  Skip the coffee shop and make it yourself 

If you’ve got a fancy coffee machine with a timer, set it before you go to bed so you can wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and one less thing to do in the morning. If you don’t, you can fill the water tank and pour in the grounds while you’re getting ready for bed the night before and simply switch the pot on while you’re getting ready in the morning. One bag of coffee grounds lasts about two weeks and costs about as much as two lattes at a coffee shop. 

You can even make your own latte without the foaming machine. All you need is milk, an airtight container and a microwave.

For those of you who survived college, now’s your chance to chime in. What dorm room recipes got you through?

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