Bowing down to the demon ramen and other collegiate culinary indignities and delights
September 10th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: this is a part of FN Dish's Back to School Communal Table. Follow #pullupachair on Twitter and see other contributions below.

Sometimes, late in the night, the craving comes to me. I fight it, as I must, for the sake of decency and taste and everything I have strived for as a grown-up human being. I cannot...I will not...I must not...pour bottled Zesty Italian salad dressing over a heap of drained ramen noodles and slurp down the whole hot, harsh mess hunched over the kitchen counter in my bare feet. Even though (as I recall) it would be freaking delicious.

I swore an oath as art school ended - my best friend and I vowing in a low-rent, modern-day Scarlett O'Hara sort of way that we'd never again sustain ourselves on $.25 noodle packets, generic mac & cheese, off-label dried soup packets, past-their-sell-by-date baked goods and the other cheap but filling foodstuffs that have sustained broke students since the dawn of time (or at least the invention of the microwave). "Bowing down to the demon ramen," she called it. I nodded and agreed - she'd just always known better about grown-up things like that - but that didn't stop the pangs.

A few of my other college favorites:

– Boxed spaghetti with margarine (seriously - who could afford butter?), black pepper, curry powder and as much shake-on Parmesan cheese as I could spirit out of the pizza place in a napkin

– Boxed macaroni & cheese made with either the margarine or the milk (buying both at once wasn't in the cards most weeks) and as many mustard packets as I could get my paint-stained paws on

– Salad bar vegetables stir fried with peanut butter, duck sauce packets, white rice and an egg in my electric wok

– Baked potatoes with globs of cheap hot sauce or barbecue sauce mashed in with a fork

I'm ostensibly a grown-up lady now, one with actual metal silverware that didn't come as a supermarket giveaway, wedding china, cups not acquired at ballgames and fast food restaurants, and I swear I haven't hoarded condiment packets for at least a decade. But I can't say I'm not physically restraining myself from running down to the dollar store, nabbing the cheapest brick and bottle I can find, and shame-eating the whole concoction with the blinds down.

Let me know I'm not alone - post your favorite college food concoction in the comments below and we'll share them in an upcoming post.

I...have an errand to run...

P.S. Yes - ramen can be extremely fantastic, artistic and artisanal. I just didn't know that in college. Here are a few ways our iReporters like to get their ramen on.

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Filed under: College • Favorites • Stunt

soundoff (901 Responses)
  1. georgebushSR

    Sriracha chili sauce.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  2. Ahlea Rutt

    Goolash! Noodles, veggie soup, and tomatoe sauce mixed. If I had extra $$ I would buy Kraft cheese slices and throw it on top!

    September 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  3. Charlotte

    When i was a grad student, during the 2 semesters I didn't have research or teaching support I ate a lot of ramen. It was something like nine cents a pack when it was on sale. I have not eaten it since. Yeecccchhh.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  4. hotmamma

    Tortillas and anything cheap I could stuff in them. Discounted beans, pretend cheese, salsa, pickles, tuna, and an assortment of condiments from the dining hall and the taco bell down the street. Lots and lots of tortillas.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  5. johnny

    A great student meal is a top sirloin steak with all the dressings. All you need is a part time job.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      And a poor crappy grasp of that whole "be smart with your money" concept.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  6. Bill

    A quickie college meal from the eighties: take a stick of butter (had we only known back then!!) and melt it. Stir in one packet of onion soup mix flavoring, mix it with your pasta, and there's enough for two!

    September 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Lauren

      An entire stick?! Yea...a tablespoon + water probably would have had the same taste / effect.

      September 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  7. Pat Brown

    Our Cal Poly Engineering favorite was generic mac n cheese, chop and fry up cheap generic pork sausage until very dark, dump sausage and grease into boiled mac (who could afford butter?) and add the 'cheese' sauce packet and a bit of water, mix, top with Lawry's Seasoned Salt.....

    good and filling (I take Statin drugs now..... (35 years later)

    September 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  8. johnny

    Broke students! Sure there are. Broke after buying all those electronic goodies and designer clothing I guess. Let them eat KD!

    September 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  9. annebeth66

    Wow you are taking me back to my college days at WV State when I would tag along with a professor who had a membership to Sams’ Club, and buy a CASE of ramen noodles, which was about $ .10 a packet. The hot water in my dorm was only a few degrees cooler than boiling, so there was no need to microwave the noodles. I’ve never had them with peanut butter but with a lot of other things such as hot sauce, alfredo sauce, spaghetti sauce, can spray cheese, Mrs. Dash, hot pepper flakes, italian dressing, ranch dressing, french dressing, pizza place shaker cheese, refried beans, salsa basically anything that was free or on sale for $1.00 or less. Even now I still get a taste for the ramen but I am in counseling, getting help for my food addiction. LONG LIVE THE RAMEN!!! I love you and miss you so much.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  10. rose

    Hmmm.... I wonder how much they spend on cigarettes?

    September 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • snookers

      Get real. You buy pipe tobacco(taxed much lower) and make your own. Hopefully sometimes enhanced with some homegrown pot.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
      • socabron

        O' man, now that does require some knowledge. Sweet days...

        September 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  11. saxophone31

    Maruchan Yakisoba noodles! They're a little more expensive (about 70-85 cents per serving) than plain old Ramen, but they have flavor and are really more filling. Their cheddar cheese flavor is SO GOOD.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  12. JT

    Egg sandwiches. Fry a couple of eggs and toss some cheap bologna/ham in the frying pan along with it, put them between a couple pieces of toast spread with cheap margarine, add mustard, and season salt to taste, bam, protein-packed sandwich for like $0.50.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • snookers

      The versatile egg is still a bargain IMO. Used to love large rolled up pancake/crepes in college with all kind of weird additions/fillings..

      September 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  13. zD

    ha...I was an Outback and Applebees junky during college. Put it all on the card and hope I won't ever have to pay it back, lol.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • snookers

      Well, pay on time based on discretionary income rate and the balance could be forgiven.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Mr. C

      so you're a thief, ...or a freeloader?

      September 11, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  14. iminim

    Used to go to the photocopy rooms in the libraries and the vending machine rooms in the student union, reach under the machines to retrieve dropped coins and get enough money to buy ramen noodle lunches for 2 weeks. Sometimes I found enough money to buy broth and a few canned or frozen veggies to throw in the pot as well. After really profitable trips I could get a piece of chicken, too.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  15. Neal

    I still cook up some mac and cheese plus tuna and my kids love it(now I add a little lemon pepper and dill) and I figured out early on that pork and bean soup offered up the most protein per dollar! I don't mean to be negative but I work on a college campus and now with the proliferation of unlimited student loans these kids come to campus and buy new cars and take sponsered "vacations" and crazy stuff like that. I honestly just don't think they realize what it will be to leave with $80k in debt when they are done.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • zD

      fortunately the fed has provisions in place now to help you with that if you can't pay it off. Welcome to the 21st century! Mac and cheese is a thing of the past yo.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Ryan

      unfortunately a lot of us had to go 80,000 in debt to go through college without a new car, without vacations, unable to go home and often unable to afford ramen despite working 20 hours a week. We're not all rich kids or debt forgiven freeloaders, a lot of us have worked our asses to the bone only to realize that sallie mae and high tuition with keep us in poverty long beyond the point we get the degree we were told was so valuable

      September 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  16. disgustedvet

    Ketchup squeezed from the little fast food packages into hot water and a sprinkle of salt and pepper also provided by fast food restaurants and a box of saltines fills you up for awhile.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  17. Tom Shafer

    Med Student Tomato Soup.

    Free mug of hot water, no tea bag
    At least 4 packs ketchup
    Couple packs coffee creamer
    salt and pepper to taste
    couple packs of crackers if they are free


    September 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • disgustedvet

      Hey !

      September 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  18. Pat

    A box of bisquick went a long way. Some days it was just a blob baked. Cheese whiz and saltines. just lettuce salads. Ramen Lo Mein.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • snookers

      Regular flour is cheaper. Just add some baking soda and/'or baking powder

      September 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  19. zombiesloth79

    The trick with ramen is to find an Asian supermarket. Almost every college town has one hidden somewhere. The flavor packets in the Chinese and Korean brands are MUCH better. I like mine with a hotdog, a poached egg, and some fresh cilantro or basil thrown in. I'm craving it just thinking about it.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Matt M

      Zombie is right – before I went back to college, I was in the US Army in Korea, and Korean Ramen is the best. Get the spicy kind and put a piece (or two) of American cheese on top of it (with the spicy broth still on the noodles). Stir it up, mmmmmmmmmmm......

      Tasty lunch for about a buck.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  20. 21thingsabout

    I got lucky, I suppose. I lived in a dorm and meals were included in the cost of our room and board. So at least, most days, you would get 3 decent meals (if you had time) You could also get a bagged lunch in lieu of a hot lunch if your classes kept you too busy to stop. Buuut, on some days, my classes were off campus so the $1 menu was my friend!

    September 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  21. Sue

    I've done the ramen, off label mac and cheese, the dollar store shopping for food, and the \"condiment\" living, but my big splurge was the dented and rusted cans on the clearance cart hidden in the back corner of the store. Yes, I ate rusted canned beans for a long time as I scored a case of them once. It was better than starving, but made me socially unacceptable to be around for awhile.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • snookers

      Lol, gas heaven .If you have the time and facility to grow some vegs yourself, from seeds not already expensive young plants, rice in bulk plus your added homegrown veggies, is still a lifesaver. Easy to freeze veggies with high yield of course, like bell peppers, tomatoes, string beans, egg plants etc. Problem I have though that many of my veggies get legs lately, too expensive to erect a high fence around my veggie garden. Have not been able to grow peppers till they are red since they disappear prior to that. Guess by folks more desperate than me.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • snookers

        Now , this article got me thinking too. May be my home grown veggies are disappearing to college students. Anybody want to fess up?

        September 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
        • RealVTR

          Find something to do seem to have way too much time on your hands this evening. A comment or two is fine, but you're just begging for attention with the numerous and less-than thought provoking comments.Sorry, but someone had to say it :)

          September 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  22. Sue

    I've done the ramen, off label mac and cheese, the dollar store shopping for food, and the "condiment" living, but my big splurge was the dented and rusted cans on the clearance cart hidden in the back corner of the store. Yes, I ate rusted canned beans for a long time as I scored a case of them once. It was better than starving, but made me socially unacceptable to be around for awhile.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  23. snookers

    Man, you can add the retired baby boomers to the college students. Each time a new batch of money is printed by the Feds pricing for food goes up. The anemic interest rates of my savings also has drastically reduced my income.
    All in a gigantic scheme to transfer/erode my retirement savings to the already rich 1%. Hand outs to adult children in dire need and in the claws of debt collectors for student loans plus medical expenses because of high deductibles also does not help. That said, best buy is 10/20 lbs bags of incredible rice. Even cheaper than ramen noodles or pet food
    And I refuse to budge for that predatory reverse mortgage thingy. I will starve myself first.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  24. DebzLee

    One Hundred One Ways to Make Ramen Noodles: Creative Cooking When You Can Only Afford Ten-For-A-Dollar Pasta [Spiral-bound] (1993) by Toni Patrick

    101 THINGS TO DO WITH RAMEN NOODLES [Paperback] (2005) by Toni Patrick

    101 More Things To Do With Ramen Noodles [Spiral-bound] (2011) by Toni Patrick

    101 Things to Do with Mac & Cheese [Spiral-bound] (2007) by Toni Patrick

    September 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • frank

      Living on Ramen allows you to appreciate what your education affords you today.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
      • snookers

        If you are lucky. Student loans can drag you down for many years and keep you on a college student diet.

        September 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
      • S

        Pfft I don't even have student loans and I'm eating like this. Try being a new college grad attempting to become gainfully employed.

        September 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  25. T

    In college, it was rice and soy sauce, cheap mac & cheese with canned tuna, buttered bread with sugar or syrup, pbj, cheap bean burritos, ramen, ramen and more ramen. Feeding a family of 6 on a tight budget, I still eat ramen.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • parns

      Rice and soy sauce I can't even count the amount of times I had that in college...Here's another one which I'm not that proud of we ate numerous times, we re-fried almost spoiled but not yet totally spoiled rice just so we could eat something that might not make us sick the next day....Those were the days=D

      September 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  26. John

    Musician's soup! Ketchup, hot water, and, if the money was really rolling in, dehydrated parsley and onion! Flush times would see an actual OXO cube in there instead of (or with) the ketchup.
    New generation has their own 'college food' with all the fast food joints having $1 menus. Fat, cholesterol, sodium? The absolute best bang for your buck is right there at the drive-thru.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  27. michelle crosby

    No one can beat good old beans (pinto....chili power, garlic powder, salt, a small piece of scrap bacon) over rice! On paydays, add a bit of hamburger....although these days? round steak is usually cheaper than hamburger! Makes it even better!

    September 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  28. CrackerBox

    This will be common middle class faire if Romney is elected.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • rvastag

      I think that already IS what a lot of the middle class eats.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • saxophone31

        Because it's delicious!

        September 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  29. TJ

    Not eating as badly as I did in college, but still cheap, trying to pay off student loans in a few years rather than 30. But I remember lots of one meal days, usually hamburger helper with cheap meat, or tuna helper. Noodles with garlic, ramen of course, lots of 99 cent whoppers when they were that cheap, in short garbage.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  30. Doodlebug2222

    Well I fix the ramen but I don't like the sauce. I blend in these raw – items: chopped chives, diced tomatoe, dab of butter, small amounts of finely diced cooked cabbage (it still has a tiny crunch), some sunflower seeds to top it. To me the tomatos and onions help add a nice coolness.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  31. JustMe

    You want some awesome ramen recipes, talk to someone who's been in jail.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  32. Me

    The fact that Ramen now cost $0.25 a pack is the problem. They used to cost $0.10 a pack. Now they get more expensive and there are less noodles in a pack.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

      The problem as I see it is that ramen noodles come with a pack of seasoning that contains nothing but fat and salt and yet people still eat them. And either $.10 or $.25 is more than anyone should pay to eat that garbage.

      September 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
      • Hadenuffyet

        I'd guess it's still better than starving..

        September 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  33. JT

    I worked at restaurants. Nice ones, intentionally, and I ate well because of that. And I hate to admit, but dates=dinner. Yeah, sad...

    September 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Me

      and what did dinner =????

      September 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • JustMe

      Dinner – a date.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  34. hal

    Ramen and tins of Kippered herring, I still love this. I have graduated to higher end ramen, you know the Korean kind, so spicy it makes my room mate choke like she was pepper sprayed at a riot.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  35. Scot

    Hell I am hungry now !!!!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  36. Fanger

    Ramen noodles, drain most of the iquid, then add a chopped up baked (microwaved) potato and a couple of eggs and you have a my contribution to society.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  37. Carron Harlan

    This a really great thread to trace college eating habits from the 60's on. When my mother and uncle went to college in the 30's, my grandmother packed a picnic basket full of home made goodies, took it to the train station at 9 in the morning, and it was in their hands around 1:00 PM– in time for lunch.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • RealVTR

      and then....

      September 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  38. CS

    How about Ramen noodles at the age of 40 when bills cannot suffer, so you sacrifice for your kids.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  39. Meltdown

    You should travel to Asia? When you go to the grocery store, they have one isle with nothing but romen. I feel for you though. I lived off ramen for 5 years in college. (yes I was on the super senior plan...).

    September 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  40. Bobbo

    Flour tortilla with Taco Bell hot sauce rolled into a small burrito (an acquired taste).
    Ramen noodles with sweet and sour sauce from McDonalds.
    If I had extra money, then I'd buy store brand soda (blah!)
    Mac n cheese with hot sauce packets (better than it sounds)
    Bread with jelly packet

    September 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      AHHH we had > mac N cheese with hotdogs sliced up in it and some nice cracked pepperr on top.

      My mom made: Cabbage/Hamburge/Rice. You cook each, keep the oil from the beef and mix in and eat with soy sauce. Not had it in years. Our staple is brown rice, beans (on the rice with plenty of juice ladled on), diced tomato and onions on the beans and some nice corn bread (or wheat bread) with some nice tea.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • saxophone31

      Wegman's brand soda is actually quite good! And very cheap.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  41. Ski Bum

    Condiment bar sandwiches – a packet of saltines with whatever other condiments are available squished between the two crackers. Places that served chili had the best condiments too – sour cream, shredded cheese, jalepenos. It was almost like real food.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Ohh I like this one! We did that with peanut butter and bananas.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Mustard_Crusade

      I must say, if you grew up in Texas (south of Temple) the best pickens' for condiments was the Taco Cabana. They have a QUALITY condiment bar (jalapenos, salsa, chopped onions, etc). Buy some cheap tortillas from them, then raid the condiment bar...they knew me by name. Nowadays Taco Cabana is all over Texas, but it used to be more of a south Texas thang. PS: If you are paying $0.25 for ramen, you need to shop around. My personal best was $0.07 for a pack of ramen!

      September 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  42. SidewaysEight

    Ketchup sandwiches...

    September 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Kandis

      LOL Someone said KETCHUP SANDWICHES! I have been there man.

      September 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
      • Don

        A-1 sandwiches too!

        September 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Mustard_Crusade

      Ketchup sandwiches?! You folks are nuts. Mustard sandwich is the way to go.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  43. claybouquetshop

    My favorite filling meal was a pot of rice, a bag of frozen peas & carrots, another of frozen corn. When all of them were cooked, throw them together, add Durkee hot sauce and old bay seasoning. Yum!

    September 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  44. anon33

    I guess my college experience was slightly different. Our dining hall served tortuous things like London broil, crab cakes with orange remoulade, dijon crusted roast chicken, cranberry and apple glazed pork loin, and slow-cooked legs of lamb. I even had to suffer through servings of lobster, steak, and full Thanksgiving dinner spreads. It's safe to say that my best days of eating are behind me (sadly).

    September 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • onecell

      f u c k w a d

      September 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • davidw

      Did you go to Hogwarts?

      September 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
      • anon33

        haha not Hogwarts, but close enough. Went to a small school up in Maine called Bowdoin. Aside from our academics and graduates, we're famous for our food. But I'm now experiencing the joys of peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, cheap mac & cheese, and ramen that I missed out on back in college. Funny how things change.

        September 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
        • JustMe

          Brunswick! Didn't go to college there but spend every summer in Maine.

          September 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • saxophone31

      Same here! We have (usually) great food! Yeah the soup is a little salty and the hamburgers a little burned sometimes, but there's some great stuff! Considering how much we pay for the meal plan, it better be good....

      September 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  45. Eating Well

    I dont think most of these college students have any idea how to shop. There are plenty of places to shop and find meals that will last a week for less then 20 dollars. Dollar tree, 99 cent store, and many other incarnations of 1 dollar or less stores are everywhere. With 20 dollars I could buy 1 of each of these items; speghetti & sauce/paste, frozen chicken (2 breast), bread, soda, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, salad dressing, cereal, milk, peanut butter, fruit, canned soup, liter soda, eggs. Those items come up to 18 dollars before tax. The milk is the only exception at 99cent store (1 gallon=3 bucks). All other items were 1 dollar each. Frozen chicken can be found at dollar tree for 1 dollar. 20 dollars can buy enough food for at least 1 week or more depending on how you eat

    September 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Kandis

      Ok frozen chicken might feed you for one day. You have have nothing but change in your pocket trying to feed yourself for a week, less than 20 cent ramen goes a long way. You just have to have been there.

      September 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • Eating Well

        I am there... I am eating as normal as any other person. It just takes a bit of strategic shopping. Poor and non-college educated people have been doing it for years. College students should in theory be smart enough to manage a small budget. Well i guess they are managing but some of the meals just sound pretty bad. I know people who are in a much worse financial position then the average college student and they, like myself manage to eat well for less then 100 dollars a month. It is possible

        September 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
        • dirtychai

          I agree. I budgeted my cash and ate a pretty balanced diet in college. It may have been based on rice, bread, and flour tortillas. However seasonal veggies were cheap, chicken cutlets could be bought in bulk and frozen to last until next 2 weeks paycheck, eggs were less than two bucks. It wasn't that hard to stay within $20-30 for a week or so of food.

          September 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • JustMe

      When we were first married, young, poor, and hit some hard times, I fed the family on a small turkey for a full week, along with other small amounts of staples I had. Sun, roast turkey, mashed potatoes (real ones...a bag goes much further than boxed), stuffing and veg. The next day, hot roast turkey sandwiches and the remainder of leftovers. Tues we had 'spaghetti o pollo', cheap sauce cooked with bits of turkey and a good helping of (dollar store) Parm mixed in, served over spaghetti. Wed I stewed what was left of the carcass, picked off all the meat and made a potpie with biscuit topping, carrots and peas and potatoes in it, just part of the broth and meat. Thurs I took cooked macaroni and little bits of leftover cooked veggis or a can or bag of this or that, put in a dish with the mac and gravy and baked it like a casserole. Friday I tool all that was left, meat, potatoes, vegs and made a shepherds pie kind of dinner, along with the leftover spa sauce mixed in with the meat and baked it. Everyone ate well, different meal every night, warm and comforting dinners. When I got my check the next day and said I was going grocery shopping, my husband begged me to please 'bring him home some red meat.' lol. But it was an interesting experience in what you could do what you had. Gifted turkey and the rest, probably $20 worth of veg, potatoes, pasta etc.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  46. Klaas Jan

    Art school? How's that working out for you, lol

    September 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • B

      obviously pretty well, nice try though

      September 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Monkeyman

      How's it working out? She's writing pieces for CNN and you're writing "soundoffs."

      September 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
      • libbykay

        Good job Monkeyman! I am also an art student who hasn't received my BFA yet with a $25 an hour job. I'm 19, live alone in a 2 bedroom house, no parental support, and doing just fine. Not to mention commission art and art show $$$ :) Don't be so soon to judge one of those "pointless" majors. I do what I love.. when I WANT to for big money.

        September 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  47. MarileeBob

    I'd buy a huge bag of white rice and dried pinto beans, and a bag of corn tortillas and steal hot sauce from taco bell, and that was it, pretty much all I ate for years.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Carron Harlan

      During the 60's I lived on spaghetti cooked much longer than "al dente" tossed with margarine, dried parsley flakes, parmesan cheese packets, and lots of salt. Still cook this for myself sometimes. Also did the bread and cheese in aluminum foil crushed under a hot iron in the dormitory where we were forbidden to cook. My "ahhhhh" moment came when a huge black man who ran a small fried chicken shop explained to me how to write a check on my mother's account for less than $1. I then could buy–once a week–a piece of fried chicken with fries and a biscuit and write a check for 97 cents. Life was good!!!!

      September 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • CrackerBox


      September 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  48. taw

    I would buy one big box of American cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, bread and flour tortillas, and then make: a grilled cheese sandwich with ketchup, an open-faced toasted cheese sandwich, a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich, or cheese crisps (melted cheese on flour tortillas). Splurges = Old Dutch Potato Chips and Top the Tater Chive and Onion Sour Cream.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  49. Argo NOT

    Oh the early 70's at ramen back then...
    Tomato soup: "free" ketchup packet + hot water (maybe a packet of "free" crackers)
    Lemonade: "free" packet of lemon juice + cold water (optional "free" sugar packet)
    Mustard AND mayo (from "free" packets) on "free" crackers
    White rice or elbow noodles cooked in tomato water (diluted "free" ketchup packet)
    Ironed mustard and mayo ("free" packets) sandwiches on "day old" stale bread (mold was optional)
    Cheapest can of baked beans mixed with chopped baloney, spam or hot dogs

    September 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Oh yes there was...

      In 1970 Top Ramen was sold in the U.S. by Nissan Foods.

      September 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  50. c

    when ramens have cooked add the seasoning packet/stir/chop up a tomato/then add whorcestershire.omg!
    do not cook tomato, the heat from ramens will handle it and they will still taste fresh.

    September 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
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