Hacks Hit-Or-Miss Humor

Here Are Some Of The Weird Things Starving College Kids Eat And Rarely Enjoy

About 70% of undergraduate college students have jobs, but when you’re in school full-time you only have so much time to dedicate to work and not much cash is leftover after paying for tuition and books.

Enter every college kid’s food struggle.

We all remember our god-awful starving college student diets, but being inventive in terms of creating cheap and somewhat tasty meals is a crucial skill to master when ballin’ on a student budget. Personally, I enjoy the occasional bowl of Top Ramen, but I can also see how it can become a form of torture if it’s ALL you can afford to eat, day-in and day-out for eight semesters.

Thanks to reddit and the general public’s repulsive college meal disclosures, here are some of the weirdest things college kids have eaten, and some even weirder ways they’ve cooked them. And because most of them were posted from memory, not all culinary works of art have corresponding photos. Enjoy, and don’t try these recipes at home.




I present to you broke college student taco. Crusty end toast, chips, a slice of turkey, bacon, and cheese. via Imgur

A fine gentleman’s sandwich as it looks from first glance. But that’s the full-crust end of the loaf of bread… that’s worse than no bread. Tortilla chips are a nice addition to this student taco, and some might say he’s not a starving college student after all, because what broke 20-something can afford to keep all of a sandwich’s ingredients fully stocked… not to mention cheese? Cheese on a sandwich in college only happens if you hit the lottery. This guy must be loaded!




College student “spam Parmesan.” Egg noodles and thin spaghetti topped with fried spam, a slice of cheese, and then covered in tomato soup. via Imgur

What a 5-star dish description! I’m pretty sure this student means “angel hair” when they say “thin noodles,” but they still get an ‘A’ for effort. This sounds awful when reading it, but I would totally try it.

And again we have some seriously privileged college kids here. Toblerones are one of the most expensive chocolate bars that you can buy at a grocery store! What’s this kid doing eating spam on mix n’ match pasta with tomato soup?!




The “Cheese Taco” with only two ingredients: mayonnaise and cheese. This photo is equivalent to barf. That is all.



Tuna salad in bowl

Make 2-3 cups rice. Mix in one can of tuna and about 1/4 jar of spaghetti sauce. Goop that all up and throw it into a bowl. It was actually pretty awesome and not that unhealthy all around. Tried subbing salsa for the spaghetti sauce once – that was great too.

Tuna fish is a staple in a dorm pantry, it’s versatile and it’s protein. But this is the by far the last food that you should be getting “creative” with. We can call this one the “poor man’s tuna pasta,” sans noodles.



coffee cream

Used to use half and half and chocolate syrup to make a lazy lady’s chocolate frappe. So tasty, so awful for you. mmmmm

Using leftover condiments has proven to be a common theme among college students and their food strategies, and it’s genius. Condiment packets are free, just take them and make bootleg frappuccinos and meals with them. As far as cost efficiency goes, this wins.




You can make a pretty awesome tomato soup out of ketchup and hot water. Used to eat it back in University before payday when I had exhausted my resources. If you get extra cheap you can go into McDonald’s, ask for a cup of hot water and take some free ketchup. No one will stop you, they’ll just pity you.

Another prime example of why condiment packets are important in life. Ketchup packets are free, and McDonald’s gave this kid free hot water, which yields a meal cost of $0. There are likely zero nutrients in this meal, but college is more about eating something, or rather anything, than eating something good.




Our campus lounge had vending machines with items like burritos and top ramen, but no faucet. So when we ran out of burritos, I poured Coke into the Top Ramen and microwaved it. It was… not ideal.

I ran into a similar situation. Only other liquid I had in the dorm was vodka. I figured it was clear so at least the mac and cheese LOOKED correct. It did not taste good.

Coke-flavored ramen is a new one, and it sounds horrific. Hot carbonated liquid simply cannot taste good on its own, let alone with salty ramen noodles added. Vodka mac ‘n cheese is a on whole ‘nother level. I’m hoping that whoever’s idea this was, had already consumed the vast majority of that bottle of vodka before coming up with this dish and still, it’s not okay.



tuna cans

Tuna and corn warmed in a skillet with mayo and sriracha and put on toast. Actually really good when you’re broke and stoned.

Warm tuna, why would you warm tuna? Room temperature tuna was just fine by itself. Was the sautéing of the tuna possibly a mind game to make yourself think that you were actually cooking food instead of just opening a can of tuna, adding mayo and hot sauce, and warming it up? These are questions that need to be answered!




Spaghetti noodles with rotting broccoli someone dumpster dived, with peanut butter and salt mixed into a paste/sauce.

Pity, I feel pity for this fool. If you’re going to dumpster dive for food, at least let it be for something better than broccoli. The poor kid must have been high AND desperate.




I like to make hot dogs in the toaster oven and eat them with a Kraft single on a slice of Wonder bread.

Toaster ovens are everything. You can warm, bake, AND toast a variety of food items including hot dogs. American cheese tastes like plastic and I still don’t know why a glorious burger joint like In-N-Out uses it, but the resourcefulness used here with the combination of random pantry ingredients is impressive. This student would at least win in an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games.




Ketchup and mustard sandwich after picking mold off bread. 

Again, condiment packets save the day! Or ruin it… A ketchup and mustard sandwich on previously moldy bread is a new low. But I’m not judging here, I’m reflecting. When you’re hungry and broke you simply cannot afford to be picky, which is why you’re probably reading this thinking “thank God I graduated.”




 Grilled Cheese (made on a hot iron)

If you put this grilled cheese in front of me, I would never have been able to tell it was made with an actual iron. The foil is most likely the key to disguising that fact, as it would function as a steamer that would melt the cheese and also toast the bread. This photo makes actually me want a grilled cheese now, and since I don’t have any Campbell’s tomato soup I might just have to boil some hot water and throw a couple of ketchup packets in there, just to say I’ve tried it.




Using a coffee pot as an actual pot — they’re basically the same thing. Another popular item you can cook in said coffee pot is none other than ramen! It does make a great pot substitute, it just looks absolutely ridiculous.


I hope this compilation made you at least grateful that you’re not in college anymore, and if you are, I’m sorry.



Photo Credit:nexdot, therionsayswhatemmzadie, maddilicious,@gillchahda421,


Small European Town To Build A Public Beer Fountain, Hear That America?

Slovenia: the land where the women flow like beer and the beer flows like…well, beer, but from a fountain.

The small country has recently started making big moves to attract more tourism, specifically to the tiny city of Zalec (with a population of 4,878) by building a giant, public fountain that spews the sweet nectar of the Gods (beer) rather than the normal warm piss of Beelzebub (water).

With tourism to Slovenia surprisingly on the decline in the last 40 zillion years, the beer fountain is a surefire way to attract a few more people that really just want to get drunk in public.

There’s no doubt that hipsters and millenials alike are already booking their $12 plane tickets to Slovenia, however this new plan has caused quite a stir amongst city government officials.

The large majority of ruffled feathers all provided the same argument, that the $400,000 project could run the city into the ground if it fails. Furthermore, nearly half of that cost will be paid for by all 74 taxpaying citizens of Zalec, either through recommissioned funds or increased taxes, an aspect they are not stoked on.

Still, I’m really looking forward to reading police reports about drunkasses urinating in the same fountain that got them trashed.



Photo Credit: Yelp, Meme Center, Resort Piran



Whole Foods Under Fire for Using Cheap Prison Labor to Produce Cheese and Fish


After issuing a public apology back in June for overcharging customers for seafood and produce, Whole Foods is now getting a bad wrap for using cheap prison labor to produce goods such as cheese and fish.

The popular grocery chain is one of several buyers of products produced by Colorado prison inmates via a prison labor arrangement in the state. Hyvee and Murray’s Cheese are two other private corporations that contract inmates to work for them under the same arrangement, according to Vice.

Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI), a department of the DOC that oversees labor and sales of goods and services, signs contracts with private businesses interested in using inmate labor to produce goods. An example of this contractual relationship with the DOC is Quixotic Farming.


The company claims to be family-owned and operated for tilapia farming in Colorado and northern Missouri, but according to the DOC, Quixotic Farming pays to have inmates build fish tanks and then raise their tilapia. While the department gets a measly 85 cents a pound for the fish, Quixotic supplies vendors such as Hyvee and Whole Foods, who then sell it for an arm and a leg to consumers. Recently, tilapia was being sold for $11.99 per pound in New York.

On the short end of this stick, inmates are being paid anywhere from 74 cents to $4 a day for their hard labor. According to Dennis Dunsmoor, the director of the program, the base rate of 74 cents is what inmates earn in other jobs throughout the prison system, but CCI workers are able to earn bonuses for performance as well. The CCI makes a profit of about $64 million a year employing approximately 2,000 inmate laborers.

On one hand, prison and labor advocates are decrying this business arrangement as a form of slavery. Others are praising it as a valuable model for teaching inmates work skills and providing opportunities aside from the usual prison jobs such as cooking and laundry. The program also allows the department to make back the expenses on housing inmates.


Dunsmoor, for one, believes the program is fair, as he told Vice:

“Ninety-seven percent of all offenders that come into prison will get out, and there’s a famous saying, ‘pay me now pay me later.’

“These guys are going to get back out on the street. A lot of these guys have never worked a job, never clocked in, never worked eight hours, and just that skill alone is very valuable, so we teach them that kind of work ethic.”

Alex Friedmann, a prisoner’s rights advocate and the managing editor of Prison Legal News and, has a different opinion:

“It’s basically exploiting prisoner’s labor. It’s strictly exploitation from our perspective.

“Part of the argument as to why we have prison industry programs is to teach prisoners market skills to help them find jobs when they get out. That’s a great selling point, but the problem is it’s not really accurate. How many tilapia farms are there in Colorado where they can get jobs when they get out?”

Critics who share Friedmann’s concern believe the use of cheap labor to produce goods sold by private companies is unfair because prisons and private companies have an advantage over those who must pay minimum wage for the same labor. In addition, prisoners are paid little to nothing for their work, have no way to unionize for better conditions, and work under the threat of being punished.

Whole Foods released a statement regarding the arrangement and explained that it is a part of its mission to support communities which “includes the paid, rehabilitative employment of inmates at CCI. They are paid for their work, and learn job skills that can help them contribute to society in meaningful ways upon their release.”

Written by Laura Dang of NextShark


The Former Head Of Trader Joe’s Just Started His Own Nonprofit, Super-Cheap Supermarket


The Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store that just opened in Massachusetts, is making headlines. Time reports that the incredibly affordable market located in Dorchester was created by Trader Joe’s former president Doug Rauch.

In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Rauch’s goal is to provide people with healthy meals, specifically the working poor, who are unable to afford the healthier foods they should be consuming. Not only is Rauch trying to sell cheap groceries. but also affordable ready-to-cook meals to make things easier for busy families.

Because most of the items are nearing the end of their “sell-by” dates, the Daily Table is able to offer such low prices. Groceries range from 29-39 cents for frozen vegetables, cereal boxes for 70 cents and canned fish for 55 cents. Ready-to-eat entrees are as low as $1.79 with side dishes from 50 cents to $1, reports Supermarket News.

While the Daily Table is still new to Massachusetts, Rauch hopes to expand further into the Boston area. He also hopes to build new stores in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and San Francisco.


Fast Food

SHOCKER: Burger King Drops 15-Cent Nugget Deal, Nuggets Too Cheap


Early in October, Burger King announced that they would be offering a 10-piece set of chicken nuggets for $1.49. At roughly 15 cents per nugget, this deal was one of the cheapest around. Naturally consumers would be buying them in bulk, right? Apparently that was the problem.

Turns out Burger King quickly ran out of chicken nugget supplies. An official spokesman said that the deal went well with their expectations, but BK won’t be continuing further with the $1.49 deal.

The burger chain has announced that they’ll be returning to their $2.99 price by the end of the week. They’ll be selling through the rest of their promotional supplies and putting an end to the nugget deal. Anyone super stoked about cheap nuggets better get them now before they double up in price.

Pretty sure they were running low on dipping sauces too. Can’t have chicken nuggets without the sauce.

H/T Bloomberg

Fast Food

Taco Bell Challenges McDonalds with New ‘$1 Dollar Cravings Menu’


Looking to edge out McDonald’s and their anti-dollar menu, Taco Bell is officially launching their own Dollar Cravings menu.

The fast food giant is hoping the new budget friendly menu will appeal to fans of all tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for something cheesy, beefy, sweet, or vegetarian friendly, Taco Bell wants to be your go-to place to get your cheap grub on. The new Dollar Cravings menu is chockfull of 11 reimagined fan favorite menu items for only $1.

Triple Layer Nachos: Nacho chips topped with beans, zesty red sauce, and warm nacho cheese

Triple Layer Nachos_1231


Beefy Fritos Burrito: Ground beef, cilantro rice, nacho cheese sauce, and Fritos wrapped up in a tortilla

Beefy Fritos Burrito_1192


Spicy Tostada: Beans, red sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, and a spicy chipotle sauce on top of a tostada

Spicy Tostada_1205


Cinnabon Delights: A pair of Cinnabon bites filled with cream cheese frosting and covered in cinnamon and sugar

Cinnabon Delights_1145

Other menu items include the chain’s famous Cinnamon Twists, Cheesy Roll Ups, Mini Quesadillas, and Caramel Apple Empanadas. The new Dollar Cravings menu launches at Taco Bell nationwide on Monday, August 18.



Costco Japan Serves Bulgogi Bakes

bulgogi bake

If you’ve ever been to Costco then you know about their food court. It’s a magical place where you can get giant slices of pizza for under $2 and really the only other place that you can find legit churros outside of Disneyland. Costco is also home of the chicken bake, aka what Hot Pockets wish they could be. Basically meat and cheese stuffed into a pizza crust this is one of the more popular items at the member’s only warehouse club, but Japan based Costco locations have something even better, Bulgogi Bakes.

A popular Korean beef dish, bulgogi isn’t something you’d think to see at a Japan Costco, but some of the writers over at RocketNews 24 managed to get their hands on one of these monstrous bakes. They described the dish as being more of an “oblong calzone” but when it came to the taste the Bulgogi Bake held it’s own.

While we’d like the beef even more if it was a little tenderer, we’ve got no complaints about the marinade that gives it a pleasant sweetness. It’s a bit like the flavor of a Japanese-style beef bowl, and it goes great with the warm, melty cheese.

Just like everything else on Costco’s food court menu the Bulgogi Bake won’t break the bank, at 400 yen ($3.90USD) do yourself a favor and try this dish out.

H/T + PicThx RocketNews 24


This Noodle Shop Has a Michelin Star but Its Most Expensive Dish is Just $5.40

Tim Ho Wan

Michelin stars are awarded to the crème de la crème, top tier restaurants of the world. More often than not, this translates to expensive establishments. However, the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant is a dim sum joint named Tim Ho Wan.

Located in Hong Kong, Tim Ho Wan defies Michelin stereotypes. It’s a hole-in-the-wall experience that offers most dishes for $1.50 and under without sacrificing taste, from crispy pork buns to steamed rice noodle rolls. As for the restaurant’s most expensive dish, diners will have to shell out a cool $5.40 for noodles that (we can only assume) are superb.

Even though the joint has been much busier ever since their star was awarded, they don’t plan on racking up prices anytime soon. Sure the decor might be lacking, but that’s not what Tim Ho Wan is about. The restaurant’s focus on simply excellent dim sum speaks for itself.

H/T Reddit + Picthx Tim Ho Wan