Budget-Friendly Meals: Stir Fry Noodles

The other day I took a look at my bank account. We are at the “pre-student loan deposit” point, so it’s pretty depressing at the moment. This dismal sight, however, got me thinking. With my rent this year, I’ll probably have to shy away from some of the “fancier” dishes that I favor. So why not try and post some of my favorite “budget-friendly” meals?

Stir fry has always been one of my go-to foods. Actually, I think it’s a staple in most student kitchens. As long as you have some crisp vegetables, a solid sauce, some day old rice or some chow mein noodles, you can’t really go wrong. I personally opt for a sauce with a bit of a kick, though feel free to tone it down a bit. By my calculations, this meal totaled $7 and could easily serve four. That’s $1.75 per serving. That, I can afford.

So here’s to cutting back without sacrificing any flavor. Happy eating!

Stir Fry Noodles
Feel free to use whatever noodles you want (even spaghetti or lo mein); I personally like chow mein noodles for their bite.


  • 6 oz chow mein noodles
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head broccoli, stems sliced into 1-inch planks and florets cut into fork-friendly pieces (I’m a law student–measuring is not really my thing)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon siracha
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  • First, cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, siracha, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the egg and the remaining pepper flakes. Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat along with a small amount of oil. Pour in the egg, scramble quickly and remove from heat. Set aside.
  • In a large, heavy bottom pot or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil is glistening, add the onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant and starting to soften–about 1½ minutes.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and add in broccoli stems. Cook for a minute, then add the peppers and broccoli florets. Add the tablespoon of water and keep cooking until the water has evaporated.
  • Add in the scallions and the cooked noodles, along with the siracha-soy sauce mixture. Toss to coat and remove from the heat.
  • Serve topped with some of the scrambled egg.

Serves 4.

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