In my first year of University I was desperately poor. Due to some quirks in the UK Student Loans system, I was still classed as the well-off middle class boy I was two years earlier. Despite the fact I had been paying my parent's mortgage on our 6 bedroom house for several months, and the two of them had cut their losses and filed for divorce. As such, I received the very least amount of financial support for my time at University. Even with a part-time job in a hospital, I was scraping pennies. Apt for a Music Student, perhaps, but uncomfortable all the same.
Four months into the first year, after dabbling with the stereotypical ramen noodle and being thoroughly disappointed in the selection of vegetarian flavours (read: one flavour), I hit on a brainwave. One rainy night alone I pulled some ramen from the cupboard and instant soup falls out! Quick to notice the potential bond (both cook quickly and require only a cup of boiling water) I crumpled some noodles into a cup and added a sachet of Sainsbury's Own Instant Tomato Soup. Sipping at my concoction, I felt like a pioneer.
Due to the average cost per meal averaging out around £0.14, I lived for a total of four months on Instant Ramen Soup, Cheerios, Tea and Prescription Drugs. At the time I didn't notice any particularly ill effects, but that was also the year I caught a chest infection, Swine Flu, a 2-month cough and started to find grey hairs. Make your judgements.
At the pits of financial despair, I did find myself venturing towards the even cheaper instant soups. The 14p, Plain-White-Box styles that come in "Vegetable" and "Meat" flavours. Ramen and "Vegetable" Soup created a mixture the taste and viscosity of wallpaper paste. Eager not to waste money, I found that with enough tabasco sauce anything is edible...