When it comes to tips on living cheaply, instant noodles are kind've obvious. If someone gave you tips on how to stay healthy and then said "try not to cut your arm off", that's the kind of obvious we're talking about here. But WHAT IF.. that person showed you how you could avoid cutting your arm off in a completely awesome way? Huh? You'd be impressed then, I bet. Well, here it is - how to make completely awesome instant noodles.
Some instant noodles (bit of a no-brainer, that)
A couple of cloves of garlic
A bunch of other stuff (optional, but I'd recommend some onion and peppers at least, maybe some prawns)
Soy Sauce (also optional)
As you can see, as long as you have a packet of noodles and an egg, you're basically good to go. First step is, put some water on to boil for the noodles. Next, put a bit of oil in a frying pan, chop up your garlic and any other veg or meat you want to chuck in (meat will probably take longer than other stuff, so put that in first if you're using it). By the time that's done, your water should be about boiled so put the noodles in. One tip - break up the noodles a bit before you open the pack and boil them. Keep an eye on the fried stuff, if it gets anywhere close to burning, just turn the heat right down.
Once your noodles are boiled (and you don't want them a bit firm still, not too soggy), drain them. You can use a sieve or, if you're trying to avoid making stuff to wash up, just tip the water out of the pot while using a fork to stop the noodles falling out with it. Put the drained noodles back in the pot, empty all the flavouring in, mix it all up. Now, and this is the part that makes it awesome, crack an egg into it and mix it up. Throw the whole lot into the frying pan on top of whatever else you were frying in there, whack the heat up high and mix it all up.
The trick here is, after that initial mixing, to make sure the ingredients are spread out, don't stir it too much. You want those noodles to get nice and crispy - not burnt, but pretty darn close!
All you do then is tip it out onto a plate, put a bit of soy sauce on if you like, then eat it.
So there you go... if you're putting some vegetables and stuff in it, you can make a quick but decent meal for under a pound. I'll have to put up some photos next time I make them.
Some quick notes - avoid Super Noodles. They're bloody awful things, don't crisp up nicely and on top of that, they're more expensive than other brands. Koka noodles are pretty good, you can find them in a lot of convenience stores. Also, when you're mixing the egg into the noodles, I'd use a wooden spoon or spatula - other things tend to break up the noodles too much or end up mashing it