Important College Grocery List For Students

Filed in Articles by on January 13, 2022

– College Grocery List –

Feeding yourself at college can be tricky. If you’re not in a dormitory with a meal plan, you’re going to have to feed and fend for yourself. It can be even trickier if you’re used to mom and dad cooking for you for the last 18 years of your life.

Read on to know the essential grocery list for college students.

The moment you move into college is the moment you begin to take responsibility for everything you do: responsibilities like cooking and shopping for the things you need.

To avoid getting confused with the things you need every day, it is very important to make a college grocery list before you shop for your groceries as a student.

Grocery shopping is a fun activity that appears confusing without a list. To make it easier, you need a list to guide you.

Don’t worry. You’ve got this. However, whether you’re an iron chef or a novice with a knife, there are three things that every student grocery list needs to be:

What Does Grocery Mean?

A grocery is food that you buy in a grocer’s shop. A grocery store or grocer’s shop is a retail shop that primarily sells food, either fresh or preserved.

Why Do I Need A College Grocery List?

Often enough when you find yourself at the grocery store without a grocery list, it usually leads to some unfavourable outcome.

Here are the reasons you need a grocery list as a student:

  1. To avoid buying unnecessary items.
  2. To avoid going way over your budget.
  3. Prevents you from buying something you already have.
  4. To avoid ending up with random food items that don’t go together.
  5. Stops you from forgetting things you actually need.
  6. It prevents you from going to the store multiple times.
  7. It keeps you on the healthy track because you tend to buy what you require.

College grocery list ideas

These simple and basic foods are cheap, healthy, and widely available. Obviously, you can buy whatever you like best.

But this grocery list includes some great choices for college students on a budget!

Many even work well in a dorm, especially if you have a mini-fridge and microwave.

  1. Apples
  2. Bananas
  3. Beans
  4. Bell peppers
  5. Cereal (look for low sugar; dry cereal also makes a quick snack)
  6. Cheese sticks
  7. Coffee (making it yourself can save you tons of money—don’t worry, Starbucks will still be there)
  8. Eggs
  9. Garlic
  10. Hummus
  11. Lentils
  12. Oatmeal (look for low sugar)
  13. Onions
  14. Peanut butter
  15. Popcorn
  16. Rice (preferably brown)
  17. Salsa
  18. Spinach
  19. Sweet potatoes
  20. Tomatoes
  21. Tortillas
  22. Tuna fish (look for low sodium)
  23. Whole grain bread
  24. Whole wheat pasta
  25. Yoghurt (look for low sugar)

Another pro grocery shopping tip: buy plain frozen vegetables (provided you have a freezer, of course). Contrary to popular belief, frozen veggies are still super good for you!

Before You Go Grocery Shopping

1. Make a list of what you eat

At least for a week or two. That way you know what you actually need to buy.

For example, my family keeps a lot of cereal at home, but I prefer yoghurt for breakfast.

So in college, I started out buying cereal like my parents did, but realized I just let it go stale.

2. Look at your list and see what kind of foods are on it

Are you eating a lot of meat? Try to add some veggies in there. Are you buying a lot of fruit to snack on?

Make sure you also get nonperishable snacks for when you run out.

3. Figure out how much time you have to prepare meals

See what your schedule is like for the week ahead so you know how many meals to buy.

You’ll also figure out if you need to look for super easy or even premade meals (keep in mind those are usually more expensive), or if you can spend a little extra time on food during the week.

4. Look up some simple recipes to make

Make a list of the ingredients they require so you don’t forget something while you’re shopping—or buy extra stuff you don’t need.

(If you’re still in a dorm, you might want to try these recipes.)

5. Decide on a budget.

I’ve found that I spend $70–$80 on groceries on weeks I buy meat and $40–$50 on weeks I don’t. If I buy meat, I typically get one or two pounds each of beef and chicken and freeze most of it.

Depending on how much I cook, this can last a month or two. It may be different if you buy a lot of frozen or organic food.

Don’t panic too much if you go over your grocery budget the first few times; it’s all about finding out how much you spend on average and then trying to stick to that.

Needed Snacks For My College Grocery List

You might think snacks don’t belong to an essential grocery list for students, but sometimes it should be added to your budget outside the essential things you need.

If you’re thinking of adding snacks to your essential grocery list, check out these snacks:

  1. Popcorn
  2. Crackers
  3. Rice cakes
  4. Baked chips
  5. Apple/banana chips
  6. Seeds/nuts
  7. Fig cookies
  8. Granola bars
  9. Dark chocolate

How Can I Save Money While Grocery Shopping In College?

While it might seem overwhelming to feed and shop for yourself, you need to save money as a student while shopping. Check out these tips to help you save money:

1. Check Student Friendly Stores

The easiest way to save money while shopping is by frequenting local markets that offer student discounts.

Usually, stores close to campus know they’ll get more customers if they offer a 5%–10% discount for those with university ID cards.

Buying your weekly groceries from these shops at a discounted price is perfect for sticking to your budget.

2. Plan Your Meals (and Stick to That Plan)

One of the most important things you should do before grocery shopping is to plan out your meals for the week.

A meal plan will help you stay on track and hopefully under budget when shopping because you’ll know exactly what you need.

3. Eat Before You Shop

Studies indicate that being hungry while looking at food only leads to greater perceived hunger which could lead to more impulsive thoughts about food.

Make sure to grab a snack at home or have a friend grab you something from the dining hall before you head to the store.

That way, you can avoid spending more on things that excite your hungry stomach.

4. Use Technology

These days, there’s an app for everything. Grocery shopping is no different. As a college student, you can easily download several apps that help you keep track of your pantry’s inventory, budget effectively, or eat healthier.

There are quite a few different apps out there, so give several a try to find out which ones make your shopping experience easier.

5. Freeze Anything and Everything

Yoghurt, bread, vegetables, tomato sauce, almost everything lasts longer when you throw it in the freezer. Freezing leftovers from meals work great too

Having a college grocery list is very important, it would keep you on a healthy track because you tend to buy things you require and it also helps you avoid buying some unnecessary items.

CSN Team.

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