A Handy-Dandy Guide for Restocking Your Dorm

It’s here! The spring 2018 semester is upon us, and with it, many of us are moving back into the dorms, fresh off a long winter break and hopefully somewhat ready for the challenges this new term will bring. Many of us are already stressing about the unknown, (and some are stressed about that stress) but in an effort to alleviate some of that anxiety, I’ve made a shopping list of the things you will need to restock your dorm or other living space and start off on the right foot. Obviously, this list will change a little based on your budget and other requirements, so please take into consideration this and any allergies or dietary needs you or your roommates may have/need (if your living situation involves sharing food.) In addition to groceries, I’ve also included some non-foodstuffs, because you can never have enough coffee mugs.

                                                                                                           (Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash)

                               The obvious dorm room food selection will usually contain instant mac’n’cheese, oatmeal, and rice, along with ramen noodles, tortillas (and cheese, of course) and some kind of bread with deli meat or peanut butter and jelly. However, that can get boring really quick, and a lot of times you may just not feel like heading out of your dorm to brave the elements and walk to Winslow. Try to spruce it up with microwaveable meals, pizzas, or even pre-cooked chicken or pork from a nearby grocery store! And you should always have some fresh fruit for a quick snack, along with crackers or chips. Variety is the spice of life, after all. And speaking of which, enough with the bland, plain cheddar microwaved quesadillas! Invest in a couple of seasonings and spices, (they may seem pricey, but a little bottle keeps forever,) or maybe even some hot peppers like jalapeños you can chop up, sprinkle over the tortilla, and save the rest in the fridge for later. As for non-food items, besides the standbys like a mini fridge, microwave, and coffee maker, you’ll need some other items too! Obviously, mugs/cups are necessities, along with silverware and plates/bowls, (and if you buy plastic, be sure to recycle!) You might also need some food storage for leftovers, either from going out with friends or just not finishing the lunch you made. Rubbermaid is usually inexpensive and keeps food fresh for a long time. That’s about it! The dorm essentials, plus a couple you may not have considered. Have a great semester! The complete list is below:


  • Instant mac'n'cheese
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Instant rice
  • Ramen noodles
  • Tortillas
  • Cheese
  • Spices (this is up to you, but my favorites are salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, dried thyme, and curry powder)
  • Microwaveable meals/TV dinners
  • Microwaveable pizzas
  • Pre-cooked meats
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cracker or chips


  • Cups/mugs
  • Plates
  • Silverware
  • Small food storage containers

(Thumbnail by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash)