What makes a house a home? What makes a college apartment with appliances from the 80s into the perfect hangout for binging that TV show with your roomies? The answer is simple: snacks. The right snacks to be specific. Some of our best memories revolve around a certain food. For me, cheesy pretzels (a comfort food in my freshman year of college) still taste like the show Jane the Virgin because of how often I ate the snack while watching the series. Food holds memories. You may have preferred going to a certain friend’s house in elementary school because their mom kept the best snacks in the pantry. Allow this article to transform your college living space into everyone’s favorite place to hang out. Whether you’re preparing for a The Bachelor night, staying in for a movie night, crying over another episode of This is Us or binging the newest season of your favorite show, these ideas are for you. Here are some snacks you should consider adding to your grocery list to take your college dorm to the next level.
- Trader Joe’s Tiny Ice Cream Cones
These adorable baby ice cream cones will be the star of your freezer. After a long day of work or a win worth celebrating, my roommates and I always go for the stash for mini ice cream cones we keep in the fridge. There’s enough chocolate to satisfy the craving, and they’re so tiny that you don’t feel guilty for indulging. It’s an actual dream come true.
- Pub Mix
This specific snack mix, made by Utz, is a staple in our household. A container of it sits proudly on our coffee table as we watch hours of Criminal Minds, Queer Eye or Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Sometimes you just want a handful of something salty and this snack is exactly that. Be careful, because once you start, it’s hard to stop eating.
- Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Star Cookies
I’m afraid this might be a seasonal Christmas time snack for Trader Joe’s, but whether it is or isn’t, the necessity to snag it next time you see it remains the same. They’re chocolaty and crunchy and just the right amount of sweet. These cookies are ridiculously good. Upon returning back from break, my roommates and I caught up over my box of star cookies. They literally bring people together. What more could you ask for?
- Traders Joe’s Cashew Fiesta Dip
Cheeseless queso definitely sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to snack time. Everybody loves chips and cheese dip. It is an indisputable fact. Not to be dramatic, but if one snack was going to result in world peace, it would be chips and cheese dip. Cashew milk is a great dairy alternative that still tastes like the real thing! Pair this delicious snack with any kind of tortilla chip and you’re a step closer to being the favorite hangout spot.
- Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie and cheese boards are super trendy right now and they’re the perfect addition to your snacking schedule. They’re aesthetic, photogenic and oh so delicious. Pile it high with all of your favorite cheeses and other finger foods like pickles and olives to create an insta story-worthy snack time.
Let’s face it, you’ve never met a gummy you didn’t like. Gummies were that snack that set your lunchbox apart from the rest of the lunchroom. If your pantry had gummies, your mom was the coolest. The same rules still apply. Having a stockpile of Welch’s or Mott’s gummies is guaranteed to make your dorm/apartment the place to be. The girls in my small group were especially excited to be at church on the days when I brought fruit snacks.
- Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
This snack is great for the couch, the futon under a lofted bed or on-the-go! It’s protein-packed and can be great for a grumbling stomach during the middle of class. You can even get them with or without salt, for you extra healthy girls out there.
- ALL the Cheese Balls
“No thanks, I don’t want any cheese balls,” said no one ever. Cheese balls are frighteningly addictive and the perfect way to make your college house into a home. Just be careful not to stain anything with your cheesy fingers.
- Super Simple Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
This little life hack belonged to my sister’s RA when she was in college about a decade ago. It was shared with my family, and now I’d like to think it’s a blessing to my roommates and friends. Pumpkin muffins are not just for autumn; these delicious treats are perfect all year long. One box of spice cake mix, one can of pumpkin, half a cup of water and one to one and a half cups of chocolate chips with 18 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees, and your friends are likely to give you the Star Baker award.
- Cookout Milkshakes
You can never go wrong with a Cookout milkshake. Let’s face it, some days you NEED some ice cream. “Celebratory” ice cream or “drown-your sorrows-in-dairy” ice cream, it’s all the same. My roomates’ preferred method is to drive through in PJs while blasting Disney music. Make a game out of it and attempt to try all 40 flavors of Cookout milkshakes during your time in college. Our metabolisms will never be the same, therefore, the time is now. If you want to just try one, we suggest M&M or mint chocolate chip.