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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Recently this summer has been filled with changes. I was away from home for the first time this summer and not living with my parents. I was in my college town without anyone really my age around since they had all gone home and I got my first big girl job not working in the family business. The summer came and went and then I moved into my apartment. The thing was though, I was being told I had to survive and I needed to figure out how to do that. One of the many things that I had to learn and still learn is grocery shopping. So here is a guide to grocery shopping as an adult and learning what it means to take care of yourself. 

Step One: Call Your Mom

Now you might think this step is silly, but I promise your mom or a trusted adult friend or someone with a little more life experience can help navigate you through this one. Remember to help stress you out less, you are typically on a college  budget and so with this in mind, give your mom a call to see if you could shop any family recipes you like or anything that your mom does that you like to eat, gather that recipe. In the long run grocery shopping is condensing  a list of ingredients into dishes that you like. Each lunch and dinner don’t need to be five course meals but they do need to be meals you enjoy and like. 

Step Two: Find a College Budget Friendly Grocery Store

This one is big. This one is either going to make or break if you survive. Going over budget for food and not having enough for everything else is not good from a budget standpoint. To help alleviate this, find a college budget friendly story. My favorite is Aldi, you can get really cheap, but good products at Aldi and the things they have are always rotating. Keep in mind that if you find something here that you like you might want to buy a couple of that thing because of the constant rotation. Another budget friendly store can be Wal-mart and Food Lion but depending on the section can be pricer in the long run so try and save these for incidental purchases. 

Step Three: Take some Deep Breaths

You’ve called your mom. You’ve picked the store. Now comes the hard part. What the heck do I buy? This is a more slightly complicated question because this now comes to diet and food allergies. My advice is this: find meal prep recipes made for college students to help you stay on budget and while you’re at it make a list of things you need.This will help make you feel less stressed and in the long run help make your grocery trips more efficient. Over time you’ll start to figure out what you need to pick up and what you don’t, which is helpful in deciding what you’re buying at the store. 

Step Four: Let go of the Idea of Perfection

You might be wondering why this step is on here, but it’s probably the most important. Social media influencers, especially ones in college are only there to show you the shiny bits and pieces of their life. What they won’t talk about is sometimes you don’t feel like cooking and that’s okay. Sometimes you got things you hated and now there is a bunch of food waste and that’s okay too. Sometimes life hits hard and you can’t function as an adult and that is okay as well. I say all of this to remind you, as you become an adult it’s okay not to know what to buy or what to make. We aren’t born with the keys to survive and it’s going to be okay. It is going to get easier and you will be able to do it because I believe in you. You got this!

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Megan Cipolla

Winthrop '24

My name is Megan Cipolla and I am a sophomore at Winthrop University. I like to go hiking in my free time and hanging out with my friends.