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The Ultimate Dorm Room Grocery List

Are you tired of buying groceries in an attempt to be “healthy” but end up having to throw out rotten produce and spoiled milk? Living on campus, or on your own in general, is tough enough without having to wonder what you’re going to eat for dinner and whether or not it’s going to cost you $15. To help ensure that both your stomach and fridge are full, here is a list of grocery items and fun recipes that are must-haves when it comes to living alone.

Grocery List Essentials

– Instant oatmeal

– Fresh berries

– Sliced meats

– Whole wheat bread 

– Sliced cheese 

– Milk

– Rotisserie chicken

– Frozen vegetables 

– Instant rice

– Carrots 

– Hummus

– Trail mix

– Tea bags 

– Instant coffee 

– Juice boxes


Ever have one of those mornings where you’re just running late and have no time for food, water or brushing your hair (maybe your teeth too)? Well, I hate to break it to you but you’ll have those days on multiple occasions. However, we can all agree on the importance of breakfast and that the only way to get through that dreaded 8:30 a.m. class is a hearty meal. On days like this, instant oatmeal is your best friend! Simply add some water (or milk), throw it in the microwave while you scramble to put your shoes on and voila! In two minutes, you have a hearty and nutritious breakfast that will keep you satisfied well into lunch. If you have an extra minute or two, chop up some of that fresh fruit and toss it on top, making your breakfast even more satisfying.


When your class schedule is full of back to back lectures, there isn’t exactly time to sit down and enjoy a three course meal. Often times, students find that spending money is the only way to fill up fast. A healthier and cheaper alternative is the good ol’ sandwich. Sandwiches are customizable for any preferences you may have and sometimes it requires only three ingredients. Referring back to our grocery list, that whole wheat bread, deli meat and cheese slices are the best kind of sandwich fixing. Sandwiches can be made the night before or in under two minutes in the morning before class. If you have a little extra time on your hands, feel free to throw in some yummy condiments and other veggies like tomatoes and lettuce. Pair your lunch with a fruit and a water bottle and you’re all set! The mixtures of carbs, protein and healthy sugar is sure to keep you full through that rough three hour lecture.


Let’s change this year and skip the ramen cup noodles or Kraft Dinner for dinner. Instead, opt for a choice that’s healthier and will leave you feeling full for much longer. Remember in the grocery list when I mentioned buying instant rice, frozen vegetables and rotisserie chicken? Well, this would be the time to use it. Take that chicken and shred it up, you can toss the entire shredded chicken into a pan and add some spices. Meanwhile, take out your frozen veggies and let them boil. In another bowl, add instant rice and some water and place them in the microwave as per the instant rice instructions. Once your chicken is seasoned, take it out and help yourself to as much as you want! Once your veggies are boiled, add some salt, pepper and maybe some garlic powder (my favorite). Finally, to finish your dish, take out your instant rice and enjoy your delicious meal. This recipe may have leftovers so you can put them in a microwave safe container and enjoy for another night!


Snacks can be a very important staple in our everyday lives. However, it’s usually the unhealthy kind of snacks that we find ourselves munching on. From potato chips to chocolate bars and muffins, we need to take the time out to be able to plan out some healthy snacks. Carrots and hummus are great snack food that are not only convenient but also very filling. Put them into containers the night before and enjoy them whenever you’re feeling snack-ish. Additionally, trail mix is always a good way to have something on hand without having to do any prior work. Buying small packages of trail mix and keeping them in your bag is a great way to make sure you’re always stocked. 


Hydration is very important when it comes to living a busy lifestyle. Instant coffee is a cheaper alternative to waiting in line at your local coffee shop everyday. If you’re not a coffee person, then having tea bags on hand is a great substitute. Just boil some water and throw in a tea bag and you’ll have a nice fresh cup of tea at your convenience. Additionally, even though our lives can get busy, don’t forget to always carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up as the day progresses!

This grocery list can be modified to meet your dietary needs and help make your busy life a little easier. If you know any other grocery items that are essential to having in your dorm room, tag us at #HerCampusYorkU!

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