Once you get everything unpacked, you’ll want to consider a trip to the grocery store to stock up on grocery and cleaning essentials to have in the house. Depending on how many roommates you have, the space you have to store food may be limited. Before shopping, get together with your roommates to determine the best method for organizing everyone’s food. Maybe a certain shelf is dedicated to each person in the pantry and/or refrigerator. It may also be a good idea to get baskets or containers to keep food organized. Some snack items can even be stored in your room for convenience!
Below are a few lists to help you put together your first grocery haul. Hopefully these lists will kickstart your own and help you remember some essential items you would have forgotten otherwise. It may be a good idea to start small until you have a better idea of your schedule and when you’ll actually be home to eat.
Pantry & Non-Perishable Items
It’s always a good idea to have non-perishable items on hand. They can be a staple to many meals, and can cure a case of the hangries if that item in the fridge you planned to eat last week and never got around to is no longer fresh.
- Pasta sauce
- Rice (microwavable rice bags are an easy and tasty side!)
- Macaroni and cheese
- Canned vegetables
- Peanut butter (or your favorite alternative)
- Condiments (ketchup, mayo, dressings, etc.)
- On-the-go snacks: Think granola bars, individual servings of chips, nuts, etc.
- Basic spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder)
- Oil (vegetable, olive, or avocado oils are good options)
- Aluminum foil
- Ziplock bags
- Paper plates
Refrigerated Items/Fresh Produce:
- Fruit (some can even be stored in pantry, counter or bedroom)
- Vegetables (if you are up for cooking, otherwise canned vegetables are just fine!)
- Salad (Salad kits are delicious and come with everything you need)
- Meat of choice (just throw it in the freezer if you don’t cook it before the expiration date)
- Deli meat
- Drinks (water, milk, juice, tea, etc.)
- Chicken nuggets
- Quick meals (stir fry, microwavable meals, etc.)
Essential Cleaning Supplies:
Another quick chat with your roommates to see what they plan to buy and decide if it would be a good idea to divvy up larger cleaning items that may be beneficial for the whole house. For example, you likely don’t need 3 vacuums or brooms taking up space!
- Toilet brush, plunger, and toilet bowl cleaner
- Bathroom cleaner (look for a multipurpose cleaner that can clean countertops and showers)
- Laundry detergent and spot stain remover
- Dish soap and dishwasher detergent (These ARE NOT the same thing. Trust us, you don’t want to make the mistake of loading your dishwasher with dish soap!)
- Dish sponge
- Trash bags
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Personal toiletry items
Grocery Stores Less Than 1 Mile from Campus < Back: USF Student Guide