Important Grocery List for College Students

Are you a college student headed to the grocery store? Don’t go without a plan. This article on the important grocery list for college students will give you tips on what to buy on your next shopping trip.

Moving into college is one of the biggest steps any college student can take. It simply means leaving your parent’s custody and fending for yourself whilst studying.

The moment you move into college, you begin to take responsibility for everything you do start from clothing, cooking, cleaning as well as shopping for your groceries.

Getting groceries is a fun activity but when you go shopping without a list, then get ready for the most confusing shopping ever! You will end up either getting more than your budget, but unnecessary things that you may not need, or end up not buying things that you need.

According to Education Data, college students spend an average of $260 per month on groceries.

So, If you can master the art of writing a grocery list and also putting the essential things on your grocery list, it’ll save you time and money.

What is Grocery?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, grocery means the food and supplies sold by a grocer.

In layman’s language, it means the food you buy at a grocery store.

A grocery store or grocer’s shop is a retail shop that primarily sells food, either fresh or preserved.

Why Do I Need a College Grocery List?

Finding yourself in a grocery store without a grocery list is very confusing and unfavorable.

Here are the reasons you need a grocery list as a student:

  • To avoid buying more than your budget
  • To avoid buying unnecessary things
  • To avoid buying food items you already have at home
  • Prevents you from forgetting things you need
  • It prevents you from going to the store multiple times to get groceries you probably forgot you didn’t have.
  • It keeps you on a healthy track because you only buy what you need

How Do I Create a College Grocery List?

The first step to creating a college grocery list is by making a list of the things you need to purchase.

Going to the grocery store without a list will make you wander around the store and eventually end up buying things you don’t need and probably missing out on things you do need.

Creating a grocery list is not a difficult task. It is very fun and easy to do.

The following are the steps to take to create a grocery list for yourself.

Have a to-go grocery list where you wrote down all the groceries that you have exhausted

Plan your meals

This helps you keep track of your meals. So that you don’t go over or below your budget.

Use a printable list for easy access

A printable list is much easier to carry around because you can have the softcopy on your phone and print it out anytime you want to.

Organize your list by dividing it into sections

To make your shopping trip less time-consuming and labor-intensive, organize your list according to the sections in your grocery store. If you divide your list into sections, it’s much easier to ensure that no items go overlooked.

Specify the quantity you need

Be specific about the exact quantities you need so that you don’t overbuy or underbuy.

Don’t leave your list on the counter or fridge! You’ll forget it.

After making your list, put it in your shopping bag so that you won’t forget it. Forgetting it means you are going to end up confused about what to buy and what not to buy at the grocery store.

Look Up For Coupons

Look up different coupons and specials that are available to you before you organize your list. This way, if you find a deal on something that you normally run out of quickly, you can stock up and save money.

Ideal Grocery List for College Students

An ideal grocery list for a College student is supposed to contain lots of essential foodstuffs. I have divided them into categories as follows:

Breakfast Foods

  • Bread
  • Cornflakes
  • Eggs
  • Muesli
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Cereal
  • Cookies

Pantry Staples

  • Rice
  • Couscous
  • Dried Beans
  • Cooking Oil
  • Dry Pasta
  • Lasagna Sheets
  • Baked Beans
  • Olive Oil
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Lentils
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Cheese

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Watermelons
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Baby Corn
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans


Snack Items

  • Potato Chips
  • Pre-cut Salad Leaves
  • Salad Dressing
  • Salsa Sauce
  • Instant Cake Mix
  • Pancake Mix
  • Instant Popcorn
  • Instant Noodles
  • Biscuits
  • Dry Fruits
  • Premixed Nuts
  • Pudding Cups
  • Chocolates
  • Soft Drinks
  • Jelly
  • Breezer

Meat and Poultry

  • Turkey
  • Minced chicken
  • Skinned chicken
  • Minced mutton
  • Boneless Mutton
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Boneless chicken
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Fish
  • Canned tuna
  • Crab meat
  • Beef Steak

Herbs and Spices

  • Korintje (Makara)
  • Cinnamon – Ground
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cumin
  • Paprika Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Celery Seed
  • Arrowroot
  • Parsley
  • Annatto Seed – Ground
  • Asafoetida Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Dill Weed
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage

Essential Extras

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pizza Base
  • Tacos
  • Cornflour
  • Instant Coffee
  • Tea
  • Instant Soup
  • Biscuits
  • Canned Soup
  • Butter
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Hummus
  • Tomato Paste
  • Fruit Juice
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Jam
  • Mayonnaise
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Tortilla Chips

Grocery List for College Students

Grocery List for College Students

Here, we have provided you with 30 essential grocery lists for college students. This list is divided into non-refrigerated, refrigerated, and frozen food items:

College Grocery list (Refrigerated)

  • Butter/Margarine
  • Milk/Coconut Milk/Almond Milk (Your favorites)
  • Eggs/Egg Substitutes
  • Cheese (any) Cheddar, Ricotta, Feta, Brie, etc.
  • Fresh fruits/vegetables (Apples, bananas, tomato, lettuce, etc.)
  • Condiments (pick your favorite most-used only) Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard, Barbeque Sauce, etc.
  • Deli Meats/Bacon/Rotisserie Chickens Pre-cooked or buy your own
  • Yogurt
  • Pickles, Olives, Hot pepper rings, marinated vegetables.

College Grocery List (Non-refrigerated)

  • Bread
  • Flours- All-purpose, Whole Wheat, Flax Meal/Flour, Almond Flour, etc.
  • Oils- Extra Virgin, Coconut Oil, Walnut oil, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Vegetable Oil, Cooking spray, etc.
  • Honey/Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/ Sunflower seed butter, etc.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder and other baking basics, Vanilla extract, chocolate chips, marshmallows, jello, cooked instant pudding/custards, Baking powder, Baking soda, Corn Starch
  • Whole Wheat Pasta, Cous-Cous, Brown Rice, White Rice, Wild Rice, Quinoa, etc.
  • Canned foods- Tomatoes, Pizza Sauce, vegetables and fruit, olives, mushrooms, tomato paste, etc.
  • Vinegar- White, Apple Cider, Wine Vinegar, Rice Wine Vinegar, lemon juice, Lime Juice, etc.
  • Whole-grain Cereal/Instant-Oatmeal (sugar-reduced), Steel cut oats, Large Flake Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, etc.
  • Raisins and Nuts- Cashews, Peanuts, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Hemp hearts, Sunflower Seeds, Dried Fruits, etc.
  • Beans (all kinds- Dry is cheaper ) Chickpeas, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Tahini Paste *You can make an awesome hummus very easy
  • Herbs and Spices *Buy all your favorites to flavor your meals *including sugars, garlic, chicken broth, parsley, bay leaf

Grocery List (Frozen)

  • Frozen Fruits
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Wraps/Pita/Tortillas/Bread/English muffins/Flat Bread
  • Hotdogs or Veggie Dogs
  • Sausages or Vegetarian option
  • Minced Beef/Pork/Lamb/Chicken/Turkey or Vegetarian Mince
  • Frozen egg cartons (these are great because you can defrost them and use them as needed)
  • Other cuts of meat- Pork Chops, Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Ribs, Chicken Wings
  • You can freeze fresh ginger


Always remember to check out for increased prices, reduced prices, and in-store specials.

These will help stretch your grocery budget so that you can spend a bit more on the essential products that you need.

Grocery List for College Students – FAQs

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”How much should I spend on groceries as a college student?” answer-0=” A college student should spend approximately $163 – $367 monthly according to the Official USDA Food Plans. ” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”What foods do college students eat the most?” answer-1=” • Cheese Pizza • French Fries • Taco Salad • Fried Rice with Hibachi Chicken • Chocolate Chip Brownies • Chicken Wings • Frozen yogurt • Vegetable spring rolls • Sandwiches • Sushi ” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”How can I save money while shopping for groceries in college? ” answer-2=”• Shop with your savings in mind • Check Student friendly stores • Eat before you shop • Use technology or apps • Learn how to cook • Always drink water instead of spending money on drink • Find free food by attending event’s • Plan your meals • Take old food and make it new • Use your freezer” image-2=”” headline-3=”h3″ question-3=” Do I need snacks on my college grocery list?” answer-3=” Yes, snacks are essential to add to your grocery list. The following snacks are recommended • Popcorn • Crackers • Rice cakes • Baked chips • Apple/banana chips • Seeds/nuts • Fig cookies • Granola bars • Dark chocolate ” image-3=”” headline-4=”h3″ question-4=”Is a mini fridge necessary for college? ” answer-4=”Yes, mini fridge is a requirement necessary for college because it helps you preserve some of your groceries and make them last long. ” image-4=”” headline-5=”h3″ question-5=”What can I stock my fridge with?.” answer-5=” You can stock your fridge with fruits, vegetables and any perishable food item” image-5=”” count=”6″ html=”true” css_class=””]