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As you embark on your first year at University, there's one essential task that lies ahead: creating your first-ever shopping list. Whether you're moving into a dorm room or sharing an off-campus apartment with friends, a well-thought-out shopping list can be your secret weapon to navigate through the challenges of university living.
It's time to stock up on the essentials, set the foundation for a comfortable living space, and make sure you have everything you need to make the most of the term.
When creating your first supermarket shopping list for university, it's essential to consider a mix of essential and versatile items that can help you prepare a variety of meals. It is also important to look at costs as you’ll be on a budget and which items you’ll need to buy and keep to yourself.
Here are some suggestions for your first supermarket shopping list:
- Rice or pasta - you can get cheap, large bags of both especially in international food shops or world foods aisles in the supermarket.
- Canned goods (beans, tomatoes, soup) - will last for a very long time
- Cooking oil - sunflower oil is much cheaper than extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and basic spices - will jazz up cheaper dishes and make them tastier
- Stock cubes - make a good addition to pasta sauces, gravy or Spaghetti Bolognese
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, soy sauce) - will also elevate cheaper ingredients
- Mixed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, etc.) - carrots are very cheap
- Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, kale) - lots of health benefits but could be more expensive
- Fresh fruits (apples, bananas, oranges) - only buy what you can eat as they go off quick
- Onions and garlic
- Chicken breasts or thighs (thighs are cheaper and can be tastier)
- Minced beef or turkey
- Eggs - are very versatile and cheap
- Tofu or plant-based protein alternatives (if desired) - make sure you eat protein regardless of diet preferences
Dairy and refrigerated items:
- Milk or non-dairy milk
- Butter or margarine
- Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, etc.) - you can buy cheaper forms of cheese in pre-grated bags or slices especially when you are buying for just yourself
Bread and grains:
- Sliced bread or rolls - you can freeze them and just get out what you want to use at one time
- Cereal or granola - children’s branded cereal is much cheaper than adult branded cereal
- Oats - will make porridge or flapjacks and keep you full for longer
- Tortillas or wraps - are quick, easy to transport to lectures and are healthier than bread
Snacks and quick meals:
- Instant noodles or pasta meals - there are many instant pastas other than Pot Noodles
- Granola bars or energy bars - perfect to have in your bag while busy in the library
- Crackers or crisps - flavoured crackers or crisps also make a good snack
- Dried fruits or nuts - a natural sugar also protein from nuts
- Tea or coffee - get a travel mug too!
- Juice or soda - will be handy to make your spirits last longer
- Don’t buy plastic water bottles if you can help it.
Cleaning and household supplies:
- Washing Up Liquid - try and share this expense with housemates
- Kitchen towels or tissues - if you keep these in your own cupboard not on the side, they’ll last longer
- Cleaning wipes and antibacterial spray - buy own brand spray, wipes are more convenient but are more expensive
- Bin bags - these will always get lost in the kitchen but you’ll be surprised by how much rubbish there will be
Personal care items:
- Toiletries (toothpaste, soap, shampoo) - keep these in your room in a portable caddy if you share showers
- Toilet paper - just in case the shared stocks run out
- Laundry detergent - again, keep to yourself as it is expensive
Equipped with the essentials, you'll feel more prepared to tackle the academic challenges, social adventures, and personal growth that await you. Remember to make your list flexible, considering local circumstances and your unique preferences. Keep in mind that this is just the beginning; your shopping list will evolve over time as you settle into your new environment, meet people, and discover your own needs and wants.
Happy shopping and best of luck in this new chapter of your life!
Thanks for reading "What Should I Put On My First Ever Shopping List At University?" on January Media.