The Ultimate College Grocery List

Going to college can be hard on the wallet. Between tuition, room and board, and all other expenses, it’s easy to run out of money before you even get started. That’s why it’s important to make a grocery list and stick to it.

Our top 50 college grocery list will make your life a lot easier because grocery shopping doesn’t have to be expensive if done correctly in advance. This will help you save money and have everything you need for those dreaded “I’m starving” moments.

Rotisserie Chicken

Frozen pizza



Bagged salad


Ramen noodles


Peanut butter



Orange juice




Canned corn

Canned black beans

Ground beef

Chicken breasts







Instant Oatmeal

Canned soup



Spaghetti sauce

Canned tuna

Canned salmon

Salad dressing



Peanut butter cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

Vanilla ice cream



Turkey Sausage

Whole wheat bread

Granola bars





Trail mix



Granola bars

College Grocery list Explanation

  • Cereal-most students get sick of cereal, but it’s a healthy easy breakfast option, and you need a lot of it if you’re living in the dorms when there are only two or three microwaves for eating all together.
  • Peanut butter and jelly-besides the fact that peanut butter and jelly is just fantastic, it’s a quick breakfast as well.
  • Fruit &/or vegetables-it will help you to feel full and it’s good for you. Remember when your mom made you eat your broccoli?
  • Sandwich mix-if you like sandwiches (which when I was in college I didn’t) get bread, mustard, mayo, lettuce and whatever else goes on them (I forget the rest).
  • Frozen foods-if you like frozen stuff (chicken nuggets, vegetables, etc.) Good for late-night snacks or to cook in the microwave when you’re tired of beef ‘n cheese.
  • Microwave meals-if you like them, but just don’t get the ones that come with their own sauce, they are usually pretty bad quality food.
  • Dehydrated meals or camping food (like summer sausage)-if you’re like me and don’t get sick of oatmeal but don’t want to live on it for months on end. This can be used for late-night snacking or breakfast.
  • Dried fruit-I ate a lot of these guys in college. They are easy to eat and good for you if you like them.
  • Canned vegetables-good if you like them, but you’d better make sure they’re the non-canned kind.
  • Canned soups-it’s like canned vegetables, but usually in a different flavor.
  • Nuts-a great snack that are easy to pack and good for you.
  • Snacks like granola bars or jerky-grab some of these for when you’re on the go.
  • Tortillas-if you like them, they are great for wraps.
  • Malted milk balls-I ate these a lot, they’re easy to eat and good for you.
  • Yogurt-if you like it, it’s good on a spoon.
  • Nutella- if you like it a lot, buy the jar or just find a store that sells it because it is banned from the dining halls at some college places. (I was lucky to live off of this stuff for months.)
  • Nuts-if you like them, they’re good to have in your room to snack on.
  • Cereal bars-they’re like candy bars and they taste pretty good, but you have to be careful because sometimes they contain some strange things.
  • Coffee/tea-whatever you like or whatever you need for studying or energized.

In Conclusion

By following this college grocery list, you will purchase the necessary food items without spending too much money. These food staples are affordable and can easily be combined to create delicious meals. Good luck on your next grocery shopping trip!

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