Unlimited meal plans are amazing! Especially when your at a school like mine whose food is ranked in the top ten in the country. But even if your school has good food, the dining hall gets old... fast. You may think you won't have to worry about going REAL grocery shopping. You know you'll just buy some snacks to keep in your dorm. Well you'd be wrong.
After about a week or two of having to plan your meals and walk to the dining hall you'll be itching to keep real food in your dorm. There are some things to keep in mind when you go dorm grocery shopping.
1. Dorm grocery shopping is very different from normal grocery shopping:
The first time you go grocery shopping you will be tempted to buy things you would normal eat at home. For me this was raspberries, and for my roommate this was ice-cream. What you may not realize is how quickly food goes bad when there isn't more than just you eating it and when your fridge is the size of a shoebox. Also fruit is really expensive! Save your wallet some much needed strain and leave the fruit for the dining hall.
2. Do not go overboard.
The first time you go grocery shopping truly by yourself, no parents or anything, you'll want to buy everything and anything you've ever eaten and/or liked. Make a list before you go of a few things you'll want that week and give yourself a budget. I cap it at $20.
3. It's easy to buy a lot of junk food.
No one wants to gain the freshman 15, but having a budget can cause it. Junk food is always the cheapest at grocery stores. You must have self control!! I've put together a list of some things I always keep in my dorm, that are healthy and they won't go bad as fast as typical healthy options.
Apple Sauce - GoGo Squeez
GoGo Squeez's are my absolute favorite thing in the world, and they've become even more useful at college. They come in a huge variety of fruit favors and combinations, and the best part? Their only ingredients are real fruit! Talk about healthy! If your looking for a fruit craving, but don't want to worry about rotten strawberries, then these are the perfect substitute.
Keep water in your room. Keep a lot of water in your room! I love soda, but by limiting my soda intake to only when I go to the dining hall and only keeping water in my room allows me to be somewhat healthier. Water is one of the healthiest things for you, and buying large 24-packs of bottles can save you money rather than buying individual bottles.
Popcorn is a great snack especially when you get that craving to snack. When I'm studying, even when I'm not hungry, I want to eat. Throwing some popcorn in the microwave and munching on it is exactly what I need in that moment. Popcorn also comes in a ton of healthy options, not just extra-movie theater butter (my favorite)
Peanut Butter is amazing. You can make a sandwich out of it, put it on crackers and make a snack, even just eat it by itself on a spoon (I do all the time). It's high in protein and there are numerous brands that make low-sugar options. It's also super filing.
What are some of your favorite, healthy, dorm room must-haves?