Moving into your first apartment is a lot to take on. Especially your first trip to your local Athens grocery store! Trying to stock an empty fridge and pantry in one trip is not easy, no matter how prepared you may be. What you buy depends on what kind of UGA class schedule you have, and how often you want to cook in your apartment. Remember, meals in college can be as simple or complex as you want! Some days you will feel like going out to eat, while other times you don’t want to leave the apartment and need something simple to fix yourself.
Another thing to consider is if you want a dining plan. UGA’s Dining Services has worked with students, especially off-campus students, by making meal plans more customizable. This gives students living in apartments more freedom in choosing how much they want to cook in their apartment. This is especially helpful for students who have classes around lunchtime, that way they can create a dining plan that reflects their on-campus food needs. However, you don’t need a dining plan, as there are other quick-service options and plenty of microwaves if you want to bring food from home!
No matter your needs, having a few simple items already in your pantry and fridge can make your life a lot easier. Building your off-campus apartment
pantry may take a while, but that’s why we’ve also included a grocery list to help you get started. Start with a few essential items, and then you can slowly build to having everything you need. If you buy a lot to begin with, you might find that not all of it is necessary. Even if you don’t like cooking or don’t plan on cooking a lot, hopefully, this article can show you that finding a balance is key! Here are a few tips to get you started…
- Pick a day to go to the grocery and try to stick with it each week. Consistency is key!
- Depending on your schedule, plan three to five meals per week before you go to the grocery store.
- The easiest way to put together a meal is a protein, carb, and a vegetable!
- Make sure to pay attention to how long each meal will cook, if anything needs defrosting, etc., and plan accordingly.
- Frozen veggies are a great option because they still have nutritional value and are super easy to add to a meal.
- The easiest way to save money on groceries is to utilize leftovers and try to use leftover ingredients for other meals.
- If you are in two bedroom housing or more, consider splitting up cleaning supplies to spend less money.
- Lastly, buy protein bars or other similar items to eat in between classes or for study breaks at Tate!
First Apartment Grocery Shopping List
- Salt & Pepper
- Basic seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, etc.)
- Cooking oil (olive, avocado, canola)
- Pasta noodles
- Pasta sauce
- Tea/Coffee of choice
- Protein bars
- Filling snacks
- Nut butter of choice
- Jelly of choice
- Milk of choice
- Frozen veggies
- 2 frozen meals (always good to keep on hand)
- Eggs/protein for breakfast
- Fruit of choice
- Multipurpose cleaner for countertops and bathroom surfaces
- Laundry detergent
- Trash bags
- Dishwasher detergent
- Toilet bowl cleaner and brush
- Dish soap & sponge
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