Going to college with no idea how to stock my fridge

Hey all! I'm going to be moving out for college pretty soon and I want to buy foods that will keep me healthy without breaking the bank. What would you suggest? Recipes would also be very appreciated<3

Replies

  • feisty_bucket
    feisty_bucket Posts: 1,042 Member
    Are you going to a dorm, where the school feeds you? If so, I'd tank up when it's available. In addition, I'd just keep peanut butter and protein powder in my room.

    If you mean into a roomshare or apartment or whatever, full adulting? Very general question, check the "how do I eat healthy for cheap" type of threads.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,183 Member
    Nutella. That's not a recommendation. It's a prediction.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    Will you have access to a full kitchen?

    Things I almost always have in my house:
    bread, tortillas, oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, nuts, trail mix, popcorn, peanut butter, beans, rice, canned tomato, tuna, chicken, lunchmeat, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, carrots, onions, apples, oranges, bananas, baby spinach, cabbage, zucchini, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, frozen vegetables, mustard, butter, salad dressing, cheddar cheese, cooking oil, salsa, salt, pepper, taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, basil, oregano, cinnamon, honey, flour, sugar, vinegar, tea

    http://www.budgetbytes.com
    http://www.allrecipes.com
  • dlkfox
    dlkfox Posts: 463 Member
    What do you like to eat? What do you like to cook or want to learn to cook? Those things.

    The only recommendation I really have is to buy a Lodge cast iron pan (the only brand made in the USA. You'll need a small and a medium saute pan to start.
  • knickknackpaddywhack
    knickknackpaddywhack Posts: 2 Member
    Lounmoun wrote: »
    Will you have access to a full kitchen?

    Things I almost always have in my house:
    bread, tortillas, oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, nuts, trail mix, popcorn, peanut butter, beans, rice, canned tomato, tuna, chicken, lunchmeat, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, carrots, onions, apples, oranges, bananas, baby spinach, cabbage, zucchini, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, frozen vegetables, mustard, butter, salad dressing, cheddar cheese, cooking oil, salsa, salt, pepper, taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, basil, oregano, cinnamon, honey, flour, sugar, vinegar, tea

    http://www.budgetbytes.com
    http://www.allrecipes.com

    This is ridiculously helpful, thank you so much. I'll be properly adulting my way into a house with a couple friends, so the school won't be feeding me.
  • capaul42
    capaul42 Posts: 1,391 Member
    If you can, get a slow cooker. So helpful for batch cooking. I make up a batch of chicken every week to shred for wraps, adding to pasta and omelettes, pretty much everything :smile:
  • OyGeeBiv
    OyGeeBiv Posts: 732 Member
    Coordinate your purchases with your roommates as much as possible. A gallon of milk is more economical than each of you buying a quart, for example. If you share meals, you can get a wider variety of ingredients by pooling your money. The most economical way to buy food is as unprocessed as possible - for example whole potatoes are much less expensive than frozen fries.

    Don't forget to leave room in your budget for kitchen cleaning supplies - dish soap, sponges, paper towels, etc. As much as I love cooking in cast iron, I wouldn't recommend it for a group living situation unless all of you know (and will DO) proper care and cleaning. Rusty pans are no fun. You'll need a cutting board, sharp knives, a vegetable peeler, and a set of cooking utensils (plastic, silicone and/or wood are the best options so you won't scratch pans). You'll also need some measuring cups and spoons, an inexpensive kitchen scale that weighs in grams, prep/serving bowls, a colander, hot plates and hot gloves, dish drainer. If there's room in the budget, then get a food processor and/or blender and a coffeemaker. Garage sale season is upon us, and that's a great way to stock your kitchen on a budget.
  • briannakwasnik
    briannakwasnik Posts: 2 Member
    Hey all! I'm going to be moving out for college pretty soon and I want to buy foods that will keep me healthy without breaking the bank. What would you suggest? Recipes would also be very appreciated<3

    I would reccomend shopping in bulk as often as possible- pick up rolled oats, nuts for snacking, beans, grains and whole wheat pastas. I also always kept eggs, rice cakes, and fresh fruits and vegetables from the discount table at the farmer's market
  • skinnyforhi
    skinnyforhi Posts: 340 Member
    Lounmoun wrote: »
    Will you have access to a full kitchen?

    Things I almost always have in my house:
    bread, tortillas, oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, nuts, trail mix, popcorn, peanut butter, beans, rice, canned tomato, tuna, chicken, lunchmeat, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, carrots, onions, apples, oranges, bananas, baby spinach, cabbage, zucchini, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, frozen vegetables, mustard, butter, salad dressing, cheddar cheese, cooking oil, salsa, salt, pepper, taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, basil, oregano, cinnamon, honey, flour, sugar, vinegar, tea

    http://www.budgetbytes.com
    http://www.allrecipes.com

    This is a great list and you can make a lot of fast, healthy meals using these ingredients. I'd add whole wheat pasta, parmesan cheese, and jars of tomato sauce (watch the sugar/salt content). Pasta with sautéed veggies or chicken and a green salad is a relatively easy meal to throw together.

    If you like Asian-style food, I'd also keep brown rice noodles, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar (white vinegar will do in a pinch) on hand. You can make various sauces using these ingredients plus some spices (adding peanut butter makes an easy pad thai sauce, for example- just google around). Just add chicken, vegetables, or tofu, depending on what you bought fresh from the store that week. Pad thai/stir fries are an excellent way to use up those leftover vegetables and save money.

    Finally, I always have chicken stock, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in my kitchen.

  • beemerphile1
    beemerphile1 Posts: 1,710 Member
    What have you been eating for the last 17 years? I would think you already know what you like far better than I would know what you like.
  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,064 Member
    dlkfox wrote: »
    What do you like to eat? What do you like to cook or want to learn to cook? Those things.

    The only recommendation I really have is to buy a Lodge cast iron pan (the only brand made in the USA. You'll need a small and a medium saute pan to start.

    This and a small pot for making rice or beans. Good quality olive oil, produce from the best today or tomorrow rack, chicken breast strips (my daughter bought these frozen, but kept them in her fridge. One bag fed her for a week), rice and red or black beans, tortillas, shredded cheese, Mexican seasoning, teriyaki sauce. She made chicken tortillas one day and chicken stir-fry the next. If she caught them on sale, she'd use beef tips in either dish for a couple of days. Ramen noodles mixed with any leftovers if she wanted soup.