Cheap Grocery List for College Students in 2024 | Easy Guide


Save money with our easy guide to a cheap grocery list for college students in 2023. Discover budget-friendly food options and meal ideas at affordable prices. Create a nutritious and economical shopping list with our tips and tricks for college students. Don’t miss out on this helpful resource for a wallet-friendly grocery shopping experience!

One of the things students need while preparing for college is a Grocery list, a cheap one to accommodate the long list of necessities.


Today I will be tackling the struggle students face in coming up with a college grocery list. 

Going to college will mean you’re your boss, cooking and fending for yourself. And to do that effectively, you need to have the right groceries.


And by getting the right groceries, you have to know the art of making a college grocery list. This will make you comfortable in school; it’ll save you time and money. 

Whether you live in a dorm or an apartment of your own, the college grocery list tips below will work for you.

Also, you see the essential items you need for the college journey for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, treats, and other food items.



Yes, treats. College stress will need you to get treats for yourself at least once in a while.

Now let’s get right to it!!!

What is Grocery?

Groceries are simply the foods you eat. 

Yeah, it’s a polished version of the food you buy in grocery shops. Grocery stores are retail shops that primarily sell food, either fresh or preserved.

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Why Do College Students Need a Cheap Grocery List?

The absence of a grocery list would mean a lot of disasters, especially when you don’t have much money; of course, college students don’t!

Without an optimized grocery list, students will usually have not-so-good outcomes such as:

  • Going way over budget.
  • Confused and overwhelmed.
  • Having additional trips to the store.
  • Forgetting the essential things to buy.
  • Getting groceries, they already have
  • Buying a ton of unnecessary items.
  • Avoids you from foods unhealthy for you.

How Do Students Create a Cheap College Grocery List?

To make an optimized grocery list for your college trip, here are the steps to follow;

#1. Have a List of Needed Items.

First, you need to have a running list that gives you a heads up on items you have run out of or those close to running out.

This should include a list of staple items such as Eggs, Milk, Butter, Granola Bars, and canned goods.

#2. Plan Your Meals.

When you have a meal plan, you know exactly what you need; this will help you not go over your budget.

#3. Look Up for Coupons to Buy on Discount.

Include items you have a coupon or discount on purchasing. This will help you create a cheap grocery students list.

And just a tip, you can also GET HULU SERVICES ON STUDENT’s DISCOUNT.

#4. Specify the Quantity of Items in the List

To make a college student’s Grocery list come cheap, you need to specify the quantity of each item to reduce cost or buy in bulk.

#5. Vet Your List By Going Through It.

Ensure you go over your list to crosscheck your items and the quantity. And after you must have done that, you should put it in your shopping bag.


Leaving the list behind is as good as not making it in the first place.

What are the Necessary Items in a College Grocery List for Students?

While making your cheap grocery list for college students, there are essential items that you don’t need to ignore if you’re to eat healthy food in school.

Whether you live in a hostel or private accommodation as a student, you must cook your meals. And to do so, you need to have the following on your grocery list.

For the essential groceries, we have divided them into sections:

  • Frozen food.
  • Refrigerated items.
  • Non-refrigerated items.

List of Essential Refrigerated Food Items in a College Students Grocery list.

  • Yogurt.
  • Butter/Margarine.
  • Eggs/Egg Substitutes.
  • Cheese (any), Cheddar, Ricotta, Feta, Brie, etc.
  • Milk/Coconut Milk/Almond Milk (Your favorites)
  • Pickles, Olives, Hot pepper rings, marinated vegetables.
  • Fresh fruits/vegetables (Apples, bananas, tomato, lettuce)
  • Condiments (Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard, Barbeque Sauce)
  • Deli Meats/Bacon/Rotisserie Chickens Pre-cooked or buy a fresh one.

List of Cheap Essential Non-refrigerated Food Items in a College Students Grocery list.

  • Bread
  • Vinegar, e.g., White, Apple Cider, etc.
  • Oils, e.g., Coconut Oil, Vegetable Oil, etc.
  • Raisins and Nuts- Cashew, Peanuts, etc.
  • Flours, e.g., All-purpose, Whole Wheat, etc.
  • Dry Beans, e.g., Chickpeas, Black Beans, etc
  • Honey/Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/Sunflower seed butter, etc.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder and other baking basics.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta, Cous-Cous, Brown Rice, White Rice, Wild Rice, Quinoa, etc.
  • Canned foods- Tomatoes, Pizza Sauce, vegetables and fruit, olives, mushrooms, tomato paste, etc.
  • Whole-grain, e.g., Cereal/Instant-Oatmeal, Large Flake Oatmeal, etc.
  • Herbs and Spices.

List of Essential Frozen Food Items in a College Students Grocery list.

  • Frozen Fruits
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Hotdogs or Veggie Dogs
  • Sausages or Vegetarian option
  • Wraps/Pita/Tortillas/Bread/English muffins/Flat Bread
  • Minced Beef/Pork/Lamb/Chicken/Turkey or Vegetarian Mince
  • Frozen egg cartons (these are great because you can defrost them and use them as needed)
  • Other cuts of meat- Pork Chops, Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Ribs, Chicken Wings.

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Do I Need Snacks On My Grocery List?


Snacks should be the next thing on your mind after the essential food items listed above. 

In getting snacks, you need to buy your favorites. However, some of the snacks that you can add to your list include;

  • Popcorn.
  • Crackers 
  • Rice cakes.
  • Baked chips.
  • Seeds/nuts.
  • Fig cookies.
  • Granola bars.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Apple/banana chips.

How Can I Save Money From My Student Grocery List?

Saving money is essential for all students. Therefore, we have some discount services for students, such as HP Student Discount, Netflix Student Discount, and Spotify Student Discount.

Others include Dell student discount, Apple student discount, GymShark Student Discount, and How to Get Paid to Watch Netflix.

However, these discounts do not apply to food items. But here is how you can save money as a student while shopping:

#1. Check Student Friendly Stores

  • Local markets offer student discounts. 
  • Stores close to campus offer a 5%–10% discount for those with university ID cards.

#2. Plan And Follow Your Meal Plan.

  • Planning your meal list makes grocery shopping for college students cheap.
  • It helps you track your budget.

#3. Eat Before You Shop

  • A hungry student can buy the entire shop because everything seems pleasing. 
  • It also keeps you away from buying junk that will tell on your budget.

#4. Freeze Anything, Everything, every time.

  • Keep leftovers suitable for another munch.
  • Make your Yogurt, bread, vegetables, and tomato sauce last longer.

Read Also: How to Get Subway Student Discount in 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap College Student’s Grocery List

How Do I Eat Healthy At College?

Whether you’re considering cheap or trying to make your grocery list as low budget as possible, College students should have these items to eat healthily;
– Eggs.
– Milk.
– Spinach.
– Broccoli.
– Potatoes.
– Asparagus.
– Oats / Granola.
– Chicken Breast.

What Should A Healthy College Student Eat?

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Using the campus services can also help you maintain good nutrition.

Do Students Need Treats On Their Grocery List?

Not essential but needful. Treats are just for spice and good times.
If you’re considering goodies, you can add;
– Mug cakes  
– Kettle popcorn.
– Halo top ice cream.
– Homemade rice Krispy treats. 
– Hot chocolate & biscotti cookies.
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What is the College Grocery List For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, And Snacks?

College Students Breakfast Grocery List
Loaf of Bread
Protein Bars
Instant Oatmeal
Pancake Syrup
Instant Coffee + Creamer
Spinach and Tomatoes
Frozen Pancakes/Waffles
Sliced or Shredded Cheese
Instant Brown/White/Cauliflower Rice
Fruits (Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Blueberries)

College Students Lunch Grocery List
Leafy Greens
Salad Dressing
Baguette/Sourdough Bread
Cold Cuts
Pasta Noodles
Bottled Pasta Sauce
Frozen Pizza
Pre-made Salads
Roasted Chicken
Frozen Peas
Frozen Carrots
Quinoa or Couscous
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Soy Sauce
Canned Tuna or Chicken

College Students Dinner Grocery List
Frozen Salmon Fillets
Frozen Meatballs
Microwavable Vegetables
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Salad Bags
Canned Mushrooms
Hamburger Patties
Ground Pork, Beef, Turkey, or Chicken
Canned Corn
Hot Dogs
Canned Onion Soup
Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup

College Students Snacks Grocery List
Cubed/Slice Cheese
Trail Mix
Baby Carrots
Instant Ranch Dressing
Instant Ramen
Fruit Cups


Having a cheap college grocery list is very needful, especially for students who don’t have $20 each day to spend on meals.

We hope this list we have made will help you avoid buying some unnecessary items.

Now, make your list!!!


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