First Apartment Grocery List

iDStock.com/Natalia Lavrenkova

The first home-cooked meal in your first apartment is special. But a first meal is as good as the ingredients, which, given that you’ve just moved in, you probably don’t. To give you a hand, we’ve compiled a first apartment grocery list of everything you could possibly need to make that first meal a memorable – and edible – meal.

The basics

When it comes to doing your first grocery shopping for your new apartment, you may need to prioritize which items you will have multiple meals on and which will stay the longest. These usually include protein, grains, and other staples that you like to keep around the house, such as snacks, nuts, or – arguably most important – coffee. These items are also probably the ones you will buy the most frequently. If you only take the essentials, take these foods on the first run to the store after moving in:

  • Bread and rice
  • Chicken and lunch meat
  • Apples
  • Frozen Vegetables – Carrots, onions or potatoes can also keep for more than two weeks when stored properly
  • Filtered water if your apartment does not have any
  • Coffee or tea
  • Nuts or your favorite prepackaged snacks
  • Salt, pepper and cooking oil

From sandwiches and soups to meat and vegetables, these basic groceries give you a number of options for that first meal in your new apartment. Get Tupperware to save leftovers for meals while you unpack throughout the week.

Protein

You don’t need us to tell you how important protein is on your first apartment grocery list, especially when you are spending energy moving furniture and getting settled in.

Some typical proteins to look for in your new grocery store include:

  • chicken
  • turkey
  • White fish
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Eggs

Vegan or vegetarian? Don’t forget to stock up on these vegetable proteins:

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Plant-based “Burgers”

If you’re trying to stretch your grocery budget with protein that will keep longer, check out the frozen or canned section for your favorite proteins. You can often find canned options like tuna, chicken, and garbanzo beans and frozen selections including fish fillets, tempeh, or even jackfruit if you’re lucky. Tofu can also last over a month when unopened. Pair them with a vegetable and you’ve got a meal.

Vegetables and fruits

It’s easy to be exhausted while being wrapped up in the moving process. Give your body what it needs with this new apartment fruit and veg grocery list.

Here are some good vegetables to grab on that first grocery run:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Lettuce or kale
  • To crush
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes – If you shop for a penny and need something filling, potatoes are a must have

For healthy snacks and a balanced breakfast, get fruits like:

  • Berries – Check the frozen section! Frozen berries are great with yogurt, waffles, and smoothies
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Lawyers
  • Tomatoes

If you’re worried that your fruits and veggies might spoil before you get there, be sure to browse the canned and frozen sections. Some easy-to-find staple foods include canned peaches, frozen broccoli, and canned green beans.

Cereals

Between chicken and rice and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we all grew up on some sort of cereal. If you are looking for a quick and filling addition to any meal, grab a few basics such as:

  • soft bread
  • Oats – Toss them with milk, fruit and honey and refrigerate overnight for a breakfast to go!
  • Rice
  • quinoa
  • Cereal

All of these beans tend to have a fairly long shelf life, so once you’ve had your fill you could be good for a few weeks or even months. This is especially true if you make a shopping list for a college apartment and buy in bulk. To keep bread longer, store breads in the freezer until needed. From skinny bowls to cereal bowls, these ingredients make it easy to prepare a meal amid the chaos of a new apartment.

Beverages

Staying hydrated is extremely important while doing the physical labor associated with moving to a new apartment. You will find this especially true when you are on the move during the hottest summer months. At the very least, you’ll probably want to have caffeine. Some basic drinks to have on hand include:

  • Gatorade or vitamin water
  • Milk – Dairy products, nuts or other
  • Tea or coffee
  • Juice – Take orange juice for a vitamin C supplement

If you don’t come back to the store for a while, store excess drinks like nut milk, bottled tea, and sodas in the pantry.

Pantry

The pantry has the majority of prepackaged snacks as well as extra foods you may not have splurged on before, especially if this is your first apartment. To complete the grocery list, some pantry items include:

  • Nuts – Almonds, cashews and walnuts are a great addition to salads, pancakes and stir-fries
  • Nut butter
  • Jam or jelly
  • Soups or broth
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Bakery Products – Flour, sugar, and baking powder or soda are the basis of most recipes

If you have a low grocery budget, don’t hesitate to save these items for later.

Seasonings

To win the battle against first night order delivery, you’ll definitely want to pick up seasonings. Some versatile basics include:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Chili powder
  • Cooking Oil – Olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil work with just about anything
  • The vinegar
  • Condiments like ketchup, mustard, or hot sauce
  • Vinaigrette

If you’re on the borderline between a good first meal in your new apartment and a good one, a seasoning of choice makes all the difference.

Whether you love shopping for groceries or just want to get rid of that first grocery store, this list has everything you need in a first apartment grocery list. Even with just the basics, your first meal is sure to be a memorable one. Enjoy your meal!

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