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The ultimate shopping list for students

Try our easy-to-follow weekly shopping list and learn how to create a student food shopping list that works for you.


The ultimate weekly shopping list for students notepad and pencil on table top

As a student, living away from home can be daunting. Doing your first weekly shop, it can be tricky to know what to put in the basket and what to save for special occasions (who knew cheese could be so expensive?) To help you get to grips with budgeting we’ve prepared two shopping list ideas and added some guidance on how to create a shopping list that works for you now that you’ve flown the nest.

Plan your grocery list before your shop to prevent spending more than you mean to.

How to make a university shopping list:

OK, so you’re new to university life and need to stock your cupboards. What should go on your student food shopping list?

To help make sense of everything, try to break things down by category:

  • Food. Think via category or food group, starting with meat or protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Leave snacks and drinks to the end and buy in moderation.
  • Toiletries. Stay on top of personal hygiene with essentials like deodorant, shampoo and soap before moving onto other items such as make up, condoms and sanitary products
  • Household products. Toilet paper, kitchen roll, laundry detergent, washing up liquid, sponges, disposable wipes and bin bags all need to be bought.

Student shopping list examples

Now you’ve got some shopping list ideas it’s time to think about when and how often to buy them.

Try our grocery shopping list for a weekly shop to cover the essentials:

  • Milk (or non-dairy alternative)
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • One packet of cheese
  • Protein such as meat, fish, tofu, lentil or nuts
  • Healthy snacks such as crackers, raw nuts, dried fruit or nut butter
  • A treat for the weekend such as a single cake, biscuit or packet of crisps
  • Toilet paper
  • Kitchen paper

Then use our monthly grocery shopping list for longer-life items:

  • Personal toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel
  • Perfume, aftershave and deodorants
  • Sanitary items – tampons, towels or reusable options like menstrual cups
  • Kitchen cleaners – washing up liquid, antibacterial spray or wipes
  • Bathroom cleaners – Domestos toilet bleach, surface cleaner, glass cleaner
  • General cleaners – multi-purpose sprays or wipe
  • Laundry detergent and fabric conditioner
  • Cleaning equipment – duster, cloths, sponges, binbags
  • Foil/clingfilm/baking paper/sandwich wrap

Fending for yourself can be intimidating if you’ve never had to deal with the weekly shop before but with our food shopping list tips hopefully it will be easier to manage. 


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Originally published