To ensure you always buy exactly what you need, follow these key steps:
- Make a list of food and all non-food items you need.
- Divide into a weekly list for essentials and monthly list for other items.
- Regularly review your lists, depending on how quickly things run out.
As a student 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.
How to make a shopping list: Things to think about
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.
Weekly 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)
- 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 – 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. Take a look at our Student Hub for more tips and hacks for student life.