Stock Up!

14 Jun

So you live in a dorm or a frat house, and you share the kitchen with what seems like a hundred other people.  That doesn’t mean you can’t stock up on cooking essentials.  If you always have certain ingredients around, you’ll always be able to whip up something to snack on– also, you’ll cut your weekly grocery lists down considerably (I now spend between $50 and $80 a week on groceries, depending on what I’m buying.  Some weeks it’s a little more or a little less.  That’s around $10 a day on average, which is about what I can afford given the cost of Wesleyan rent).

It’s worth spending a bit up front so that you can have staple ingredients around.  Split the cost with your roommate if you have one; they’ll end up using them, too.  Refrigerate or freeze what needs it and keep the rest on top of your mini fridge, in a spare drawer, or in a cardboard box somewhere in your room.  Restock as you use them up.

Here’s my list:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • good vinegar (pick your favorite.  You can use red wine or apple cider vinegars in almost anything).
  • a bag of sugar (I have one of white and one of brown)
  • a bag of all-purpose flour (or whole wheat, if you prefer)
  • salt, pepper
  • seasonings (cinnamon, basil, oregano, hot pepper, and vanilla extract are pretty basic)
  • baking powder, baking soda (if you bake)
  • tea or coffee
  • quick breakfast food (I like cold cereal, corn tortillas, and Quaker instant oatmeal)
  • rice and/or pasta
  • a can or two of soup
  • 3 or 4 onions (1 red, a few white or yellow)
  • garlic
  • a small bag of potatoes, maybe a sweet potato or two (make sure to store these away from sunlight)
  • a jar of peanut butter
  • a jar of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • eggs
  • milk
  • butter
  • shortening (if you bake)


  • frying pan
  • sauce pan
  • metal baking pan
  • wooden spoon
  • big soup mug (for drinks, soup, spaghetti, whatever)
  • plate
  • large mixing bowl
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • Tupperware

Other stuff I almost always have around:

  • jam
  • honey
  • soy sauce
  • cheese
  • bell peppers
  • grape tomatoes
  • baby spinach
  • lemons and limes
  • raisins or dried fruit
  • cardamom pods, cloves, curry powder
  • dark chocolate

Happy shopping 🙂


2 Responses to “Stock Up!”


  1. The Wesivore: Teaching the Art of Survival off the Meal Plan Since June 2011 – Wesleying - June 27, 2011

    […] of content, centered around the theme of eating at Wesleyan (especially over the summer). Ze posts shopping lists, recipes, eatery reviews, and criminally undervoted polls with consistently good cheer and a knack […]

  2. Crepes « Wesivore - July 25, 2011

    […] If you make your own you’ll get 8-10 times that, for the same price   If you check out the list of stuff I keep around, you’ll notice that the only thing I had to buy for this meal was fresh mozzerella… […]

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