Your Must-Have First Apartment Grocery List (Items You Need)

Congratulations on your first apartment!

I know for me, when I had my first apartment I was giggly and excited.

I moved to a new city for college and wanted to be an adult right there.

But as you wander into the world of apartment dwelling, one of the essential aspects to consider is stocking your kitchen with the right groceries.

Creating a well-rounded grocery list will not only ensure you have the basics covered but also help you make healthy choices and save money.

But if you’re asking yourself, “Where do I start to make my first apartment grocery list?” you’re in the right place!

Let’s take a look at the must-have items for your first apartment grocery shopping list, covering refrigerator and freezer essentials, pantry staples, and healthy options.

First Apartment Essential Grocery List – Refrigerator and Freezer

When it comes to your first apartment, your refrigerator and freezer are the heart and soul of your kitchen.

Putting these fridge and freezer essentials on your first grocery list for a new apartment will keep your hunger at bay and ensure you’re always ready for a quick meal or snack.

Before we check out all the grocery items you need for your first apartment, here are my three favorite grocery and meal plan lists to use.

The Bliss Collections grocery list pad has it all! I LOVE THIS grocery list.

This pad is super easy to attach it to your refrigerator, so you don’t have to go digging around in your kitchen to find it.

It’s easy-to-use categories make it practical for on-the-go use, so whether you’re in the supermarket or at home, you can always jot something down. And just great to have!

Well, the Knock Knock All Out Of Grocery list is amazing too! I want to try this one out for next month.

These pre-made grocery lists make it super easy to jot down what you need at home, and then just bring the list with you to the store.

No more wandering aimlessly through the aisles trying to remember what else you needed. They are definitely a game changer for making any grocery trips more efficient.

Trust me, you won’t regret giving them a try!

Finally, there’s the Evercio Meal Plan & Grocery List. I can’t get enough of this one!

Not only can you save a significant amount of money using a grocery list, but this list is neatly designed for each meal.

It’s like having a personal assistant helping you navigate the grocery store.

And the best part?

You can easily rip off the list side and take it with you on your trip to the store.

If you’re someone who tends to overspend on groceries, I highly recommend giving this meal and grocery list a try. Your wallet (and future self) will thank you.


And let’s not forget about the freezer, where frozen veggies and delectable treats await!

Get ready to chill out with this must-have grocery list:

1. Dairy and Alternatives

Keep your fridge stocked with essential dairy items like milk, eggs, and butter.

If you prefer plant-based options, explore the wide range of alternatives such as almond, soy, or oat milk.

Also, add some cheese and yogurt to your shopping list for quick snacks or to enhance your favorite recipes.

  • Milk (or plant-based alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk)
    • Eggs
    • Butter or margarine
    • Cheese (such as cheddar, mozzarella, or feta)
    • Yogurt

2. Fresh Produce

Fill your refrigerator with a colorful assortment of fruits and vegetables. Grab some bananas, apples, or berries for a quick and nutritious breakfast.

Leafy greens like kale and spinach are great for salads or sautéed dishes.

And, having some amazing fruit tray ideas from all those produce for your guests will make you look like a boss as an adult now!

You should also add bell peppers, carrots, onions, and garlic to add flavor and depth to your cooking.

  • Assorted fruits (bananas, apples, berries, etc.)
    • Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, kale)
    • Tomatoes
    • Bell peppers
    • Carrots
    • Onions
    • Garlic

3. Protein

Protein is essential for a balanced diet, so stock up on versatile protein sources.

Chicken breasts or thighs, ground beef or turkey, and fish fillets are versatile options for various recipes.

For vegetarians or vegans, tofu or tempeh can be a great source of protein.

Deli meats can also come in handy for a quick sandwich or wrap.

  • Chicken breasts or thighs
    • Ground beef or turkey
    • Fish fillets
    • Tofu or tempeh (for vegetarians/vegans)
    • Deli meats (optional)

4. Condiments and Sauces

Spice up your meals with a variety of condiments and sauces.

From classic ketchup and mustard to mayonnaise and salad dressings, these staples can enhance the flavors of your dishes.

And don’t forget soy sauce, hot sauce, and bbq sauce for an extra kick!

  • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Mayonnaise
    • Salad dressing
    • Soy sauce
    • Hot sauce
    • Barbecue sauce

5. Frozen Essentials

Stocking your freezer with frozen essentials is a smart move for busy days or when you’re in need of a quick meal.

Frozen vegetables and fruits are convenient for adding nutrition to your dishes or making smoothies.

Keep a frozen pizza or ready-to-eat meals on hand for those days when you don’t feel like cooking.

And, of course, make sure to treat yourself with some ice cream or frozen treats for those well-deserved indulgent moments.

  • Frozen vegetables (broccoli, peas, mixed veggies)
    • Frozen fruits (berries, mango chunks)
    • Frozen pizza or ready-to-eat meals (for busy days)
    • Ice cream or frozen treats (because treats are necessary!)

First Apartment Grocery List and Staples

Stocking up on pantry staples is like building a solid foundation for your culinary adventures.

These essentials will come to your rescue when you need a quick and satisfying meal or want to experiment with flavors

And for those sweet tooth cravings and homemade goodies, make sure you add some baking essentials to your grocery list for your first apartment!

6. Grains and Breads

When it comes to grains and breads, variety is the spice of life (literally!).

Fill your pantry or whatever space you use if you don’t have one with options like whole wheat or multigrain bread, rice for those comforting bowls, and pasta for quick and satisfying meals.

You might also want some oats for energizing breakfasts and a box of your favorite cereal for those lazy mornings or late-night snacks.

  • Bread (whole wheat, multigrain, or your preference)
    • Rice (white, brown, or jasmine)
    • Pasta (spaghetti, penne, or your favorite)
    • Oats (for quick breakfasts)
    • Cereal

7. Canned Goods

Think of canned goods as your pantry superheroes, always ready to save the day when you need a quick meal.

Stock up on versatile ingredients like beans, canned vegetables, and soups.

And let’s not forget the trusty canned tuna or salmon, perfect for adding protein to salads or whipping up a delicious sandwich.

  • Beans (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans)
    • Canned vegetables (corn, peas, green beans)
    • Canned soups (chicken noodle, tomato, or your choice)
    • Canned tuna or salmon
    • Pasta sauce

8. Baking Essentials

Calling all aspiring bakers! It’s time to gather your baking essentials and turn your kitchen into a mini bakery.

Make sure you have all-purpose flour, sugar (both white and brown), baking powder, baking soda, and a bottle of vanilla extract.

With these staples in hand, you’ll be ready to bake up a storm of cookies, cakes, and homemade goodies.

  • All-purpose flour
    • Sugar (white, brown)
    • Baking powder
    • Baking soda
    • Vanilla extract

9. Snacks and Treats

Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up or a well-deserved treat. Stock your shelves with a selection of snacks that cater to your cravings.

Whether it’s a bag of crunchy chips or pretzels, some microwave popcorn for movie nights, grab-and-go granola bars for those busy days, or a stash of nuts, seeds, and a touch of chocolate for that sweet-salty fix, having these snacks on hand will keep you satisfied between meals.

  • Chips or pretzels
    • Popcorn
    • Granola bars
    • Nuts or seeds
    • Chocolate or candy (for those cravings)

First Apartment Grocery List – Healthy Options

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a drag. Here is a fresh and nutritious twist to your first grocery shopping list for your new apartment.

Get ready to nourish your body and taste buds with these wholesome options!

10. Fresh Herbs and Spices

Enhance the flavors of your meals with a selection of fresh herbs and spices.

Here are some essential spices you should definitely grab:

  • Basil
    • Cilantro
    • Parsley
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Chili flakes

11. Healthy Fats and Oils

Nourish your body with healthy fats and oils. Reach for the versatile olive oil when sautéing vegetables or making a flavorful salad dressing.

Coconut oil is perfect for adding a hint of tropical flavor to stir-fries or baking.

You can also include some avocados on your grocery list for a new apartment. They’re packed with good fats and make a delightful addition to salads or a creamy base for homemade guacamole.

And, of course, let’s not overlook the nut butter aisle, where you can find nutritious options like peanut butter or almond butter, great for spreading on toast or adding to smoothies.

  • Olive oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Avocados (for healthy fats and guacamole)
    • Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter)

12. Whole Foods

Embrace the goodness of whole foods that will nourish your body and keep you feeling energized.

Opt for whole-grain bread or tortillas as a nutritious foundation for sandwiches or wraps.

Quinoa, a protein-rich grain, is perfect for creating hearty salads or as a side dish to accompany your main course.

Sweet potatoes, packed with vitamins and fiber, can be roasted, mashed, or turned into fries.

If you’re not allergic, be sure to stock up on nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds. They make for satisfying snacks or a crunchy topping for yogurt or oatmeal!

  • Whole-grain bread or tortillas
    • Quinoa
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds)
    • Greek yogurt (high in protein)

13. Beverages

Stay hydrated and refresh your taste buds with a variety of beverages. Water should be your go-to choice for quenching thirst throughout the day.

Experiment with herbal teas to find soothing blends that suit your palate.

If you’re a coffee lover, consider exploring different coffee beans to create your perfect cup of joe.

And for those seeking a boost of antioxidants, green tea is a fantastic choice!

  • Water (stay hydrated!)
    • Herbal teas
    • Coffee or coffee beans (if you’re a coffee lover)
    • Green tea

Saving Money on Grocery Essentials for Your New Apartment

Living on your own for the first time means you’re now in charge of your grocery budget.

Don’t worry! Here are some savvy tips to help you save money without compromising on taste or nutrition.

You can definitely save money while creating a basic grocery list for your first apartment.

Let’s dive into some wallet-friendly strategies that will keep your pantry stocked and your bank account happy:

1. Make a Meal Plan

Creating a weekly meal plan is a game-changer when it comes to saving money on groceries.

You can do the usual like Taco Tuesday and Spaghetti Wednesdays if you want to make it easier for you!

This way, you can buy ingredients in bulk and reduce waste.

Plus, it helps you resist the temptation of ordering takeout on a whim!

2. Shop with a List

Never underestimate the power of a well-curated grocery list.

Before heading to the store, take inventory of what you already have and make a list of the items you need.

Stick to your list to avoid impulse purchases, which can quickly add up.

Shopping with intention will keep you focused and ensure you only buy what you really need.

2. Explore Store Flyers and Coupons

Take advantage of store flyers and coupons to find the best deals on your grocery list items.

Keep an eye out for discounts, special promotions, and loyalty programs.

Consider downloading grocery store apps that offer exclusive digital coupons and personalized discounts.

Saving a few dollars here and there can make a significant difference in the long run.

4. Buy Generic and Store Brands

Don’t shy away from generic or store-brand products.

They often have the same quality as their branded counterparts but come at a lower price.

Give them a try and see if they meet your expectations.

You might be pleasantly surprised by the savings without compromising on taste or quality.

5. Shop in Bulk

For non-perishable items like grains, pasta, canned goods, and snacks, buying in bulk can be a money-saving strategy.

Look for wholesale clubs or bulk stores in your area where you can purchase larger quantities at a lower unit price.

Just be mindful of storage space and expiration dates to avoid waste.

6. Cook in Batch and Freeze

Cooking in batch and freezing portions is a fantastic way to save time and money.

Prepare larger quantities of meals and store them in individual containers or freezer bags.

This way, you can simply thaw and reheat whenever you need a quick and convenient meal, reducing the temptation to order takeout.

7. Embrace Seasonal and Local Produce

Opt for seasonal fruits and vegetables as they tend to be more affordable and flavorful.

Visit farmers’ markets or local produce stands for fresh and often cheaper options.

Supporting local farmers not only benefits your wallet but also contributes to sustainable food systems.

8. Avoid Food Waste

Food waste can drain your budget faster than you realize.

To minimize waste, plan your meals according to expiration dates, practice proper storage techniques, and get creative with using leftovers.

Additionally, consider composting vegetable scraps and other food waste to minimize your environmental impact.

A little planning, smart choices, and a keen eye for deals can go a long way in keeping your grocery expenses in check!

New Apartment – First Grocery List – No Problem!

I know there are a ton of things you need for an apartment, but don’t forget about your groceries!

With this ultimate first apartment grocery list in hand, you’re all set to rock your kitchen and whip up mouthwatering meals while keeping your health in check.

Remember to customize the list to suit your own tastes and dietary requirements.

Have a blast grocery shopping and savor every moment of your exciting culinary adventures in your brand-new apartment!