If you’re trying to be healthy in college, especially on a budget, you absolutely need to compile a grocery list of your favorite healthy foods and snacks. We’re sharing some of the most common ideas for a healthy grocery list that helped us stay on a budget and create delicious meals amid all the classes.


Fruits are a great source of sugar and carbs to give you energy throughout the day. You can use them in a breakfast smoothie or keep them around as a quick snack during busy school hours. Always keep in mind to check for seasonal fruits because they tend to be cheaper. Pick the kinds that are easy to eat on the go, such as:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes (great when frozen)
  • Mango


No college student wants to spend their day cooking, which is why getting groceries that are healthy and easy to cook is super important. Our favorite is frozen veggies because they are easy to cook and usually come already cut and prepared for you. You can use them in many delicious recipes the same way as you would use fresh veggies. Our go-to college veggies are:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Frozen mixed greens
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Peppers
  • Salad mix
  • Tomato sauce


When it comes to carbs, stick to healthy grains such as whole grain pasta and bread. It’s a much healthier alternative for you, and the amount of fiber helps keep you full longer. Basic staples:

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice (or any other type)
  • Couscous
  • Cereal
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole wheat bagels

Protein and meats

Proteins are vital to include in your diet. They help you stay full and keep your energy levels high during the day so you can stay focused and active. Whether you’re a meat-lover or not, it’s essential to include some healthy proteins into your diet like:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Tofu
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Peanut butter


You should pick up the basics and add on whatever you feel like you reach for most often. Dairy-free alternatives to these items work too:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Shredded cheese
  • Butter


It’s best to always keep around healthy snacks in your dorm room for any late-night cravings:

  • Popcorn
  • Crackers
  • Rice cakes
  • Chips
  • Fruit chips
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Cookies
  • Granola bars
  • Dark chocolate

Kitchen essentials

Here’s a little list of extra staples you should have on hand for everyday cooking. You can get these as needed:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Flour