9 Dorm Food Staples You Should Bring To College For Those Days When The Vending Machine Just Doesn't Cut It

Packing for college is an excuse to go wild buying new bedding, towels, clothes, and of course, a heaping stockpile of food. Sure, you’re probably on a pretty big meal plan anyway, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stock up on some dorm food staples. In fact, packing the right food to bring to college can be quite the game-changer, helping you to be more alert in class, more productive when studying, and, of course, more cozy while watching movies.

Even if your dining hall isn’t great, it’s bound to have the mealtime staples you’ll need. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get hungry in your off-hours. Sometimes, you just need to take a break from the greasy pizza, limp salad, and sugary cereals that populate your university’s cafeteria.

So when you’re packing your bags for school (or hitting up the local grocery store once you get to campus), be sure not to just think about your bedding and school supplies — after all, food is one of our top priorities. These nine foods will keep your appetite at bay while also making the most of your busy schedule. It’s time to get snacking — while you’re studying and socializing, too.

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal packets make for an instant meal, but plain oats can be more versatile (and healthy!) than you think. With some easy oatmeal hacks, you can make this staple taste great any time of day, and always feel satisfied.

2. Mac And Cheese

Of course, you'll need some comfort food handy to fight any homesickness — and to help you push through exam stress. Whether you keep a couple boxes of mac and cheese on hand, or you stock up on microwavable mac, the instant satisfaction of eating cheesy carbs will surely make you feel better.

3. Ramen

Eating ramen in college is practically a rite of passage. These noodles are so cheap, you won't feel bad for blowing your budget, and with some creativity, you can even make your ramen taste better. Sounds like a great, easy dinner to me.

4. Peanut Butter

Slather it on apples and bananas you've stolen from the dining hall. Mix it into your ramen and oatmeal. Eat it with a spoon. There's almost nothing you can't do with some good ol' PB. Bring along some almond butter instead if you're allergic to peanuts.

5. Granola Bars

Your meal plan may cover breakfast, but let's be real: are you actually going to wake up and go to breakfast before your 8 a.m. lecture? Probably not. Keep some granola bars handy so your grumbling stomach doesn't disturb your classmates, and so you can focus on what your professor is actually saying.

6. Tea

Whether you find yourself studying in a chilly dorm or just needing a little pick-me-up, tea bags will always come in handy. Stock up and have a tea party with your dorm mates.

7. Coffee

A coffeemaker may be bulky to carry along with you to college, but the convenience factor makes it worth it. Just think of all the money you'll save by not hitting up the coffee shop (as often). This is one splurge that you won't regret.

8. Popcorn

Sometimes you just need a snack — and microwave popcorn is the perfect option that's fast, tasty, and not too unhealthy. Alternatively, buy a cheap microwavable popcorn popper, and stock up on some kernels for a more wholesome snack.

9. Chocolate

When the going gets tough, you'll be glad you have a spare chocolate bar. Trust.

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