This week we’re talking about college life, at least from the food prep perspective. Everything from what to send your college student to their first year of college/dorm life. Whether you’re a parent getting your college crew ready, or a friend/family member looking for a creative gift to give to a college-bound kid in your life, I’ve got the best gift for any high school grad heading to college/dorm life in the next few weeks/months.
A “Dorm Room Food” kit. All the essentials and a few shelf-stable items to get them started….and have options for those late night snack cravings, study breaks and any time in between. You can mix and match everything shared below, or give them everything, it’s up to you!
This might be something you’ll need info from the school for – if the room doesn’t come with any appliances…but get the largest you can for the space/wattage allowed!
- Mini Fridge
Same as the microwave, confirm that your student won’t receive one from the school, and get the largest one you can for the space/electricity allowed. One that is a great size/price is this one from Target.
- Microwave Pasta Maker
Meals in minutes, with so few ingredients! And – you can do more than just pasta – think about rice, quinoa, oats, steaming vegetables, macaroni and cheese…definitely something that can be used more than one way. I recommend this one.
- Dash Single Waffle Maker
Works for waffles, hashbrown waffles and grilled cheese (with ridges). And, it comes in so many color choices! Click here to view.
- Measuring Cups (for dry and liquid measure) and Spoons
Dry Measure: These are a great deal!
Liquid Measure: These are easy to clean and won’t break easily either!
- Large ceramic mug
From drinking coffee, making tea, making oatmeal to mug cakes, to heating soup or leftovers….we all need a large ceramic mug or two! Give these a look:
- Personal Water Filter Bottle
No more purchasing water bottles or worrying about the water fountain water – it will now be filtered when this is part of the dorm room arsenal! Grab one of these for filtered water, that stays cold and creates less garbage/recycling to take out!
- Microwave Bowls
For making snacks like check mix or seasoned pretzels, to heating up larger quantities of food or popping popcorn (if you run out of bags), and serving up a few snacks, this bowl is a great multi-purpose bowl to cook in as well as serve your guests!
- Plates, Bowls, etc.
The Target brand Room Essentials collection offers great options for as little as $0.50/piece! Check out their options here and grab a few for the school year.
- Coffee Maker
I know single-cup coffee makers are getting all of the attention these days, and I love mine too – but, there’s something to be said for the combo of a carafe and single-serve brewing options…think running out the door to class and needing a single cup, vs. making a pot of tea or a study group coffee break. This one is one of my new favorites, it’s an investment, but if brewing in the dorms, saving money at the coffee shops close by!
- Food Items/Small Pantry Items
- Jarred pasta sauce
- Dry pasta
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Quick Oats (not instant oat packets)
- Tea Bags
- Milk Boxes (like juice boxes / shelf stable)
- Plastic Pitchers with lids (small for fridge)
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, sugar/stevia packets, cinnamon,
- Paper Lunch/Sandwich Bags
- Glass storage containers, such as these
- Can Opener
- Wooden Spoon
- Large Plastic spoons
- Silverware (20pc sets are great for dorm room needs!)
- Scrubbing sponge
- Dish Soap
- Small bin to transport dirty dishes and keep cleaning supplies when not in use
A few fun ways to pack up all of these items are in a large moving box with handles, in a rolling cooler, in a laundry basket or a few reusable bags – all can be repurposed when they are at school!
Coming up later this week – Dorm Room meals, Late Night snacks and eating on campus on a budget….stay tuned!
If you have any questions or need any more suggestions or more personalized gift packs, please call, email or comment below!