Man in blue plaid shirt and woman in yellow shirt holding empty pot in front of empty fridge

Living the student lifestyle of doesn’t always leave a lot of time for cooking. Get ready to have your mind blown with our ultimate student grocery list, then have it shipped right to your dorm room. Whoa.

This is where Walmart Canada has you covered. When you’re bored in lecture or overwhelmed from shopping for the perfect phone case because you cracked your smartphone screen again, pop open a new tab and shop for the kinds of groceries that would make your mama proud.

It’s hard to forget your kid days of having to eat broccoli and Brussels sprouts along with your meat and potatoes, so we’ve also included actual tasty snacks you can stock in your dorm room that’ll keep you well-fed and energized.

And, oh yeah, go ahead and splurge on some chips, too. They’re just begging to be eaten in front of your TV and totally count as dorm room essentials.


Making a student grocery list: define your goals

Before you start making your student grocery list, outline your reasons for stocking up. If you’re planning on impressing your crush with the cooking skills you learned last week (yay for progressing beyond boiling water!) and avoiding the dining hall most of the time, you’ll want to make sure you have enough foods and supplies for successful dorm room cooking adventures. Just don’t be that person who sets off the fire alarms from making Kraft Dinner in a coffee maker and causes the whole dorm to be evacuated…

On the other hand, maybe you hate cooking so much that you’d rather tutor high school students. In that case, you might just want tasty snacks to get you through late-night study sessions or for added fuel and protein during a busy weekend of partying.

If health is a top priority, you can find tons of fresh produce, dairy and protein sources, too, to keep you eating the way you want, whether that’s vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free.


Complete healthy student grocery list (we’ll try to be as healthy as we can).

Look, Walmart Canada has great deals that’ll let you save a ton of money you can blow on all the fanciest gadgets and electronics that’ll be out of date by year-end exams. But even though that’s the case, you’ll still spend more than you intended if you start off hungry and list-less.

Writing down your food stuffs ahead of time keeps you organized and on-track, as well as within your budget. And hey, you might even develop some transferrable note-taking skills to use in classes, too! Here are some fancy index cards to get you in the mood, along with heart-smart food ideas:

Do your body some good with these fruits:


Fruits are great finger foods you can cronch on between classes. If you’re not ready to fully make the switch to healthy eating, slather some Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter or Nutella on your apples, or add some Great Value 4-Berry Frozen Fruit Blend with Great Value Chocolate Syrup to make a smoothie.

Remember what your mom told you about veggies, too:


If you have to decide between fruits and veggies, the latter is always the better option. Stuff like raw carrots and broccoli are more palatable if you pair them with Heluva Good! French Onion Sour Cream Dip or Summer Fresh Chick Pea Spread Hummus. If cooked vegetables are more your thing, ingredients like celery, garlic and onions to season pasta sauces and soups will instantly transform you into Guy Fieri, if that’s your thing.

Dairy products

If you’re a big oatmeal or cereal person, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of milk on hand. And for those late nights when you’re up cramming for an exam, you’ll want milk or creamer to go with your coffee.

Greek yogurt makes a great snack when paired with lunches or just eaten on their own as a healthy dessert in the evening. Just make sure you’re getting the plain version: it not only saves you a ridiculous amount of added sugars (seriously, you might as well be drinking a can of pop instead), and you can sweeten it up with frozen berries anyway.

Shredded cheese is a great choice with scrambled eggs for breakfast, and cheese sticks can be eaten by themselves on the way to class for a quick pick-me-up.

Meat, fish and protein

It’s not dorm room cooking if you don’t bring a bit of the caveman life into it with meats, fish and other protein sources. Just leave the fire out of it, m’kay? You can still prepare ham, chicken, sliced deli meats, canned tuna or salmon, burgers and hotdogs into delicious meals without busting out your flint.


For the gluten-free, Walmart Canada has options for you if you didn’t want to cover your eyes and skip ahead to the next section for stomach-friendly snacks. But for everyone else, add things to your list like sliced bread or pita bread for sandwiches, bagels and tortillas.


Yasss, bro, this is finally the section you’ve been waiting for: the forgotten food group that college students survive on at one point or another. Eat your guilt away by including choices that are low in sugar and high in protein and fibre like popcorn, granola bars, dried fruit and trail mix, chips, hummus, pretzels and pudding or Jell-O cups.

Easy meals and frozen foods

If cooking really isn’t your thing, then all you need is a microwave or toaster oven to whip up these meals. We won’t judge; all we ask is you recycle the wrapper or packaging properly. You’ll be living on this planet for the next 50 or so years, so you’ll want to make sure that you’ll still have access to pizza, mixed veggies, ramen, instant rice, instant oatmeal and protein bars.

Canada’s Food Guide: The unofficial student version:



Breakfast: skip it or not

The whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” line was created by Big Cereal in 1917 as a way of getting people to spend more on food. The truth is, some people just aren’t hungry in the morning and that’s totally okay.

Skeleton on bench that died of starvation from waiting for friends to bring food

For the breakfast-inclined, there are ways to avoid early-morning hangriness with meals that are both delicious and affordable.

Products like oatmeal, pancakes or waffles, cereals and bagels make great quick morning breakfasts. Pair these with a rich and creamy yogurt to really finish things off with a delicious, healthy kick.

…just don’t forget about the bacon. Mmm, bacon.

On days when you don’t have class until the afternoon, consider having eggs or egg whites and wheat toast to jump-start your day. And don’t forget the all-important coffee: Walmart Canada carries popular brands like Starbucks Italian Roast.


Quick and easy lunches

You’ve picked out your classes so that you have plenty of time to sleep in… but the downside is when the prof starts talking about pie charts, you’re thinking apples and blueberries instead of numbers and figures.

Don’t be that student.

Be the one who rocks college-level chemistry just as well as making well-rounded, affordable lunches, whether it’s a simple PB&J sandwich with your favourite jelly and jam or a tasty Great Value tuna sandwich or going fancier with spaghetti and meatballs.


Snacks for studying

Don’t quote us or anything, but eating healthy snacks regularly can increase your grade average by 7% (also, 63% of statistics are made up on the spot, but that’s neither here nor there). What does matter is keeping your stomach happy and mind focused so you don’t hit the hunger wall while you’re studying.

Stuck on what exactly will taste good and help ramp up brainpower? We gotchu, fam.


Well-balanced dinners

Know what your reward is for getting through a long day of classes?


Specifically, a healthy dinner you cooked while staying within budget.

The key is to get your essential nutrients so you have the energy you need to survive a hectic student life.

Plus, you’ll also want to practice your cooking skills so you’ll be talked about in the best way when it’s your turn to host the dorm floor dinner.

Also, make sure you’ve got working batteries in your smoke alarm, just in case…

Spaghetti in pot with flames coming from stovetop
Spaghetti in pot with flames coming from stovetop

Cooking for yourself or on the go? Frozen pizza is your answer.

Cooking for yourself or on the go? Frozen pizza is your answer.

Want to impress a little more with base dishes that can be expanded in a ton of different ways? Start with noodles.

And for one of the most popular foundations that can go with just about anything, stock up on rice. Don’t forget side dishes either, like mixed vegetables.

What’s better: following our student grocery list that’ll have you eating well and saving your bucks for date nights, or calling home and giving your mom a heart attack because her baby is malnourished? Yeah, we thought so.

You’ve got a lot on your plate, but one thing you won’t have to worry about is eating right and staying healthy and energized throughout your busy school year.