The most common dining hall delirium: enter, walk past the oatmeal, barely consider the salad bar, scan over the peas and carrots, avoid the smell of tilapia, return to the salad bar. It’s Monday and those curried chickpeas from last Friday are back, improvising as a Mediterranean side dish. You ask yourself: “What do I eat?”

I don’t know about you but I literally can’t eat another bowl of cereal again. For days like this, using the microwave and fridge in your room or lounge saves the day. When there’s just no time, no money, no patience, here are ten essential foods you should always keep in your dorm.

1. Nut Butter

dorm foods

Photo by Maggie Gorman

A versatile, staple college food. You’ve eaten it with fruit, toast, crackers and straight from the jar. It’s perfect at any time of day. Try it as a grilled panini like this or make a super easy frozen treat you can grab on the way to class.

 2. Granola Bars

dorm foods

Photo by Nicola Brooks

Granola bars are the ideal dorm room snack. You can buy them in bulk and take with you to the library or to class for a quick snack. However not all granola bars are created equally. Read up on the 5 best granola bars that are healthy and sure to shut your stomach up.

3. Fresh or frozen fruit

dorm foods

Photo by Alyssa Rosello

If you haven’t invested in a blender, you should. Fresh or frozen fruit can be easily made into a delicious smoothie you can quickly make and take on the go. If you’re feeling creative, chop up some fruit and toss it with nuts into a mixed green salad for the days you can’t make it to the cafeteria.

4. Yogurt

dorm foods

Photo by Lindsay Kuenzle

Plain Greek yogurt, simple vanilla, even dairy-free yogurt all makes for a great breakfast or post-workout snack with it’s high protein content. Yogurt can be nicely incorporated into mostly anything. Check out these unique ways to use greek yogurt.

5. Bread

Photo courtesy of James Ransom

This one can vary, because there are so many types. You have pita, sliced, ciabatta, tortilla the list goes on. Overall, bread is often a must for a super quick meal you should definitely always have stock of. With the obvious BLT and PBJ options aside, try playing with other ingredients you may have. Learn how to make a quick 2 minute breakfast sandwich here.

6. Eggs

dorm foods

Photo by Sarah Haselhorst

Ignore the voice inside your head that says you can’t cook because eggs will be your first culinary masterpiece. For a quick dorm room egg fix, make an egg scramble in the microwave. Eggcellent.

7. Fresh or frozen veggies

Photo by Hannah Morse

These don’t even need real cooking. Carrots for instance can last a long time and pair really well with any ranch or hummus you may have. You can even make a homemade microwaveable soup with some veggies and beans.

8. Boxed or Canned Soup

Photo by Keah Hansen

There always comes a day when you just want a hearty bowl of soup and a blanket. Even if it’s canned, a warm bowl of soup can make you feel better.

9. Nuts

dorm foods

photo by Alyssa Maccarrone

Trail mix, check. Yogurt topping? Check. From peanuts to almonds to walnuts to cashews, there’s a nut for everyone. Learn about different types here to choose the best one for you.

For more dorm tips, check out: