Ah, college, newfound freedom in almost every aspect of life except for your food choices, which are severely limited by the dining halls. While UberEats, Postmates, and Dallas's plethora of restaurants offers alternatives to the dining hall, no one's wallet or cholesterol wants that every night. So what option are you left with? Dorm room meals and snacks!

While you may be limited to just a communal microwave and a fridge, grocery shopping for a dorm room is essential. And if you're like me, you try to keep a general healthy stock (minus the occasional Fritos bag), so that when you are drunk splurging on a Zalat pizza at 2 am, you don't feel too bad, knowing you prepared your own salad for lunch that day. Here's a list for some dorm room essentials to keep in mind next time you hit the local Kroger.

For Your Mini Fridge:

1. Hummus

candy, sweet
Sterling Martin

I am literally obsessed with hummus. It can make anything taste good and it's a healthy alternative than cheesy queso for chips. Late at night, I like to pair it with pretzels or mini carrots for a more filling snack option.

2. Turkey

Lexi Nickens

If you're like me and the dining hall lunch meat grosses you out, buying deli meat at the grocery is a great alternative. If you pair it with pieces of cheese, you can make rollups for a carb-free healthy lunch.

3. Cheese

slices, pepper jack, cheese, milk, dairy product, dairy
Caroline Ingalls

I keep both cheese slices and cheese sticks in my room. The slices I use for a rollup if I need an on-the-go lunch, and cheese sticks are amazing to have on hand for a snack. 

4. Grapes

juice, gooseberry, berry, pasture, grape
Naib Mian

Grapes are a great snack too, I always find myself grabbing a cheese stick and a handful of them for an afternoon pick me up. I also like to put grapes in the freezer portion of my mini fridge for a frozen sweet alternative.

5. Egg Bowls

egg yolk, chicken, egg
Jocelyn Hsu

Perfect for when the omelette line is too long, and super easy to store in the freezer compartment. Warm it up in the microwave and enjoy a filling breakfast of cheese eggs, potatoes and meat to start your day.

6. Frozen Burritos

chocolate, candy, milk, sweet, milk chocolate, cream, chocolate bar
Gabby Cano

Sometimes the dining hall burritos are bleh and you already ate out three times yesterday...it happens. I keep frozen burritos on hand for when I just want to eat dinner in my room. I like Amy's Cheddar Cheese, Bean, and Rice burritos and Evol's Cilantro Lime Chicken burritos.

7. Salsa

Jade Goldstein

A staple that will jazz up frozen burritos or complement chips or crudités any day. 

For Your Snack Box or Food Storage Area

1. Almond Butter

Nut butter, Crunchy, almonds, spoonful, almond butter
Julia Gilman

The dining hall has peanut butter but is missing the creamy, salty goodness that is the slightly healthier— almond butter! I put it on apples or toast with banana for a snack or light breakfast.

2. Tortilla Chips

tortilla chips, cookie, corn, wheat, cracker
Katherine Baker

Everyone has a craving for a salty snack once in awhile, and tortilla chips with salsa or hummus is hard to beat. Blue corn tortilla chips add some color to your chips and salsa. 

3. Larabars

tea, chocolate, sweet
Isabel Burton

Larabars are perfect for when you don't have time to go to the Dining Hall before your 10 a.m., but you need something to tide you over. My favorite flavors are Coconut Creme Pie and Lemon Bar.

4. Trail Mix

raisin, cranberry, almond, nut
Tiare Brown

A must have for a quick yet filling snack. I love the options from Target's Archer Farms brand, my favorites including Cashew, Cranberry & Almond mix.

5. Popcorn

rice, popcorn, corn, wheat, cereal
Sara Carte

Literally the staple of college dorm room food. Microwave popcorn is perfect for salty cravings, a late night snack, something to split with your roomie, or for your Netflix/movie night. While Butter Lovers is definitely the tastiest, for a healthier option I keep Angie's Boom Chicka Pop in individual serving bags.

6. Barkthins Snacking Chocolate

candy, chocolate
Casey Carr

If you have a crazy sweet tooth like I do, you might be tempted to hit the vending machine and grab a Snickers bar. Barkthins snacking chocolate cures the sweet craving, while saving you major calories by minimizing your refined sugars. My favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate Coconut with Almonds.

7. Oatmeal/ Overnight Oats

Rolled oats, grain, handful of oats, handful, hands, barley, oatmeal, oat, pasture, corn, wheat, cereal
Jocelyn Hsu

Another great option for an on the go breakfast. I keep Oatmeal from Quaker's on hand in the form of Instant Oatmeal Cups and I recently got into Quaker's Overnight Oats. I use milk available in the dining hall to make both.

8. Easy Mac

yogurt, milk
Kai Huang

 Okay so Easy Mac on this list is kind of a splurge but I couldn't make a grocery list without it. It speaks for itself—affordable, EASY, fast and totally delicious. Check out this article for tips on how to spice up traditional Easy Mac.

Hopefully this list gives some guidance for your next grocery trip— or inspires you to embrace dorm room snacks and meals!