Most schools don’t have 5-star dining halls, so stocking up your mini fridge with food is essential for survival. This may mean some last-minute snacks, some quick dinner options, or even some small ways to get in those extra vitamins and minerals you may miss out on with your meal plan. Of course, many of us know how essential oatmeal, granola bars, nuts, and popcorn can be, but it is equally important to use your mini fridge in the most convenient and useful way. Here's how to stock you mini dorm fridge to help get you through the semester. 

1. Fresh Fruit

I cannot stress enough how great it can be to have fresh fruit in your dorm. You can have apples and bananas with peanut butter for a healthy and nourishing snack. You can also buy blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries to add to your yogurt or oatmeal and even grab some oranges or grapes to have on their own as a refreshing snack or as an addition to your lunches or dinners.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt has been a saving grace for me during my time in college thus far. Every morning, I have a single serving of Chobani mixed berry yogurt mixed with flax seeds, granola, and fresh fruit. This breakfast is a fast, filling, and refreshing way to start the day. I have also started to love Chobani flip cups that come in a variety of flavors like Peanut Butter Cup, Cookie Dough, S’mores, Red Velvet, and many more. They are light and delicious and great to curb that sweet treat craving.

3. Cheese

I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE cheese. When I am looking for a healthy, but dense snack my first choice is always cheddar cheese and crackers. I usually buy Cracker Barrel Cheese Sticks because I don’t have a sharp knife in my dorm room and can pull them apart to have small cubes of cheese with Ritz or Triscuits.

4. Perfect Bars

Last year, my friend introduced me to Perfect Bars, and I have been hooked ever since. If you haven’t heard of these, they are protein bars that are gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO and come in a variety of flavors including Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I don’t always love the flavor or texture of protein bars, but these are delicious and perfect before a big workout to give you energy and keep you full for a long period of time.

5. Dips

Since I always make sure to have a variety of salty snacks like pretzels, crackers, and rice cakes as well as fresh vegetables, I always make sure to purchase one or two dips to make my snacks a little more exciting. Two of my favorites are hummus and cream cheese. Generally, I love cream cheese with pretzels or bell peppers and hummus with carrots, crackers, and pretzels.

6. Fresh Veggies

Along with stocking up on fresh fruit, vegetables are also easy to store and great to give you an extra helping of nutrients and vitamins. Some grocery stores offer pre-cut vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and celery. Others only offer the vegetables whole so you may just have to cut and meal prep them to make it easier to grab them and go. I also always buy one or two avocados, which I enjoy eating with a little bit of seasoned salt, on plain rice cakes with everything but the bagel seasoning, or even bring to the dining hall to add to meals I eat there.

7. Drinks

A mini fridge is an excellent place for snacks, but also great for storing fun drinks too. Many college students tend to stock up on flavored seltzers, juices, single-use water bottles, and soda. These are all great on their own but also work well for people who are 21+ to use as mixers in alcoholic drinks.

8. Sweet Treat

Sweet treats are sometimes the only thing that brings me comfort on a stressful day of classes. I am a big chocolate girlie, so my fridge is ALWAYS stocked with a variety of different sweet treats whether it is Mallomars, Dove Dark Chocolate squares, Reese’s Take 5, Ice Cream (my mini fridge has a small freezer), or even Trader Joe’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

9. Milk

Sometimes when I am looking to change up my breakfast routine or enjoy a late-night sweet treat, I crave cereal, whether it is Honey Nut Cheerios, Coco Puffs, LIFE Cereal, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Therefore, milk is one of the essentials for me. However, I don’t always eat cereal, and normal cow's milk goes bad within a week so I choose to buy a smaller container of oat milk or almond milk. This way, I can have cereal when I want and I am not wasting any food.

10. Sabra Guacamole Singles

I discovered these in high school and absolutely fell in love. If you purchase a larger-sized container of guacamole it usually turns brown within 2-3 days, however with these Sabra Guacamole Singles you can have the perfect serving of guacamole and buy your own tortilla chips or vegetables to enjoy with them.