One thing about college that many people often overlook is the need to grocery shop. Sometimes, you really just don't want to go to the dining hall yet again, don't want to make a 20-minute drive to get food, or really just don't want to leave your room. This is where the dorm grocery list comes in handy.

Typically, shopping at home for yourself is a lot easier than shopping at school for yourself. At home you have a larger kitchen, a larger fridge (if you even have one at college), and an oven, stove, and microwave at your disposal for cooking. Plus, you have your parents credit cards to use and buy all the expensive things you wouldn't buy yourself.

This is why it is useful to have a dorm grocery list to reference when you're in need of food, or just stumbling to figure out what might be useful to have at your disposal in your dorm room. 

These are the top 10 essentials you'll need in your dorm room. 

1. Rice cakes 

Kelsey Coughlin

These fluffy and sometimes flavored cakes are a cheap staple in a college diet. Perfect for topping with just about anything, or eating plain, they're filling yet surprisingly low calorie. Make avocado toasts using these as a base, or your own variation on a PB&J.

2. Nut Butters

coffee, candy, dairy product, milk, cream, sweet, chocolate, peanut butter, spoon, jar
Caroline Ingalls

This pantry staple is filling as both a snack when just eaten plain on a spoon, or a full meal when spread on toast or rice cakes. For those allergic to peanuts, almond butter or cashew butter are just as tasty and filling as peanut butter, and make great toast toppings as well.

3. Popcorn 

cereal, wheat, corn, popcorn, rice
Sara Carte

There's nothing that goes together quite like popcorn and Netflix marathons. For those rainy days when you just can't get yourself out of bed and off your laptop, have some bags of popcorn on hand for a great snack that can be dressed up with different flavors. Plus, popcorn is notoriously cheap.

4. Protein/Snack bars 

Rachel Hartman

We've all been in the position where we've woken up 10 minutes before class starts with a growling stomach that your neighbors would notice if you show up without eating. This is where snack and protein bars come in handy. They're portable, easy, healthy, and can hold you over until you have time to eat a real meal.

5. Cereal

cereal, corn, milk, wheat, sweet, oatmeal cereal, cornflakes, cherrios, Bowl, spoon, oats, Gluten Free, breakfast
Caroline Ingalls

Take yourself back to childhood with boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Captain Crunch. Cereal is the perfect food to eat for breakfast in your dorm before class, or even to bring with you as a snack for those long lectures you'll probably endure. If you're feeling a change, try these cereal combinations that are sure to mix up your breakfast.

6. Chocolate 

chocolate, coffee, candy, sweet, milk chocolate, milk
Christin Urso

There are some things in life, such as a failing grade, a teacher's criticism, or just plain old exhaustion, that can only be made better by chocolate. College is full of these moments, so be sure to stock up on your favorite kind to make sure that you always have some on hand.

7. Chips & Pretzels

salsa, tomato, chili, vegetable, sauce, pepper, bread, Chip, Tortilla, dip
Caroline Ingalls

Just like you sometimes need sweet, you sometimes crave salty. Keep small bags of your favorite chips on hand to stop the urge to eat the entire bag at once, and buy some pretzels to help with the need for salty snacks that always comes around 1 am. 

If you have a fridge, buy some salsa or guac along with tortilla chips. The toppings will help fill you up so that you don't need as many chips, and blue corn tortilla chips are a lot healthier for you than you might think.

8. Hummus 

Dina Zaret

I am obsessed with hummus, and will go through a container a week. One of the healthier snacks on this menu, hummus is packed full of fiber and protein from the chickpeas that are the main ingredient in this dip, and hummus goes great with crackers, chips, veggies—pretty much anything you have on hand. There's even a thing such as chocolate hummus. 

9. Soup 

herb, garlic, broth, bread, vegetable, parsley, cream, soup, spoonful of soup, butternut squash, butternut squash soup
Julia Gilman

For me, soup reminds me of home, and gives me some cozy feelings when I curl up in bed with a steaming cup of soup. Luckily, most grocery stores sell cans of soup that can go in the microwave and can be eaten out of them safely, and heat up quickly. Stocking up on these can give you a full meal on those cold rainy days you can't leave your dorm. 

10. Cheese

cheese, milk, dairy product, dairy, cheddar
Amanda Shulman

Cheese should be its own food group, in my opinion. Not only is cheese a healthy snack by itself or on crackers, but it's also filled with protein and healthy fats. Plus, you can get surprisingly fancy with cheese and crackers. 

Now that you have this basic dorm grocery list, you can build off of it and make it your own with your favorite flavors, brands, and easy meals. Don't be afraid to try combinations that you may not have tried at home—college is all about experimentation.