Whole Foods Market: a mecca for the health-obsessed, yuppies, those-with-a-real-job… and college kids? Yes, that’s right. If you shop carefully, $50 at Whole Foods Market can go a long way while staying healthy and delicious.

This is the first article of our brand new monthly series: How to Stock a Pantry at Whole Foods for Under $50, where each month we’ll stock up on groceries for students with all kinds of eating habits- ranging from vegetarians to meat-lovers to someone that’s gluten-free- and post recipes along with a grocery list. This week, our focus is on students without a kitchen in their dorm room (lookin’ at you, freshmen) or those who despise cooking.

Pro tips while shopping:

  • Everything 365 brand is cheaper. It tastes just as good, still meets Whole Foods Market quality standards, and will save you some extra cash.
  • Look out for deals and sales. Take advantage of the whole deal coupon book, and you can also access weekly Hot Deal coupons here.
  • Although Whole Foods Market may not seem like a bargain grocery store, some things are cheaper here than anywhere else. For a full list take a look at this article.

For a week of breakfasts, snacks, meals and desserts, you can get these items:

  1. 32 oz. of organic vanilla yogurt
  2. A package of elbow pasta
  3. Shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. Shredded cheddar cheese
  5. Tomato
  6. Four apples
  7. Bananas
  8. Jar of peanut butter
  9. Tortillas
  10. A package of pitas
  11. Hummus
  12. A bag of organic spinach
  13. Frozen mango fruit bars
  14. Old fashioned oats
  15. Frozen edamame
  16. Four KIND bars
  17. Jar of salsa
  18. Quart of milk
whole foods

Photograph by Rachel Weitzman

Now that you got your grub, you’re on your way to wholesome, healthy meals for the entire week:

Lazy breakfast

Overnight oats: oats+milk+fruit+cinnamon or sugar
Fill a mason jar or mug with oats ¾ full, then pour in the milk until it covers all the oats. Let it sit overnight, and top it off in the morning with bananas and cinnamon, apples and peanut butter or any other toppings of your liking. Check out more overnight oats recipes here.

Yogurt bowl: vanilla yogurt+bananas+cinnamon
For an added crunch, crush up a KIND bar and toss it in.

whole foods

Photograph by Rachel Weitzman

Snacks and study munchies

Bananas+peanut butter (roll this up into a tortilla if you’re really hungry or taking this on-the-go)
Apples+peanut butter (add a spoonful of yogurt to the peanut butter for a tangier dip)
Edamame+sea salt (or any seasoning you have)
KIND bars

The big meals

Oozy cheese quesadilla with salsa: two tortillas+shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese+salsa+spinach and tomato (optional)
Place one tortilla on a plate and generously sprinkle it evenly with both the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Add spinach and sliced tomato if you want, or skip ahead and put another tortilla on top of the cheese. Microwave for 50 seconds, and serve with salsa to dip on the side.

whole foods

Photograph by Rachel Weitzman

Hummus, spinach and tomato pita sandwich: hummus+sliced tomato+spinach+pita
Spread the hummus on the whole pita, and put the spinach and sliced tomato on one half of it. Fold the pita over, and bite in.

whole foods

Photograph by Rachel Weitzman

Mac ‘n cheese in a mug: large bowl or mug+elbow macaroni+water+splash of milk+shredded cheese
In a large bowl or mug (make sure it is a big one or it will boil over), put 1/3 cup elbow macaroni and 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring at 4 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute. Once the pasta is cooked, add a heaping 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar & mozzarella cheese and microwave it all again for 45 seconds, until the cheese is melted. Stir well, add a splash of milk and dive into your cheesy bowl.

Spinach salad: spinach+diced tomato+edamame+sliced apple+mozzarella cheese

Melted cheddar and apple sandwich: pita+thinly sliced apple+shredded cheese
Slice open the pita and fill with shredded cheddar (mozzarella works too). Microwave for 40 seconds. Let cool for a minute, then lay thinly sliced apple pieces on top of cheddar.

For the Sweet Tooth

Frozen mango bars

Frozen peanut butter yogurt banana bites: sliced banana+yogurt+peanut butter
Mix about 1 tbsp of peanut butter into 1 cup of vanilla yogurt. Using a fork, dip the banana into the mixture and freeze for an hour, like this.

Baked apple: one cored (peeling is optional) apple+cinnamon+ 1 ½ tablespoons sugar

whole foods

Photo by Sandy Huang

Place your apple in a bowl, and fill the hole with cinnamon and sugar (you can cut the core out with a knife). If you have raisins, maple syrup or nuts on hand they would go well with this too. Wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for five minutes. The bowl will be hot when you remove it from the microwave so be careful. Peel off the wrap, let the apple cool for five minutes and take a bite of delicious cinnamon-y apple goodness. Get another recipe here.

A huge thanks to Whole Foods Market for being a proud Spoon sponsor.