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Dorm Survival Guide: Kitchen Essentials

November 11, 2017

EasyUni Staff

Most dorms have either a meal plan or a cafeteria that serves everything from breakfast to dinner. However, these options aren't always available 24 hours. It is important to have your own supply of food or snacks in case you have a midnight craving.

Dorms are usually equipped with a small pantry or a kitchen. As we spoke about in our dorm cooking article, there are many blogs dedicated to helping students cook with limited equipment (say, a microwave or water kettle) and on a limited budget. Many of these recipes are also designed to help you plan meals in advance so that you can shop and cook in bulk, saving both time and money.

So, here is our guide on the basic kitchen essentials for living on campus.


Basic Kitchen Utensils

It is important to have your own set of dishes, like a plate, bowl, water bottle and cup; cutlery like fork, spoon, and knife are also good to have in stock. If you plan on cooking ahead, containers to store your meals are important to have on hand as well.

It is also important to have electronics such as a water kettle and a mini-fridge, especially if a communal one isn't available. Many pantries or kitchens are also equipped with a stove or electric stove. Along with these, you will probably require a frying pan or skillet, a soup pot, a few big stirring spoons and spatulas, a knife, and a chopping board. Other basic supplies include aluminium foil, cling wrap, zip lock bags, and boxes to store your dry/wet ingredients in.

Also remember, you will need a sponge and dish soap. It is crucial to keep your dishes clean and dry to avoid contaminating your food and getting sick!


The most important thing to remember with about shared residences is: label everything. It is important to label any food items or dishes you store in shared spaces. Alternatively, you can store these in your own room.

While storing stuff, keep things that are expiring or are used daily at places which are accessible. If you know that you only cook rice once every few weeks, store your rice cooker under your bed or on a high shelf where it won't take up prime space.



Whether you are cooking for yourself or not, it is important to have snacks around. While instant noodles and chips are joked about as college student staples, it is a good idea to have something healthy too. Keeping around bread and a bottle of jam or cheese spread can take care of breakfast. On days where you are in a rush, you can pack up a sandwich to bring to class. It is also a good idea to have some milk, tea, or coffee in your room. Other healthy, ready to eat, easy snacks ideas can include nuts, granola, cheeses, and fresh fruits.


Grocery Shopping

While going to get groceries, it is important to plan what you're going to buy. Impulsively shopping can be bad for both your budget and health. Even if you don't want to cook on a regular basis, do buy your snacks at the local grocery store. Not only do you get better prices, you will also know what you are getting for the entire week and not overspend on snacks.

A tip for grocery shopping is to have similar meals. If you are getting a bunch of eggs, don't just make scrambled eggs or an omelette. You could have boiled eggs or a fried egg with rice, or even meringues. By grouping meals together, like using mushrooms in your omelette for breakfast and fried rice for lunch, you will use up all your groceries, avoid wasting money, and eat healthier, fresher meals.

It also helps to plan your meals first, list out the ingredients you need, and then separate them by categories like fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, snacks, dressings, etc.

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