College is a stressful experience, and setting your dorm up during orientation week is equally as stressful. You must navigate buying textbooks, making new friends, keeping up with your course load, and worrying about your future plans beyond college. You also have the additional stress of making your dorm feel like home while you're on campus for an extended period.
That said, it's vital to nourish your body while navigating these experiences by keeping snacks on hand whenever you get the late-night munchies. Luckily, this post will give you 7 new recommendations to add to your mini fridge that is accessible so you don't go hungry.
Pretzels are a great snack that can pair well with any dip, whether you're craving something sweet or salty. This snack is also great if you're looking for something plain. They are incredibly versatile, meaning you can choose different flavors and seasonings to go with them.
Pretzels are moderately low in calories and fat, plus you're getting fiber, iron, folate, and zinc with each handful you grab. They also contain some B vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. These vitamins can help your body convert food into the sugars it uses for energy.
This can help you get through the day while going around campus. Pretzels are easy to store without refrigeration, and they're a cheap snack costing only $3.69 for a 16 oz bag.
This is the stereotypical "broke college student" meal that almost everyone seems to get when they need food. Ramen is famous for being cheap, easy to make, and filling. They've earned that reputation for a reason, costing as little as $3.29 depending on the type and quantity of ramen you buy. However, there's more to the cheap soup than meets the eye.
Ramen is easily customizable for those who are sick of dining hall food and want to add something different to the classic chicken-flavored noodle soup. There are many variations of instant ramen ranging from miso-flavored ramen to tonkatsu-flavored ramen. No matter your mood, you can always count on ramen when you don't want to go out of your way to find a decent meal.
Maybe this isn't the healthiest snack, but at least you have something that can satisfy your sweet tooth while binge-watching your favorite shows instead of starting that term paper that's due soon. However, ice cream can be filled with something other than sugar and added syrups for those looking for a healthier option. There are healthier ice creams from brands such as Halo Top that serve a 16 fl oz pint for only $4.48. Did I mention that each pint is only 300 calories?
You could also go with the classics and buy Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry's for only $4.69 and $4.99. Ice cream has various flavors, brands, and textures. This means you have plenty of options to choose from. Plus, who doesn't like eating frozen dessert after a long day of lectures and maintaining a social life?
Granola is the healthier version of cereal if you don't want all the added sugars and preservatives. Granola is a snack that is amazing in any form: by itself, with milk, or in a bar. It's a snack that you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you don't feel like crawling toward your dining hall for the mediocre cereal options they offer.
Granola is a calorie-dense snack with iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. You can also get creative and make a fancy parfait by adding some granola to yogurt. This healthy snack comes in many flavors and is offered by many brands, such as Bear Naked Granola, for only $3.86.
Popcorn is a snack that can be used for any occasion but is most notoriously known as the go-to snack for movie/TV events. It doesn't matter where you are. Popcorn is usually the snack everyone takes to satisfy their salty cravings.
The best part is that you don't have to go to your communal microwave and make the entire floor smell like butter popcorn because pre-popped bags exist! Popcorn is a cheap snack ranging from $1 to $6 for small packages of microwaveable bags and pre-popped bags. Instead of spending an arm and leg going to the concession stands at the movie theater, just make your own movie in your dorm.
Rice cakes are the most underrated heroes of snack life. You could easily put any toppings you want and customize them to your liking. Put some raspberry and Nutella on these rice cakes, then bam! You have a sweet combination that satisfies your sweet cravings without turning to candy and other snacks.
You could also make savory combinations with rice cakes by adding cream cheese, smoked salmon, and everything bagel seasoning. You got yourself a makeshift lox bagel without the actual bread! They are also easy to store, low maintenance, and cheap.
They also don't go stale as quickly, so you can always access your rice cakes when you don't have anything else on hand. Plus, they're only $3.49 for a pack, so you don't have to break the bank trying to buy a snack.
Chips are one of the most popular snacks out there. It's also a staple for many households and college students looking for something easy to grab while studying for their upcoming midterms. There are thousands of brands and flavors ranging from the Classic Lays to Cheetos if you're craving something cheesy.
While chips are not the healthiest snack, they're easy and convenient. Sometimes your college's vending machines may not do you justice with the snack options they offer. Having chips on hand makes it easy to get the exact flavor you want without leaving the comfort of your dorm.
Plus, they are one of the cheapest snacks out there, ranging in prices from 50 cents to $25, depending on the number of chips you want to buy. Either way, who needs to bother searching for the nearest snack area when you have it readily available next to you?
Transitioning from home-cooked meals to college dining food can be a huge adjustment. It can be even harder to adjust if you're unlucky to get stuck in a dining hall with poor-quality food. This is why having snacks in your dorm is crucial for getting through those long study nights and impending deadlines. It doesn't matter what you're doing; just remember to nourish your body and eat well!