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Pounds over Promise: The Cycle of Diet Culture and New Years Resolutions

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Food sitting on a white plate on a table with a fork and knife beside it.

At the start of a new year, everyone wants to start fresh. A few new styles, some changes to the daily routine, and sometimes, a big resolution. A very popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. How to do it? There are answers everywhere! Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, there’s bound to be someone talking about a new diet they’re trying. Influencers have been infamous for peddling dangerous diets to fanbases of young women and girls. Even mothers are not free from their reach. Bloggers like lonijane on Instagram showed how her body looked before and after cheating on her vegan diet. The combination of New Year’s resolutions and these various diets is a recipe for disaster. Diet culture around the first month of the New Year is intense and even dangerous. 

What is “diet culture”? 

Diet culture is described as a desire to lose weight at all costs, and puts losing weight over wellbeing. It is a combination of advertisements and what the advertisements make us feel. The feelings of inferiority or discomfort with your body are precisely what the industry feeds off of. Whether it’s a new diet every week, or even directly associating worth with weight, it is hard to escape.

Especially around the start of the New Year, diet culture is pervasive. Even on January 1, it’s been shown that topics surrounding dieting and exercise spike in search volume. Some particularly cruel advertisements from gyms feed into a sense of inferiority and reap the profits. In 2017, about 10.8% of subscriptions to over 6,400 gyms happened in January. The nature of what a diet should be is also constantly changing: keto, juice cleanses, the baby food diet, paleo… reading through the advertisements is enough to give someone whiplash.

Impact of influencers on diet culture

The advertisements don’t only come from the corporations— or not directly. Influencers are a major way for corporations to boost their product. Ads are nothing new, but the personal nature of Instagram, where people will also post parts of their life, is something different. What’s especially worrisome is that these influencers often have a huge following of minors, intentionally or not. More than one-third of teenagers in Germany aged 14 to 17 deliberately seek out influencers. Over 84% of the content from female influencers is related to health, diet, and fitness. Attractive and uniform, they promote a singular way of living and looking. It’s easy and profitable for them to do it that way. The issue is that there are a wide variety of bodies that exist. There is no “one size fits all” for health. Allergies, chronic conditions, and genes are all important factors. 

An old newspaper clipping for the blitz diet.
Source

How might influencers impact young people later in life, girls especially, as they can closely control their diet? 

Guilty over existence

There are worries about “quarantine pounds”, as people have been stuck inside due to COVID-19. Nutritionists are worried that individuals will be more susceptible to weight loss advertisements. The guilt over quarantine pounds stack up, on top of the pre-existing guilt instilled by advertisements.

A poignant way that advertisers promote body shame is “before and after” shots. To show the efficacy of their product or program, diet companies will show the amount of weight lost after using their product. These pictures directly associate the “before” picture with bad or undesirable. People with these bodies are being shamed, and repeatedly seeing those images will have a lasting impression. Especially at the start of the year, when seeing one’s stomach after holiday meals, insecurity digs in. 

These insecurities start young, but it’s not only by influencers. A study of mother-daughter pairs showed that daughters of dieting moms would start dieting before they were eleven. Given how close-quartered people are during quarantine, it’s likely that children will pick up on their family’s habits. Recently, there have been movements to stop mentioning weight around children. Whether the discussion is about the child’s weight or the parent’s, the children pick up on the criticism. Even people who aren’t parents can have a lasting impression. “She said, as if talking to herself, ‘Pretty face… have you ever thought about trying to lose weight?’” wrote a NYT contributor on her teenage experience with a friend’s mother. These comments linger and dig in, and around the holidays, they are especially amplified. 

Hope for body positivity

Very recently, with stars like Lizzo proudly showing their nontraditional bodies, there has been an emphasis on accepting various looks. Plus-size models have made their ways onto catwalks and into major magazines, without necessarily acknowledging that they are plus size. YouTubers have made videos specifically showing how influencers may take their photos, so young girls may feel better about themselves. While the holidays are still bombarded with advertisements and commercials, there are still people reminding you of your worth.

An old newspaper clipping on how to lose weight in 30 days.
Source

Don’t feel ashamed for enjoying holiday food or eating more during winter! There’s a reason bears hibernate, and given the exhaustion of 2020, I think we all deserve it.

Wellness

10 Best Self Care Planners To Take Care of Your Health-The Ultimate Guide

If you are having a hard time finding self care in your life, check out these 10 best self care planners to take care of your health + wellness tips included.

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College girl writing in a notebook

This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure is long, but you can find it here.

Self-care is an oftentimes overlooked subject. In our busy, go-getter culture, we sometimes don’t think about how we’re doing physically, mentally, or emotionally.

With these awesome self-care planners, you’ll never forget that bath or the block of meditation you’ve set out for yourself out of your day.

Simply put, self-care matters. If we don’t care for ourselves, then no one else will. It is up to us as individuals to take good care of our mind, body, and heart.

If we don’t, we face consequences such as poor health, fatigue, and also chronic stress. There are many other reasons to take care of ourselves as well.

One of the biggest reasons for self-care is improving your mental health. If we don’t care for ourselves, we open ourselves up to super increased anxiety, stress, and depression.

There are many ways to practice self-care. Taking warm baths, getting a good night’s sleep, drinking lots of water, eating healthy meals, trying to reduce stress, listening to music, meditation, writing/journaling, reading, and taking time offline are included in this jam-packed list.

If you want to improve your self-care, then please read on!

10 Best Self-Care Planners

1. BLENDtw Self-Care Journal Printable

MOST POPULAR PICK
BLENDtw SELF-CARE JOURNAL PRINTABLE | WELLNESS PLANNER

This is the primo self-care planner! There are so many options and features to appreciate. This is the best option for those looking for a gorgeous, well-thought-out self-care planner.

The crème de la crème of this list is this banging self-care planner. With so many different features in a beautiful layout, you cannot go wrong with this self-care planner. The two front cover options are perfect for those wanting variety.

The personalized journal page is perfect for those who like to write about their day. The rituals page is good for those who want to keep track. And much, much more.

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Some of the top features of this planner include:

  • 2 Front Cover Options
  • Personalized Journal Page
  • Rituals Page
  • Trigger List
  • Health + Fitness Overview
  • Self-Care Routine Page
  • Daily Gratitude List
  • Medication Tracker
  • Pampering Checklist
  • Bucket List
  • Gratitude List

And much, much more! CHECK IT OUT HERE

2. Echor ‘End Of Day’ Wellness Journal

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • Mindfulness exercises including gratitude, affirmations and reflections with prompts
  • Instant mood enhancer
  • Sustainably sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Echor ‘End Of Day’ Wellness Journal, A5 Self Care Notebook - Practise nightly gratitude, reflections and affirmations for mental health and stress relief

This self-care planner includes mindfulness exercises, gratitude, affirmations, and reflections. There’s also an instant mood enhancer included.

The mindfulness exercises are among the best on this list. Also, the affirmations and reflections are top-notch.

The instant mood enhancer is unique to this planner and works great for those who want instantaneous mood enhancement. I would rate this as one of the best on this list.

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3. Self-Care Planner: A Self Care Journal to Develop Positive Thinking and Stay Healthy

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • Kindness planner, positive thinking, and soul stuff to foster deep reflection and to help you stay grounded, present, and in touch with yourself.
  • Sleep Tracker, routines, and workout to create the ultimate positive habit to add to your weekly routine.

Self Care Planner: A Self Care Journal to Develop Positive Thinking and Stay Healthy, Mental Health Journal, Habits Tracker and Recorder

This option includes a kindness planner, which is unique to the other options on this list. Kindness is not often talked about but is shown to decrease stress.

Positive thinking is another feature of this option. I really like the layout, as the kindness planner includes many tips and tricks along the way.

The sleep tracker is important for many, as many don’t get enough sleep. The workout planner is also very cool, sleek, and looks great.

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4. 2022 Amy Knapp’s The Very Busy Planner

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • Four planner sticker sheets with over 250 stickers and reminders to decorate your planner
  • Four large designed stickers to personalize the cover
  • 6″ x 8″ trim size with wire-o double spiral binding for easy, lay-flat writing
  • Environmentally responsible, FSC certified, and smudge-free paper

2022 Amy Knapp's The Very Busy Planner: 17-Month Weekly Self-Care Organizer for Women with Stickers (Amy Knapp's Plan Your Life Calendars)

This self-care planner has some great features. Included in it are tons of beautiful stickers. If you love stickers, then this is the option for you.

I can’t get over the brilliant stickers in this planner. I am a sticker lover, and there are just so many options of what to do with them.

You can have fun with the stickers while working on your personal health.

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5. Unfuck Your Shit: A 2021 Mental Health Planner & Workbook

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • Monthly Calendar View
  • Monthly Dividers: Beautiful Floral Design
  • Monthly Snapshots: Keep Track of Monthly Goals, Monthly Tasks, and More
  • Weekly Mental Health Assessment

Unfuck Your Shit: A 2021 Mental Health Planner & Workbook: Mental Health Planner 2021 - Sweary Planner 2021 - Self Care Planner 2021 - Anxiety Planner ... Gifts For Women - Mental Health Workbook

By the name alone, this is the easiest-going option. You also get fantastic illustrations, as well as monthly snapshots and weekly mental health assessments.

The monthly snapshots really put your health progress into perspective. You can literally see your results in real time.

The weekly mental health assessment is better than most of the others on this list. I also really like the monthly calendar view. It looks really good. This is all around a great planner.

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6. Erin Condren Petite Planner Self Care Journal

Some of the top features of this product include spreads that help you with:

  • Stress Management
  • Mood Monitoring
  • Sleep Tracking

Erin Condren Petite Planner Self Care Journal, Mood Log, Sleep Log, Daily Intentional Setting, and Progress. Includes Inspirational Quotes and Functional Stickers

This self-care planner is the best for stress management. It offers guided steps to better handle your stress, as well as mood monitoring and sleep tracking. The sleep tracking is next-level in this planner. I also like the mood monitoring function, which is nearly unique compared to the rest on this list.

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7. Bliss Collections Daily Planner

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • 50 High-quality Sheets.
  • MADE IN USA
  • High-Quality Paper

Bliss Collections Daily Planner with 50 Undated 6 x 9" Tear-Off Sheets - Simple Pink Self-Care Calendar, Organizer, Scheduler, Productivity Tracker for Organizing Goals, Tasks, Not...

This is the most organized of the options available. You can find beauty, elegance, as well as a well-organized template in this self-care planner. This is the simplest of the planners included in this list. If you’re looking for a well-thought-out booklet, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for simplicity, this is perfect for you.

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8. Self-Care: A Day and Night Reflection Journal

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • Delicate Illustrations
  • Encourages the Cultivation of Mindfulness
  • Acid-free Paper

Self-Care: A Day and Night Reflection Journal (90 Days) (Inner World)

This is the most beautiful of the options in this list. Gorgeous illustrations shine in this small booklet. It also features mindfulness quotes all throughout, which can help to keep you grounded.

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9. One Day at a Time: A Guided Journal

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • Anxiety Trackers
  • Self-care Checklists
  • Food Diaries
  • The Perfect Blank Journal for Writing In

One Day at a Time: a guided journal for mindfulness, self-care, and organization (in jade floral)

This journal is perfect if you’re looking for a blank/guided booklet for your thoughts. This journal features so many good things. I’ve listed most of the features above. If you’re looking for a good blank journal, this is for you.

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10. The Self-Care Planner by Simple Self

Some of the top features of this product include:

  • MADE IN USA
  • Blush Colored
  • Meal-Planning, Fitness-Planning
  • Helps Beat Stress
  • Luxury Features

The Self-Care Planner by Simple Self - Best Daily Life Planner for Wellness, Achieving Goals, Health, Happiness - Productivity, Gratitude, Meals, Fitness - Undated Spiral 6-Month (Blush, Daily)

This planner is good because it has so many customizable features. You can do many things with it, and it doesn’t need to be solely for self-care.

The blush color is perfect for those who want a more feminine style planner. The meal-planning feature included provides a more advanced planning system compared to the rest on this list.

BUY IN AMAZON

Related:  New Year’s Resolution Ideas: 100 SMART Goals To Improve Your Life

 10 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

1. Take Warm Baths 

This is one of my personal all-time favorites. Taking a warm bath eases muscle tightness, provides hydrotherapy, as well as relieves stress.

Warm baths help alleviate muscle and joint soreness as well. You can even add scented Epsom salts to your baths, which provides further therapy to the body through scent and nutrients.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep 

Another top way to practice self-care is to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep not only recharges our brains and bodies but can also do wonders for our mood.

Other top reasons you should get those Z’s are a healthier heart, slimmer waistline, improved concentration, as well as improved athletic performance.

3. Drink Lots of Water 

You’ve heard it from the experts, and you’ve heard it from your friends. Drink. Enough.Water. Drinking 8 ounces of water per day improves athletic performance, improves brain function, aids in weight loss, and can also help prevent kidney stones.

The bottom line is, water is your friend. Drinking 8 ounces a day, especially if you exercise or live in high heat, is important for your health.

4. Eat Healthy Meals

Eating healthy meals, at least part of the time, can help your mind, body, and emotional health so, so much. Some of the top reasons are improved heart function, better sleep, adequate weight, and decreased cancer risk.

Studies have shown that eating healthy can improve your life in many ways. So, perhaps incorporate a healthy meal into your diet? It can definitely aid in your well-being.

5. Try to Reduce Stress 

Chronic stress has been shown to decrease heart health, as well as lead to increased risk of cancer, amongst other huge bodily problems.

Some ways to reduce stress include eating healthier, getting good sleep, taking warm baths, laughing, and also exercising. Try to double up on your warm baths, laugh at a movie, sleep that extra 15 minutes. Your health is worth it.

6. Listen to Music 

Listening to your favorite music can decrease stress, increase personal happiness, and lower blood pressure.

There is nothing quite like music, and the health benefits show this markedly. So, load up on some Beethoven or Cardi B, and get jamming

7. Meditate

 You don’t need to be a monk to meditate. Everyone can take a few minutes out of their day to sit down and relax. If you can’t get into the full-meditation mode, you can also just sit and think.

This is a personal favorite of mine, as it allows me a moment to reflect on what I’ve done and what else I need to do during the day.

8. Writing/Journaling

My all-time favorite on this list is writing/journaling. Sitting down to scrawl a few notes on how you feel can bring so much joy, and oftentimes, stress relief. I personally like to write poems, but you don’t need to be a poet to engage in this healing activity.

It doesn’t even need to be a paper journal–you can do it on your iPhone. Benefits include reduced stress and improved writing skills.

9. Read

Playing off of Number 8, you can also read. You can read Facebook posts, books, brochures–whatever makes you happy.

Studies show that those who read have improved happiness, less stress, and higher reading comprehension.

10. Take Time Offline

Taking time offline can prove to be your best friend. Being logged on to several social media networks can increase stress and fatigue, as well as hypertension.

It’s important to take breaks and limit one’s interaction with the digital world.

Related: How to Help Yourself or Someone When Having An Anxiety or Panic Attack

Final Thoughts

All in all, self-care is a vital part of our lives. If we incorporate self-care into our lives, we will notice significant positive changes.

Self-care not only provides shelter from life’s many obstacles, but it also improves the way we look at life as a whole.

The self-care planners above can help in many ways to keep you on track for your self-care goals. One of the biggest reasons for self-care is improving your mental health.

If we don’t care for ourselves, we open ourselves up to super increased anxiety, stress, and depression.

These alone can take their toll on our bodies and emotions. The gift of self-care can oftentimes be elusive, as caring for ourselves is sometimes pushed aside in our culture due to demands for hyper-productivity.

If you take the time out of your day to focus on self-care, you will notice markedly improved focus, health, and feelings of well-being.

Disclaimer: Self-care was practiced by the writer during the writing of this article.

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Wellness

Bullet Journal Ideas – The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Are you trying to start bullet journaling, but don’t know how to begin? We’ve got you covered! Check out these essential bullet journal ideas that will help you get started journaling.

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College girl writing in a bullet journal smiling

This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to bullet journaling, so hopefully, you can be your most productive and organized self without feeling stressed. 

This guide is a one-stop shop for what a bullet journal really is, what it consists of, and most importantly, a myriad of bullet journal ideas to get those productive creative juices flowing! 

Before you get started on your bullet journal journey, it’s important to know that what makes a bullet journal different from other journals is that there are little dots on every page that help you draw straight lines and create incredibly organized plans for yourself. 

If you’re having trouble finding a bullet journal and just don’t know where to start, here is a link to one on Amazon with a great rating!

What I love so much about bullet journals is that the possibilities are endless.

While I break these down into more categories throughout the article, here are just a few of my favorite general bullet journal ideas that I hope will keep you motivated to keep up with it.

What is a Bullet Journal?

This is probably the hardest question to answer about bullet journaling because honestly, it’s whatever you need it to be! It can be used as an everyday planner, a way to track habits and practice mindfulness, or even a kind of personal diary that isn’t just writing pages and pages of thoughts. 

In essence, you take a bullet journal and decide what you need help with keeping track of in your life. If I were going to create a bullet journal, I would have each month start with a general calendar of big events (weddings, doctors’ appointments, tests) and then have a week-by-week planner as well for smaller things (homework assignments, meetings). 

But the best thing about a bullet journal is it can be so much more than just a planner. I would add other pages each month that track how much water I drink, how much money I’ve spent, how many pages of a book I’ve read, or how much sleep I get! 

Even more than that, it can be a way to help you meditate and practice mindfulness. I would probably include a log for tracking how often I practice breathing exercises, take a walk outside, or practice some form of self-care.

I’ve also seen a lot of bullet journals where people track their emotions – certain feelings that might come up during the day so that they can look back and see that even if one day kind of sucked, the next day is always full of possibilities! 

I know, I know… it might still seem overwhelming, and if there are so many things you can add to a bullet journal to track, where to start?

Keep reading for more ideas!

Key Bullet Journal Ideas for Beginners

A common misconception about bullet journals is that they need to be super elegant and fancy, which just isn’t true – those are just the ones that everyone loves to show off! What’s important to keep in mind as a beginner, is it’s much more about creating habits, finding ways to help productivity, and helping to hold yourself accountable than how good your artistic skills are. However, if you are super artsy and have a beautifully crafted bullet journal, there is also nothing wrong with that (and I am jealous of your artistic ability)! 

I think one of the easiest bullet journal ideas for beginners is keeping track of your day-to-day schedule. Creating boxes where you can write down all that you have to do that day can help you visualize the day – one of my best friends even organizes hers down to the hour to help keep herself on schedule. 

Another easy bullet journal idea for someone wanting to start is picking some habits that you want to implement into your everyday routine, like working out, cooking, yoga, meditation, reading – and tracking how often you are able to do them. I love this option because I think it helps you hold yourself accountable when you want to be able to check off that day!

Tips on How To Start Your Bullet Journal

  • First, pick a theme! A big theme you will see throughout this post is floral patterns and that’s because I think a lot of people see flowers as pretty and captivating.
  • Keeping your pages nice, even if you’re not an artist, and picking a theme you enjoy will make bullet journaling a more fun experience.

  • Another option for a theme that comes to mind is making it about your favorite TV show or movie.
  • In terms of what kinds of things to include in your bullet journal, a great thing to start off with is long term goals

  • Find quotes for each page or draw pictures that remind you of the characters.
  • If you’re more on the minimalist side or just get frustrated with art projects, then just pick a color palette that you enjoy or even just a few colors you like to keep a theme going, like in this one from @lqbujo, which can help make things visually appealing enough to make you want to go back without bullet journaling becoming a daunting and stressful art project.
  • Another option I think is super beneficial, especially when you’re first getting started, is having a day-to-day checklist of things you want to get done.
  • I think having different activities, assignments, or even chores that you want to complete on a certain day can help make things look less intimidating daily.
  • Keep in mind as you keep reading that I couldn’t find an example for every idea, so just let your imagination run wild and find ways to organize your life in ways that are best suitable for you – everyone is different!

In this Post:

You can break these down into different categories like in the picture, or you can just pick long term goals (maybe one for each month, or every three if that is too intimidating) and that can be one of the first things you look to when you first open your journal.

General categories

Personal

1. Favorite memories

I love this idea from @dark_sunlight on Instagram because it makes your bullet journal a place full of positivity. At the end of every month or year, you can look back on all the moments you wanted to remember.

2. Big events coming up in your life – weddings, parties, job interviews, etc.

3. Wishlist of things you either want to achieve, to buy, to get for others.

4. An “end of day” release – a place to write a few sentences, or pages if you need, about how you are feeling in that moment.

5. A birthday calendar by month! This way, you’ll never have to rely on social media stories and posts to remember someone’s birthday.

Hobby

1. A list of shows and movies you want to watch that you can check off as you go to make sure you don’t accidentally start something twice.

2. If you are trying to take up knitting, keep a chart of how many stitches you can knit a day.

3. Maybe you enjoy cooking as a hobby…make a list of recipes you want to try and keep 1-5-star reviews of them to know whether you would make them in the future.

4. Exercising is a hobby that SO many people enjoy, so trying to keep a chart of all the different kinds of exercises you do and write them down daily so you can always mix things up.

5. I think learning a new language can be an incredibly fun and challenging hobby. If it’s something you’re interested in, keep a log of how long you spent working on learning that new language daily and maybe even add a fun word you learned while studying!

Related: 130 Most Amazing Motivational Study Quotes – The Ultimate Guide

Physical and Mental Health

1. Monthly Exercise Log

Keep a log of how many times a month you exercise! It’s a great way to see your achievements right in front of you. If you are someone who wants to be able to cross out every day, it’s an awesome way to encourage you to do so.

2. Exercise Time Log

Alternatively, if you are regimented about working out (almost) daily, write down how long you work out.

3. Mood Tracker!

My absolute favorite mental health log in bullet journals is a mood tracker. There are tons of different ways to design them or split them up (weekly, monthly, or the entire year) but I think picking your most common emotions, giving them a specific color, and coloring how you felt that day using the corresponding color is a great way of keeping track of how you’re doing.

4. Meditation

A meditation tracker, as well, is super helpful in my opinion, because being able to check off that you took time to relax and just breathe will make you feel so accomplished. It’s a great way to make sure you are taking time to settle in with yourself!

5. Drink Up

Water intake logs are also great for both physical and mental health. Writing down how many cups, ounces, or maybe even gallons of water you drink in a day can help hold you accountable and keep yourself hydrated!

Travel

1. Packing! List!

A packing list, in my opinion, is the most important necessity when traveling. If you have an upcoming trip, dedicate a whole part of your bullet journal to making sure you don’t forget anything!

Just remember to write everything down twice – once for when you’re leaving, and once for when you’re returning, to make sure you don’t leave anything there, either!

2. Bucket List or To-Do List

If you’re a planner like me, make a bucket list of things you want to do while you’re there. Investigate if places you want to visit have cheaper or free entry days and write all that info down.

Check out restaurants you might want to go to and see if they need reservations; it’s more work upfront, but it can make the actual vacation part of vacation a lot more relaxing when it’s Monday at 5 and you’re not trying to figure out what restaurants are near you.

@everydaybulletjournal has a great example of a bucket list on their page that you could easily turn into a vacation destination bucket list!

3. Places You’ve Been

Keep a travel log of places you’ve been and when you visited them. It sounds simple, but it can be so amazing to look back and think “wow, I really did that!”

Also, if you’re horrible at remembering when you went to certain places, it will help jog your memory.

4. Places You Want to Go

Kind of like a goal list, find a way to incorporate pages of places you want to visit. I think it would be so exciting to see the places you want to visit become places you’ve visited in your logs.

Home

1. Laundry, Laundry, and More Laundry

Track how many times a week you do laundry. It sounds simple, but I promise it is a great bullet journal idea.

I can never remember the last time I did laundry or the last time I washed a pair of jeans (you aren’t supposed to wash them after every wear, but you should wash them eventually!!).

Keeping a log of when you wash clothes, towels, sheets, and anything else you may need to wash can also help keep you organized without having to keep everything straight in your head.

2. Cooking In vs Eating Out

Log what days you want to cook versus what days you want to eat out. I know that it’s so easy to just decide “I don’t want to cook today,” but then that happens 4 days in a row and you’re spending money like crazy.

Add a monthly log and write down what days you want to eat at home and what days you want to eat out. If you have something big happening on Tuesday and you know you won’t want to cook, plan that day as an eating-out day!

3. Bed-Making Tracker

Making your bed every day can be a great way to get moving each morning. If it’s hard to get yourself to do it, though, try making this a little victory by crossing it off in your journal.

It’s a great bullet journaling idea to help keep you motivated and start the day off right.

4. Cleanliness Log

Keep a log of which rooms in the house you clean on which days.

My roommates and I have a modified version of this where we keep a calendar in our kitchen that lists what chores need to be done in each room and what days someone cleans them.

This is super easy to transfer into a bullet journal and it’s great for keeping a reminder on the last time you cleaned your floors!

College Life Categories

Finances

1. Income Tracker

If you’re like me and have a job where the income changes (i.e., you pick up/drop hours some weeks and the paycheck is never the same), keep an income log on either a weekly or bi-weekly basis (depending on when you get paid).

This log is a great way to keep track of your money and how much you are saving.

2. Spending Tracker

What I love about this bullet journal idea is that it’s extremely helpful. When I log onto my bank app, I see that I spent X amount of money at this place, but I don’t exactly remember all that I got to make it add up to that.

Keep your receipts and make a list of what you bought and how much everything was (including tax) so that when you realize you have more or less money than you were expecting, you can go look at what exactly you spent without having to keep a million receipts.

If you’re having trouble picturing what this would look like, @everydaybulletjournal has a great example of how to set up a spending tracker!

3. Bills

Logging your bills and when they are due can help you make sure that you never miss a payment. If you’re living on your own for the first time, all the bills start to get overwhelming (me currently).

Being able to check off when you’ve paid a bill, what it was for, and how much it was can really help keep your finances in order.

4. General Finances

Think of this one as kind of a general page combining an income tracker and your bills.

Keeping a log of how much you have in your account at the beginning of each month and then figuring in how much you will spend on bills will help you predict how much money you need to budget each month.

This way, you have a way to see how much you are saving.

You can check in each day or week with how much money you have and keep making sure that you have enough to pay whatever is necessary, while also leaving some to make sure you can enjoy dinner out with friends or something.

5. Finance Goal (Monthly or Yearly)

Now, what would a bullet journal be without some overall goals! Making a log for how much money you want to have saved at the end of each month, and ultimately at the end of the year, can help make sure that you are prioritizing your savings.

Maybe you want to save up for a vacation or buying something expensive for yourself, or maybe you just want to save!

Making long-term goals for yourself and keeping track of whether you’re meeting those goals will help you be more financially responsible, making this one of my favorite bullet journal ideas.

Meals

1. Recipe Tracker

I know my biggest problem with cooking for myself is coming up with ideas. I always see things on TikTok and then forget they exist.

Keep a log of meals you want to try each month, and what ingredients go in each. This way, you can see what you want to cook and keep track of it, and @everydaybulletjournal has an amazing way of setting this up!

Alternatively, just write down a running list of meal ideas that you want to try and cross them off as you try them

2. Weekly Meal Plan

For me, organizing what I want to eat every week helps make me feel less overwhelmed when deciding what to eat for dinner. Keep a log of what you’re going to eat each day and maybe even give yourself a little idea of how long it’ll take to make it, so you know when to start.

An example of how to do this is the photo posted by @fransbujo on Instagram, but instead of writing what you’re doing that week as she does, write in what you’re going to eat!

3. Grocery List

So, now you have all these ideas and meal plans, but no idea what to get from the store. Make a list! Keep a list of necessities you may need (flour, sugar, eggs, etc.) and then what you will need to make each meal.

Then, you can color code items that overlap and just make sure you get extra of that – if you’re making two meals with chicken, then you will need to get two meals’ worth!

4. Favorite Foods

This one is probably my favorite because I just think it sounds so fun.

With every meal you make, whether it’s new or something you’ve made for years, give it a score, and write down what you like about it, just like @dark_sunlight. Maybe even write down what you would do differently next time!

That way, when you’re in a pinch and don’t know what you want to make but don’t want to come up with new ideas, you can see what worked and what didn’t… and why!

Related: 110 Most Uplifting Self-Care Quotes To Transform Your Life Today

Studying & Homework

1. Writing Schedule Log

As someone who writes a lot in college, I think this is probably the most useful. Keep a log of how many pages you want to write each day for a long paper or even shorter assignments.

Then, keep a log under that of how many pages you wrote. While the goal is always to write the desired pages or more, it’ll help keep you on a set schedule to know how long it will take you to write X number of pages by the due date

2. Class Assignment Log

This example is probably one of my favorites for a bullet journal log idea. It’s from @dark_sunlight on Instagram, and I love the way she’s set up her productivity. In place of “planning,” or “editing,” you would just write the name of each class you’re taking a give it a symbol.

From there, you can keep track of when you study which subjects depending on your workload that week.

3. Logged Study Hours

This one is a bit more general but just try keeping a log of how many hours you spend studying on each subject.

If you have a big test coming up, mimic the writing log and write down how many hours of study time you want to dedicate to just that one subject, and change the others accordingly.

I bet you will find that you spend way more time studying than you maybe think you do.

4. Homework Organizer

This one from @lifeismessyandbrilliant is both pretty and functional – and not too intricate in its design!

Try organizing your homework by using one color to mark what days you want to work on each assignment and then another (probably bold) color for when that homework is due.

That strategy can also be helpful for bigger assignments because not only are you writing down when it is due, but you are making time most days, if not every, to work on getting it finished.

Cleaning

1. Daily Cleaning Tasks

One thing I’ve realized since living in college is that there are certain chores that are just easier to do every day, but are also annoying to have to do every day.

The biggest one – the dishes. I lived for the first week in my apartment not doing dishes every day and it was honestly just a mess.

However, I also had a hard time wanting to do them every day, and it just became exhausting.

I think if I had a bullet journal, this would be the top chore I would write down to do every day because it makes such a difference waking up and not having a pile of plates in the sink.

You could use an example like this one from @lqbujo but instead of writing everything that needs to get done that day, just dedicate that page to writing what chores need to get done.

But you may also have other daily cleaning things you want to do – like making your bed or taking out the trash if you’re in a dorm room and don’t want your room to smell like food that you may throw away.

Adding a bullet journal log dedicated to daily cleaning tasks that you can check off as finished will not only keep your space clean, but will also make you feel accomplished at the end of each day.

2. Zone Cleaner Organizer

Other times, though, there are cleaning tasks that don’t need to be done every day but do eventually have to get done – like dusting, vacuuming, laundry, and the dreaded bathroom.

Group each place in your room into a “zone”, like bathroom, bedroom, closet, common areas (if you have them) and figure out what cleaning tasks need to be completed in that zone.

Every other week, pick a zone that needs to be cleaned. A great example of this can be seen from @coffeelover0524 on Instagram.

This way, you may be cleaning a zone every week, but you don’t have to clean everything at once, which for me is very overwhelming and exhausting – meaning, I don’t clean to my fullest, I just sort of make everything appear clean.

If you have roommates, write down which person cleans which zone that week so that you take turns. Keeping track of that kind of thing will only help you avoid tense roommate situations and a messy room, so it’s a win-win if you ask me.

3. Laundry Days

If you’re going to use any bullet journal idea from this section, I suggest this one. If you’re living in a residence hall, odds are there are going to be a lot of people needing to do their laundry.

Early on, try doing your laundry on different days and at different times. Keep track of which days and which times had more washers and dryers available.

I know it seems tedious, but you have no idea how many times I lugged my laundry into the laundry room only to find all the washers were taken.

Humans tend to be creatures of habit, though, and usually will try to do their laundry around the same time each week because that is when they don’t have class, or something.

Find a time that not only works for you and your schedule but also isn’t crammed with people.

Also! Keep track of how much laundry detergent and everything you have, the last time you washed your bath towels, your sheets, if you separate your lights and darks maybe don’t do them at the same time and keep track of what days you cleaned different clothes…it’s up to you!

Related: 30 Effective Study Motivation Tips – The Ultimate Guide

Essentials

1. Sports Reminders

There are probably a lot of big things you don’t want to miss in college. One of those, for me, is sporting events.

While this could only mean Homecoming for some people, maybe you want to try to go see football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, or any other sporting even your friends might compete in.

Try to keep a calendar solely dedicated to sporting events you may want to go to each month to make sure you never miss out on something!

2. Exam Days

Probably the most important tracker to have for your bullet journal during college.

While I think having something that shows what days you have exams or big papers/projects does help, I would also make sure that you have a system for writing down when you are going to study for those things or work on the projects.

@fransbujo on Instagram shows a great example of a beautiful calendar, and you can add in whatever information you need!

That way, not only do you have the actual reminder for what’s coming up, but you also have a plan of attack to get things done.

3. Greek Life Events

Whether you’re thinking about rushing and want to go to Greek Life events to see what they’re like, or you’re involved in Greek Life and need to remember to go to things, I would recommend having a log of when the events are, what house it’s for, if you’ll need money, etc.

Especially if you’re thinking about rushing or planning on rushing, I would suggest dedicating an entire log to just things recruitment related – the dates, if there is a dress code, your schedule for each day.

With that, make sure to document how you’re feeling with each day as part of the process if you’re going through recruitment. Setting some space in your bullet journal to let out your feelings and reflect is a great idea during a super stressful time.

4. Three Good Things from Each Day

College goes by fast (I say, as I’m in my last semester). At the end of each day, even if it is just a sentence or one word, write down three good things that happened.

It can be so easy to gloss over little moments when you’re stressed or overwhelmed with school. However, my favorite part of bullet journals is that they can also help you practice gratitude and practice slowing down.

Or maybe, use @everydaybulletjournal as an example and make a gratitude log. Whatever helps you remember the good times!

Move-In

1. Countdown to the Day

Having a countdown calendar to when you move in can really put things in perspective. On your tracker, put days that you want to have certain tasks done by.

For example, if you move in on the 14th of August, you want to wash all your sheets and bedding on the 11th before you pack them to make sure they’re clean when you get there.

2. To-Do List

While you could put your to-do list and calendar together, my brain would feel overloaded by all the information.

Adding big things to your calendar (like “pack all your clothes today”) and smaller things on your to-do list (like “buy bathroom essentials”) can help make sure you’re getting everything you need to finish without making it feel overwhelming.

Using the example from @dark_sunlight, you could fill in what needs to be done on which days leading up to move-in, so you make sure you have everything ready to go!

3. Packing List Organizer

THIS! When I moved in, I had boxes everywhere and absolutely no idea what was in them. PLEASE make a part of your bullet journal dedicated to what boxes have what in them.

Making this part of your journal instead of just a random list somewhere (that you are more likely to use on instinct) is smart because if you’re into bullet journaling or are trying to hold yourself accountable, it ensures that you will put in the work to get organized.

Write down what every box has in them and then NUMBER THE BOXES! As you unpack, check off everything you pull out of the box, so you can make sure that everything you wanted is there.

That way, you realize sooner if you forgot to pack something instead of waiting until it’s storming to realize that you did, in fact, forget to pack rain boots.

Related: 90 Most Beautiful Good Girl Quotes – The Ultimate Guide

Dorm

1. Dorm Room Necessities

Even after you move into college and feel “settled” after move-in, there will always be things that you will need. Whether it’s trash bags or forks, make a running list of things you need to get every time you make a Target run.

That way, you have a place where everything stays organized that you can look to instead of having a billion reminders on your phone (like I once did) and forgetting something in the end (again, I’ve been there).

2. College Life Event Reminders

During my first year of college, I simultaneously felt like I never knew when things were happening and that I had to go to everything all the time.

There can be a lot going on all at once, but organizing it like @dark_sunlight can really help you see what all is happening instead of trying to keep it straight in your head.

Keep a calendar specifically for events put on by your university that you 100% want to go to.

Whether those are residence hall events, roommate mixers, resident assistant meetings, or move-out dates, an event log will help ensure that you never miss something you want to attend.

3. Bathroom Essentials

Arguably one of the most important places in a dorm room. Make sure to keep a tracker of bathroom necessities that you are running low on. Do you have soap? Toilet paper?

On top of that, if you have roommates, make sure in your tracker to write down who supplied what so that not only one person is paying for everything – especially if everyone uses it.

4. Dining Hall Meal Menu Days You Like

If your university is like mine, they repeat certain meal days – like Tender Tuesdays or Fajita Fridays. If they make a weekly or monthly calendar available, make a list of days that you for sure like so you know when they are coming.

Also, different dining halls may offer different things on different days, so make sure to keep track of everything you like so you don’t show up to the dining hall one day and use a meal swipe only to end up ordering food anyways.

It would be super fun if you followed a theme example like @everydaybulletjournal does here and then fill in the days with what meals are being served!

5. Favorite Dining Hall Meal Tracker

I know, I know! Another “favorite”! But really, these are my favorite kind of bullet journal logs. Rate the meals you like instead of just writing down the days they will be served at your dining hall.

That way, if you see something and you know you’ve had it, but you just can’t remember if you liked it, you have the answer right in front of you!

Self-Care

1. Habit Tracker

This habit tracker from @lqbujo is a great example of how to make sure you are practicing healthy habits in college.

While this user has 9 habits that they track, maybe just pick a few to start if you’re new to bullet journaling.

A good idea is to include a habit you already have down solid, like maybe drinking a good amount of water, and then picking other habits you want to work on, like fitness.

Once you’ve mastered one habit, add another. The beauty of a bullet journal is that you can always go back and change things to make it fit your life in the best way possible.

2. Sleep Tracker

Another great log from @lqbujo is their sleep tracker. I think it’s a universal experience in college to lose a little bit of sleep occasionally, but I also think it’s a good idea to track your sleep to make sure you are getting enough rest overall.

3. Inspiration

Every great bullet journal needs to be personalized. A great idea, in my opinion, is to start your “self-care” section with some words of encouragement.

It is easy to lose yourself a bit when things get overwhelming. It might sound cheesy but finding images or quotes that inspire you can only help you keep going.

4. General Health

I think this example from @dark_sunlight is great for college students because you can track your overall health to make sure that you are prioritizing yourself.

While she has sections like “sleep”, which could very well be its own log, I would start by choosing things that are important for you to track.

Did you take your medicine in the morning? At night? Did you exercise? Are your allergy symptoms bad? Anything that you want to track that is related to your overall health is a great idea to add to your journal!

Final Thoughts

I know I’ve presented a bunch of ideas and it still may be hard to know exactly what to include.

What I recommend is to really take a close look at what’s important to you, whether that be making sure you get your homework done or trying to build healthier habits.

Whatever the case may be, a bullet journal is meant to fit your life…you are not supposed to make yourself fit into a style that isn’t for you!

And always remember – everyone had to start somewhere. Maybe it isn’t the prettiest starting out, but you’ll get there. Just stick with it!

Check out this video on 2021 bullet journals! 

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The Best Grocery List for College Students – The 2021 Guide

Are you having trouble forming your grocery list for this school year? We’ve got you covered! Check out this best grocery list for college students.

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Are you having trouble forming your grocery list for this school year? We’ve got you covered!

Check out this best grocery list for college students.

In This Post

Why is it important to have a College Grocery List?

While it is nice and convenient to eat out when you’re in college, in the long term, it’s not ideal. Unless you have an unlimited budget to finance $15 to $20 per meal every day, in which case, this would be a good option.

But eventually, food from the same restaurants will taste and feel the same, and you’ll ask yourself, is it really worth your $15?

Another option is to buy your own groceries and make food that you’ll love.

I know grocery shopping can take up a lot of your time – as a college student, I used to think it did, too, but setting aside one day in your week for your shopping is life-changing.

Let me make it convenient for you by providing you with the best grocery list for college students. That way, you will know the basic things to get so you can make meals in your apartment or dorms with ease, as if you’re eating out from a restaurant!

One thing to keep in mind while grocery shopping is to always have a list. Sometimes, I would go to grocery stores blindly and just take what I felt like I needed.

While this can be fun, after getting back to my apartment, I realized that I did not need some of the things I got, and worse, I did not have the right ingredients and tools to help me prepare my meals.

This would prompt another trip to the grocer, and as a college student, that’s one thing I want to avoid.

If you really value convenience and ease, follow along to see the best grocery list for college students so you don’t have to carve out precious time for an extra grocery trip.

Meal Ideas

Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and no, just coffee (even your fancy cold brew) doesn’t count as a meal. Start your day right with these easy breakfast meal ideas for college students, and maybe you’ll get some easy grocery ideas along the way, too.

Breakfast

  • Avocado Toast
    • Best and easiest breakfast ever? I think so too! Avocados are a staple on my college grocery list. You can make so much from them, from avocado salad bowls to my favorite breakfast, avocado toast!
    • Literally, just slice or mash your avocados and add them on top of your favorite toast. I sprinkle mine with Himalayan pink salt and some pepper for added flavor.
  • Scrambled Eggs
    • Scrambled eggs, in my opinion, are a canvas for almost any breakfast you can think of. Eating them plainly would be just as good as eating them with tomatoes or spinach. That’s why I always make sure to add eggs to my grocery list, because they are a must-have. If you have a microwave, you can scramble your eggs in a microwave-safe bowl and cook them, or if you have access to a stove, cook them the regular way!
  • Cereal
    • A truly no-sweat breakfast is a bowl of cereal. What you buy at the grocery store is up to you, but whether your favorite is Cap’n Crunch or Fruit Loops, cereals are the easiest breakfast foods you can get.
  • Breakfast Burrito
    • If you want a breakfast that’s more on the savory side, then a breakfast burrito is a perfect choice. When I only had access to a microwave, I would do this by cutting my bacon into small pieces and putting them in the microwave. Then I’d scramble some eggs in a bowl and add the cooked bacon bits, and put it in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes until the egg was cooked. I’d then grab my tortilla and put the egg and bacon inside and roll it as you would a burrito.
  • Easy Sandwiches
    • Cold cuts are a staple on my grocery list! Sandwiches are so easy to make. Whether it’s breakfast or lunch, you can add cold cuts to your favorite bread with some sliced cheese. If you have spinach or arugula, or maybe lettuce lying around, you can stick that in there too and have a nice, filling sandwich. Or, if you have lots of eggs and mayo, you can make an egg salad sandwich by boiling the eggs and mashing them together with the mayonnaise.
  • Fresh Fruit
    • If you want something light but filling as a breakfast meal, then fresh fruits can get you through the day! If a banana is your choice of fruit, or if you have time to slice some apples and mix it with some sliced strawberries, then go for it! Fruits are always nice to have for breakfast.
  • Granola Bars
    • One thing your grocery list should include is granola or protein bars! A box of it can last you a week! The bars can be both breakfast or snacks, and if you are too busy studying to have lunch, this can act as a substitute (although hearty meals are preferred, especially for on-the-go college students!). I find granola bars very filling and easy to eat. No preparations are needed!
  • Easy Fried Rice
    • I love to have fried rice in the morning! It gets me full and will last me until my next meal. It’s very convenient when I have back-to-back classes and I really don’t have time to go out for a meal. What I do is I cook rice, or use leftover rice, mix it with cooked scrambled eggs, and then I add some green peas and carrots. I top it off with some soy sauce for flavor!

Lunch

We all tend to forget about lunch! It’s a weird hour (depending on when you eat) that’s usually around noon, or right before dinner. Usually, I’m in the middle of class during these hours and I tend to ignore the fact that a mealtime exists!

I end up having to force myself to remember to eat, so I’m here to remind you, one college student to another, that: Lunch! Exists! And here are some amazing lunch ideas you can follow.

  • Pasta
    • Pastas are easy lunches to make. Grab and cook your favorite noodle (or add it to your grocery list so you don’t forget) and your favorite bottled sauce, grab some cheese and other things you’d like in your pasta (I love adding sausage!), and mix it all for a nice lunch.
  • Salad Bowl
    • Salad bowls are so easy to make! Both healthy and filling, this is the perfect lunch for college students. When you’re at the grocery, grab your favorite leafy greens (mine? Arugula, of course!) and your go-to salad toppings like croutons, cheeses, nuts, etc. If you want, you can add grains to your salad bowls like quinoa or couscous, or add something like peas or beans. Then, top it off with your favorite dressing!
  • Pizza
    • Pizza can be paired with a salad (see salad bowl above!) or can be eaten by itself. Either way, it’ll be a filling lunch. There are microwavable pizzas if you don’t have access to an oven, and there are oven pizzas for the vice-versa scenario!
  • Grilled Cheese
    • Another easy lunch option is grilled cheese. Add a loaf of bread and sliced cheese to your grocery list and you can make grilled cheese! This is perfect because it’s easy and fast to do.
  • Chicken Wrap
    • One thing I highly recommend to put on your grocery list is a rotisserie chicken because it can be added to so many meals! Salads? Yes! Sandwiches? Yes! Wraps? Yes! You can make a chicken wrap by adding veggies, chicken, and dressing to a soft tortilla, and voila!
  • Quesadillas
    • Using the tortillas and sliced cheeses from the previous meal ideas (grilled cheese and chicken wrap), you can make your quesadilla!
  • Meatball Sub
    • Grab your favorite bread and add some microwaved meatballs to make a meatball sub. Top it off with your choice of marinara sauce and enjoy!

Dinner

It’s hard to decide what to eat for dinner! But have no fear; below, you can find some dinner ideas that, hopefully, you’ll love!

  • Mac and Cheese
    • The $1 microwavable mac and cheese cups are not only cheap but easy to have for dinner! Just pop your favorite brand’s cup in the microwave and you have dinner in front of you. Pair it with your salad and chicken and now you have a complete meal.
  • Salmon
    • Salmon is uber delicious! If you only have a microwave, it’s are microwavable, too. Season your salmon in a microwavable plate (with cover is preferred) and then cook it for around 3 minutes and check if the center is cooked, then pop it in for another 2 minutes. If you have access to a stove, searing your salmon is the best way to cook it. You can add your salmon over instant mashed potatoes or your green salad.
  • Green Salad
    • Green salads don’t have to be complicated. At the grocery store, don’t forget to grab your favorite dressing and leafy greens. It’s easy to put together, just mix! If you want, you can add more mixins, but I usually pair my green salad with poultry or fish!
  • Eggplant/Chicken Parm
    • One of the best dinners I’d recommend is eggplant or chicken parm! It’s very easy to make, and it makes me feel luxurious whenever I cook it in my apartment.
  • Meatballs Over Noodles
    • Take frozen meatballs to the next level by putting them over noodles and sauce. It doesn’t have to be marinara sauce; what I do is I melt butter, add some salt, pepper, and parsley, and mix it all up.
  • Sheet Pan Potatoes/Loaded Baked Potato
    • You can either cut potatoes and bake them in the oven, or wrap a whole potato with a wet paper towel and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes or so until it’s tender. If you’re making sheet pan potatoes, make sure you season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. For the loaded potatoes, add cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits!
  • Pesto Pasta
    • Pesto pasta is probably the easiest pasta to make. I buy a jar of pesto from the grocery store, boil a regular spaghetti, and mix it all up when I need a satiating dinner.

Related: 30 College Meal Prep Ideas Every Student Should Try

Snacks

  • Hummus
    • Hummus is my favorite dip! It’s perfect with pretzels or any chips, and sometimes with toasts. This is truly a perfect snack for a college student.
  • Popcorn
    • Make sure to add popcorn to your college grocery list, because it is a must-have! Very low calorie, but also indulgent enough. Perfect for movie watching or curing late-night hunger. My recommendation? SkinnyPop with salt or Popcornopolis’ Naked Popcorn.
  • Yogurt
    • If you are looking for a cold treat, then yogurt is the best snack! I recommend the Chobani Nonfat in blueberry! It’s truly a delicious snack.
  • Baby Carrots
    • I love snacking on baby carrots! With or without a ranch dip, it doesn’t matter. Baby carrots are so satisfying to chew, and it is the perfect snack for college students.
  • Trail Mix
    • If you love variety, then trail mix is the best snack for you. You can have it all, from nuts to chocolate, because a trail mix jar provides it all for you.
  • Cheese and Crackers
    • Another easy snack is cheese and crackers! It can be real cheese or the spreadable kind. When your next meal is not anytime soon, having this as a snack is amazing!
  • Grapes
    • Grapes are the best snack! They’re so easy to pack and don’t require any peeling.
  • Chips
    • The classic snack. I love a good chips moment, especially when it’s on the spicy side.

College Grocery List (for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks)

Now onto the best grocery list for college students:

Breakfast

  • Eggs
  • Loaf of Bread
  • Fruits (Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Blueberries, etc.)
  • Avocados
  • Protein Bars
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Instant Coffee + Creamer
  • Tortillas
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Spinach and Tomatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Frozen Pancakes/Waffles
  • Pancake Syrup
  • Sliced or Shredded Cheese
  • Instant Brown/White/Cauliflower Rice

Lunch

  • Leafy Greens
  • Salad Dressing
  • Croutons
  • Baguette/Sourdough Bread
  • Cold Cuts
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Pasta Noodles
  • Bottled Pasta Sauce
  • Frozen Pizza
  • Pre-made Salads
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Carrots
  • Quinoa or Couscous
  • Chickpeas
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Canned Tuna or Chicken

Dinner

  • Frozen Salmon Fillets
  • Frozen Meatballs
  • Pesto
  • Microwavable Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Salad Bags
  • Canned Mushrooms
  • Hamburger Patties
  • Ground Pork, Beef, Turkey or Chicken
  • Canned Corn
  • Hot Dogs
  • Canned Onion Soup
  • Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup

Snacks

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Hummus
  • Cubed/Slice Cheese
  • Trail Mix
  • Baby Carrots
  • Instant Ranch Dressing
  • Chips
  • Grapes
  • Crackers
  • Instant Ramen
  • Fruit Cups
  • Cookies

Check out this list so you can download, print, and cross off groceries as you shop!

Related: How to Live a Vegan Lifestyle as a Broke College Student

Essentials for Cooking

In order for your college meals to be a success, you’ll need more than just the best grocery list for college students! You will also need these essentials for cooking and making the best meals in your apartments or dorms.

Microwave

BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock, Stainless Steel, 0.9 Cu.ft

A good microwave is essential for a good college meal. If you are in a rush and can’t use or don’t have access to a stove, then a microwave is a perfect way to cook your meals.

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Mini Rice Cooker

Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot, Keep Warm Function & Recipe Guide, Black

I use a rice cooker not only to cook my rice, but for the countless rice cooker fried rice and pasta recipes that the Internet has provided me with.


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Meal Prep Containers

EZ Prepa [20 Pack] 32oz 3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers with Lids - Bento Box

An important part of planning your college meals is meal prepping!

The grocery list for college students is just one step to convenience if you really don’t want to spend your time making food.

Save one day for grocery shopping and meal prepping. These containers will help with that!

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Knife Set with Blade Guards

Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12 Piece Color Knife Set with Blade Guards (6 knives and 6 knife covers), Jewel - Amazon Exclusive

Good knives are important for slicing your ingredients! Make sure to get them with blade guards so they don’t rust, and for safety purposes, too!


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Multifunction Egg Boiler

Elite Gourmet EGC-007 Easy Electric 7 Egg Capacity Cooker, Poacher, Omelet Maker, Scrambled, Soft, Medium, Hard Boiled with Auto Shut-Off and Buzzer, BPA Free, White

This multifunction electric egg boiler is a godsend. It doesn’t only boil eggs for you; it can poach them, scramble them, and even make omelettes for you!

It’s really important for meals with eggs in them.


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Microwave Bowls

Cereal Bowls - 26 OZ Unbreakable Wheat straw Bowls For Kitchen-Eco Friendly Durable Pack Of 4 Lightweight Bowl Set-Microwavable and Dishwasher Safe-For Cereal, Rice, Noodle, Soup Bowls

If you’re going to be using the microwave, make sure that you have access to bowls that are microwave safe!

You don’t want a burning incident. Make sure all the bowls you use are microwave safe.


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Microwave Cover

Microwave Plate Cover,Microwave cover for food 11.5 Inch BPA Free Dishwasher Safe

To prevent splatter, make sure to get some microwave covers, too. This is perfect for cooking salmon because you don’t want the fish exposed to too much radiation.


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Electric Kettle

Cutting Board

Toaster

Resources

Phew! Grocery shopping and preparing meals in college is a lot of work, but it is a small price to pay for a good, cheap, and easy meal.

I also know that there are a lot of other factors to consider when making grocery lists as a college student like budgeting or organizing the products that you want to buy.

Plus, if it’s a really hard week like finals or midterms, there is simply no time to go to the grocery store, and even less time to prepare your meals.

While these extra things to consider might seem stressful, have no fear! You don’t have to do it all on your own.

  • Digit (Savings App)
    • One application that can help you save and monitor your spending habits is the Digit app. Digit lets you link your bank account to the app and analyzes your spending habits while helping you save money by putting whatever’s left (post-expenses) into a Digits savings account. I love that the application has a low balance protection option, because this gives me the power to control how low my checking account goes. This app is perfect for knowing how much to spend in the grocery store, as the app keeps track of the expenses and how much it subtracts from your checking account balance. Plus, if you want to save for your upcoming grocery trips and not go overboard with your personalized college-student grocery list, then you can inform Digit that you want to save for groceries! PS: If you sign up with our unique link, you’ll get $5 for FREE. 
  • Ibotta (Grocery Shopping App)
    • If you want to save while doing your grocery shopping, then the free Ibotta app is your friend! Ibotta has partnered with a lot of stores, from Walmart to Safeway, that can help you earn money for every purchase you make. One thing I love about this app is that it’s very simple to use; you pick the store where you want to do your shopping and find products on the Ibotta app with cashback options. Don’t lose the receipt, because you have to show the Ibotta app your proof of purchase before you get your money back! This is the perfect way to save money when grocery shopping.
  • $5 Meal Plan (Weekly Meal Planning Service)
    • Sometimes I find it hard to know what meals I am going to have for the week because I get too busy to even plan that out. If you are experiencing this, let the $5 Meal Plan, a weekly meal planning service, help. This meal planning service provides you with low-cost, easy-to-make meals for the whole week. The best part? You can try it for free for up to two weeks and then you pay $5/month to continue the service, which is not bad, especially if you think of the ease it will provide. This plan offers five dinner entrees with sides plus lunch and breakfast! What I absolutely love about the $5 Meal Plan is…drum roll please…it provides you with a grocery list and lists what meals are going to use the ingredients! No more taking minutes off your day writing down ingredients, just take a picture of the grocery list the plan provides and you are good to go. Check it out here.
  • Hello Fresh (Delivers Fresh Ingredients and Healthy Recipes to Customers)
    • If you really don’t have time to plan your meals and shop for the ingredients, which is totally me whenever it’s finals or midterms week, then HelloFresh can guarantee that you’re eating a hearty and delicious meal. What I love about HelloFresh is that I can pick what kind of food I prefer, from quick and easy meals to calorie smart! HelloFresh doesn’t only give you meal recipes, but they send the actual ingredients to you! Meaning? No more time-consuming grocery shopping, perfect for when you are grinding out a paper or cramming for an exam.

Related: How Diet Culture Can Harm College Students’ Relationship With Food

Main Takeaways

I hope this helps you when you next go to the grocery store! Remember, the key to having the best grocery list for college students is planning.

Know what meals you love to eat and tailor your shopping list to that. I’ve included some meal ideas above to get you started, but your options are limitless!

I simply think you’ll save a lot of time and money when you make meals at home.

As college students, going to the grocery store can be hard, especially if we are prioritizing other things, but meal planning and only going once a week can change our spending and eating habits.

If you really cannot make time for it, then the meal programs and apps above should help you. Happy grocery shopping!

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The dream grocery list for a college student

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