Moving into a new apartment is a big step. One of the best ways to feel at home is to stock up your kitchen, whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out. Having all the right ingredients in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer can make all the difference. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate grocery list for new apartment dwellers.

This guide has been compiled with the help of nutritionists, chefs and financial planners. These tips will help you to shop smart, eat well and save money when moving to your new house.

We wanted to create a flexible shopping list for families, couples, singles, and students. Our grocery list comprises essential items as well as extras, making it ideal for moving into larger apartments or starting college life.

Setting Up Your New Apartment Grocery List

These are our guidelines for making a new apartment grocery list:

  • Budget-Friendly: This list is designed with affordability in mind. We aim for a rough budget of 200$ (more and less), ensuring you get the best value for your money.
  • Health-Conscious Choices: Prioritizing nutritious options that don’t break the bank, our selections cater to a balanced diet.
  • Efficiency in Shopping: Tailored to minimize your time in-store, this list groups items by category for a streamlined experience.
  • Adaptability: While we’ve curated a comprehensive selection, feel free to adjust quantities and items based on your specific needs and preferences.

Based on our list, here’s the budget groceries for a first apartment needed to purchase the main essential products (for one person):

  • 💲 Essential Items Cost: Roughly $120

For the entire grocery list, including both essential and additional items, the budget range is:

  • 💲 Total Grocery Budget Range: Approximately $200 to 300 and higher

This grocery budget range allows for some flexibility in choosing brands, quantities, and any extra items you might want to add to your new apartment grocery list.

Remember, prices can vary based on location, store, and current market conditions, so consider this a rough guide to help you plan your shopping budget.

Downloadable Resources

Ready to get started? To make your shopping experience even smoother, we’ve prepared a downloadable and printable grocery list template. This tool is designed to help you organize your shopping, ensuring you won’t forget any essentials for your new apartment.

Printable Grocery List PDF

You can print this version and easily use it offline. We’ve also left fields for your own products!

Flexible Grocery List in Google Sheets

AOA Grocery List in Google Sheets

You can get this version in your Google account, easily customize it and use this grocery list online

Grocery List For New Apartment

Before diving into the first food shopping list for new home, note that grocery essential items are highlighted in bold and marked with a ✅ emoji for easy identification. These are the must-haves for starting your kitchen in a new apartment after the move.

Pantry Staples 🍚

  • Rice (white, brown) ✅
  • Pasta (various shapes) ✅
  • Lentils (green, red)
  • Canned tomatoes (diced, whole) ✅
  • Olive oil, vegetable oil ✅
  • Sea salt, black pepper ✅
  • Canned beans (black, kidney, chickpeas)
  • Quinoa, couscous
  • Chicken, beef, vegetable broth
  • Peanut butter, almond butter
  • Honey, maple syrup
Grocery List For New Apartment. Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels:

Fresh Produce 🥦🍎

  • Spinach, kale, arugula
  • Carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers
  • Apples, oranges, bananas ✅
  • Seasonal vegetables: squash in fall, asparagus in spring
  • Seasonal fruits: berries in summer, apples in fall
  • Garlic, onions, potatoes ✅

Proteins 🍗🌱

  • Chicken breasts, thighs ✅
  • Ground beef, turkey
  • Tofu, tempeh, seitan ✅
  • Eggs ✅
  • Canned beans, lentils
  • Fresh or frozen fish: salmon, tilapia ✅
  • Deli meats for quick sandwiches

Bakery and Grains 🍞🌾

  • Whole wheat bread, gluten-free options ✅
  • Tortillas (corn, flour)
  • Oats (rolled, steel-cut) ✅
  • Granola, cereal
  • Brown rice, wild rice, barley
  • Pasta (whole wheat, gluten-free, lentil-based)

Dairy and Alternatives 🥛🌿

  • Milk, almond milk, oat milk ✅
  • Greek yogurt, plant-based yogurt ✅
  • Cheese, vegan cheese options ✅
  • Butter, plant-based spreads
  • Cottage cheese, cream cheese

Condiments and Spices 🌶️🍯

  • Olive oil, coconut oil ✅
  • Vinegars (balsamic, red wine, apple cider)
  • Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise ✅
  • Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce
  • Spices: basil, oregano, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes ✅

Frozen Foods ❄️

  • Mixed berries, mango chunks, pineapple
  • Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, peas, corn) ✅
  • Whole grain pizzas, veggie burgers
  • Frozen shrimp, edamame, mixed seafood
  • Ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt

This grocery list for new apartment, with essentials highlighted, is designed to help you quickly identify the key items needed to start cooking and enjoying meals in your new apartment. Adjust the quantities and items based on your specific tastes and dietary needs. Happy shopping!

Adjusting Your Grocery List Over Time

Your new apartment grocery list isn’t set in stone. It should evolve as you do.

  • Try new recipes. Add any new ingredients to your list.
  • Monitor what you use most. Stock up on those items.
  • Consider seasonal changes. Update your list to include seasonal produce.

Adapting your grocery list for new apartment helps you explore new flavors and keeps mealtime exciting. Stay flexible and enjoy discovering what works best for your lifestyle and tastes in your new apartment.

Meal Planning and Prep Made Easy

Meal Planning with Grocery List. Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

To make the most of your new apartment grocery list, follow these concise steps for meal planning:

  • Check Your Calendar: Align simpler meals with your busiest days. Pre-cut vegetables save time during busy days.
  • Build Around the Basics: Start with staples from your grocery list to ensure you have the essentials for each meal.
  • Prep Ahead: Spend a bit of time prepping ingredients or entire meals on a quieter day to ease cooking during the week.
  • Embrace Flexibility: Be ready to swap meals around based on how your week unfolds.

Simple, Nutritious Recipes Based on Grocery List

  1. Quick Stir-Fry: Use rice, chicken (or tofu), and any vegetables. Season with soy sauce and garlic powder.
  2. Hearty Breakfast Oats: Combine oats with milk or water. Top with banana slices and a drizzle of honey.
  3. Easy Pasta Night: Cook pasta. Add canned tomatoes and olive oil. Mix in garlic powder and basil. Serve with a side of mixed greens.
  4. Baked Salmon: Season salmon with lemon juice and pepper. Bake until tender. Pair with steamed mixed vegetables.
  5. Oats and Fruit Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt with oats, honey, and seasonal fruits. Perfect for a snack or dessert.


Creating a successful grocery list for your new apartment sets the stage for healthy, enjoyable meals in your new home. Remember to start with essential staples, add fresh produce and proteins, and don’t forget the spices to bring your dishes to life. As you settle in, adjust your list based on your evolving tastes and preferences.

If you’re still moving around, AOA Moving can help! We handle both local moves and long-distance moves. Plus, we have other services like packing and storage available. Contact us for a professional and safe moving experience.

Also, use our moving checklist to make sure everything goes smoothly and without any problems!