Stock up on groceries in college


Snacks line shelves in County Market in Champaign. Students without transportation may have a difficult time regularly shopping for groceries, so on-campus options are available.

By Natalie Stanowski, Assistant special sections editor

If you are moving onto campus for the long-term, the first thing you will need to do will be to find the best places to buy any essentials you’re lacking or couldn’t bring with. To save yourself the trouble of looking around aimlessly for the things you need, here are a few of the best ways to get the essentials while on campus.

For the most convenience

For those who live off-campus without a car or just don’t have the time or the will to go out shopping, Amazon delivery is always an option. Just about everything from school supplies, electronics, kitchenware and everything in between can be found on Amazon. You can even order dry foods like ramen cups to have part of your groceries delivered. Students can get access to a six-month trial of Amazon Prime if you want to get your packages delivered with free one- or two-day shipping.

Closest to campus

If you don’t want to wait for a delivery or you need some quick groceries, then Green street is your best bet. Aside from the plethora of restaurants and eateries located across Green street, there is a Walgreens stocked with not only food, but basic toiletries, medicine and household items. A little further down is County Market, which while being more expensive than the grocery stores off of campus, is open 24 hours a day and is within walking distance of campus.

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Located on the Main Quad, we also have the Union. If you need a quick bite or are looking for electronics accessories like headphones or charging cables, stores like the Tech Zone and Quad Shop are available, as well as the various restaurant chains downstairs.

Best prices

Either a car or a ride on the bus will be necessary to get to these locations, but they give you the best bang for your buck. Grocery chains such as Aldi, Walmart and Schnucks are the typically sized grocery stores around Champaig-Urbana and are a quick drive from campus. For those who aren’t bringing a car to campus, these grocery stores can also be reached by taking the bus from campus. Just don’t forget to bring your student ID with you.

Online groceries

If you’re willing to spend a bit extra, there are a few options to have groceries delivered straight to your front door. Schnucks and Instacart are two of the options you have to get food delivered. You simply scroll through the catalog choosing which foods you’d like to add to your cart, then choose a delivery time window for the groceries to be delivered. While this option is the most convenient way to buy groceries, it is also the most expensive. Each order tacks on a delivery fee, and if the delivery service finds that the item you want isn’t in stock, they may substitute another potentially more expensive item. But it is still a viable option if you live off-campus without a car and don’t want to deal with shopping in the winter.

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