Keep your dorm stocked with snacks


The Daily Illini File Photo

A student grabs a Sprite at the 57 North convenience store located in the SDRP.

By Jared Ebanks, Assistant Features Editor

Before making the drive to Champaign-Urbana and settling into your new dorm, you may want to consider running one more errand with your parents to the grocery store for some essential snack and meal items. Take advantage of a little more time with your loved ones and their credit card.

A few months back you determined the amount of meal credits to attach to your Illini card for meals at the dining hall. However, a multitude of factors like the cold winter air, pulling an all-nighter or simply showing up when the dining hall just closed give reason to keeping your small pantry in your room stocked full.

While you won’t have the pantry size space to store all your food like at home, getting a range of food from granola bars to a pack of red bull or frozen dinners will aid you and your hunger in the long run. There are a few essentials that I would suggest tossing in your shopping cart before you and your parents say your goodbyes.


Often times you might wake up with not enough time to hit the dining hall before class. Choosing a snack that will hold you over and provide energy to push through hunger throughout the class period will be immensely helpful. Your body needs some sort of fuel to perform at its best whether that’s for a student-athlete or one in the classroom.

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    These can be snacks like granola bars or almonds that can be consumed throughout the day. An essential snacking item is microwave popcorn, an easy and light snack perfectly paired for late-night study sessions or dorm movie nights.

    Fridge essentials

    Storing healthier snack or meal items like fruits and microwavable meals will help balance out the craving for carbs and sugar in your snacking needs. However, do be aware that most mini-fridges have a compartment that acts as a freezer, but one too many times have I put a pint of ice cream in there only for me to revisit it looking like soup. The freezer compartment is not always reliable. Make sure to test out your freezer capacity before trusting it to keep a pint of ice cream ready to eat.

    Quick meals

    One of the benefits of dining hall credits is that they can be used at several of the dining retail locations that serve as cafes or fast food stops around campus. These locations include 57 on the first floor of Ikenberry Commons, The Caffeinator on the second floor of the same building, Urbana South Market at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall and InfiniTEA and TerraByte, two new options located at the Illinois Street Residence Hall. Grocery items like milk and cereal can be purchased here when the ones you bought from Meijer have run out. Keeping plastic Tupperware and silverware will aid you in quick morning meals like a bowl of cereal.

    Utensils and washing

    Having a plastic bowl, plate and silverware are essential for dorm eating and living. A small bottle of dish soap compliments this grocery store purchase perfectly as you can wash and dry all of your dirty dishes on your own. You won’t need too many since you do not want your dishes piling up in your small dorm room, but make sure you have enough to share.

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