My freshman year, I had an unlimited meal plan. It was awesome. There was never any worry that I would be hungry or have to scavenge for food. My dorm was also the closest out of all housing to the dining hall. I was hungry for a snack? I could just walk two minutes to the DH to get a cookie. I wanted a cup of coffee without wasting a kcup? Again, a two minute walk to the DH. I’m starting my sophomore year, and my meal plan has been reduced to 190 swipes per semester. No more swiping in just to get some coffee or a cookie. Additionally, my room is much farther away from any source of food. So here are a few things that you’ll definitely need if you can’t rely on your dining hall for unlimited food anymore.

1. A microwave

2. A fridge

If you didn’t have these your freshman year, what were you doing? Definitely get these two things because they aren’t that expensive and you’ll definitely need them to store and heat up your leftovers. At my school, each room is provided with a micro-fridge complex. But these two things are definitely must-haves!

3. A Nutribullet

Or any other kind of blender. You may think this is unnecessary, and maybe it is for you, but making breakfast smoothies is a cheap and easy alternative to swiping in at your dining hall. Just go buy a bag or two of frozen fruit and kale or spinach to make easy breakfast smoothies that will actually fill you up.

4. A Crockpot

They’re cheap, small, and easy to store. With a little help from Pinterest, you can find some easy and cheap recipes that will make eating in your dorm more fun and enjoyable. My personal favorite is Ranch Chicken Tacos!

5. A mini George Forman grill

This is something that I haven’t personally used in my dorm…yet. But they are fairly inexpensive if you opt to buy a cheap one. Also, grilling food isn’t too unhealthy for you, and can be fairly cheap. You had more options to branch out from what your dining hall usually serves. Grill up some shrimp or something that you really enjoy! Seafood skewers sound pretty good.

6. A Brita water pitcher

Staying hydrated is so important in college and you shouldn’t limit your water consumption to when you find a water fountain. Keeping a Brita in your fridge will allow you to stay hydrated and give you water in a more convenient way.

7. Ice-cube trays

Although you do have a fridge, sometimes it can be hard to fit everything in there. So in the case that you can’t fit all your drinks in your fridge. Ice cube trays don’t take up too much space in your freezer and you can keep things like 2-liters and your Brita pitcher outside the fridge to make room for more vital things.

No matter what you choose to keep in your dorm, if there’s anything you find yourself needing, it’s only a quick trip to Target away! Even if you feel like you’re starving without an unlimited meal plan, you’ll now be able to have more versatile options.