The 10 Foods You Didn't Think to Put in Your Dorm Room

Between buying red cups and stocking up on Cups-o'-Noodles, it’s easy to forget that food beyond gum and Pringles can also cater to your in-suite kitchen (yes, referring to the mini fridge and microwave you have stored under your bed). When buying food for your dorm room, it is important to look past the obvious -- boxes of Oreos and cans of red bull are go-to staples, but there’s so much else available. There’s a world out there that your taste buds are missing.  Here's a list to help you bring some of it straight to your room:

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans: So caffeine keeps you up all night, or you just don’t really like the idea of staining your teeth with endless cups of coffee. Or maybe you just really want something that you can munch on the entire time you work. Well, these were made just for you. About $7 a pack at Trader Joe’s, they’re perfect when you need that tiny extra jolt to write the last page or two of your paper before bed.

Sparkling water: Again, for the caffeine averse, there are a few things quite so effective. Studies show that simply the carbonation helps keep people awake. The best part is you can buy it in a ton of different flavors, to satiate your every thirst.

Berries: Maybe it’s a personal thing, but studying always makes me hungry, or at least crave something to chew on while I read. Berries, conveniently, can be found in almost every dining hall (bonus points to the ones that have fresh ones at breakfast), and are healthy alternatives to more common homework munchies.

Cheese and Tortillas: The day during freshman year I thought to buy myself mini tortillas and shredded cheese at Target will always be a hallmark of my college career. 30 seconds in the microwave and you have a meal that you would have otherwise paid 5 bucks and spent 20 minutes waiting for at the hub.

Steam bag veggies: I know, I know, it sounds awful. But get a couple bags of veggies from the store (Target sells some good mixes), steam them for 30 seconds in your microwave (there's that magic number again), and you'll have a super-healthy snack. Sprinkle some salt or salsa on it, and it might even taste good.

Cake in a cup: Okay, I’ll admit this one isn’t as easy as the rest of them, but it’s completely worth it. All the ingredients are either non-perishable and will last you the whole year, or they can be found in a dining hall. Just mix 4 tablespoons of flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of milk, and 3 tablespoons of oil into a mug and heat it for 3 minutes --and voila-- you have your own personal cake!  This can be a fun way to spend a birthday, too: make a fleet of cakes-in-cups and chow down with friends.

Ramen: This is even easier than making cup of noodles. Buy the Ramen that comes in a package, crush it while it’s in the pack, pour it on to a plate, season it with the powder that it comes with, and eat it like popcorn. Save yourself all that backbreaking labor that Ramen usually requires; it tastes just as good this way.

290 Sweet Striped Mints: One of the best things you can buy on Amazon (if you have not yet discovered the grocery section, I recommend you check it out ASAP: you can just tell your parents you bought a lot of books). Who knows when you’re really going to need your breath to be fresh and minty? These are not only delicious, but super useful and easy to grab. I, however, ate all 5,800 calories worth of mints in 3 days. That, I don’t recommend.

Single Serve Ice Cream: These are useful for so many reasons – they’re great on sunny days, great for making shakes, and awesome for floats. And for those interested in exploring off the beaten path, I recommend you try Mochi Ice Cream (available at Trader Joe’s).

Tzatziki: The best part about this one is that it’s available fresh at the farmers market in the village every Sunday. Deliciously garlicy and yogurty, it’s an offbeat dip that hits all the right notes during a Sunday night study-sesh. Great with pita bread or Trader Joe’s pretzel chips.

Your Mommy may not be there to make you meatloaf or lamb chops, but there’s really no reason to relegate yourself to the same cup of Easy Mac every night (even if its car shaped... pretty cool, you have to admit). Go to Target, and think beyond the ordinary.  Your taste buds will thank you.

Got more dorm favorites? Tell us below.