The Ultimate New Home Grocery Shopping List
Chances are when you were preparing for your move you tossed a lot of items from your pantry and fridge. From mystery meat freezer burned beyond recognition to boxes of half finished, stale cereal, and empty pickle jars that had a permanent residence in the back of your fridge for far too long – it’s safe to assume those items didn’t make the packing cut. And now the cupboards in your new home may have you feeling a bit like Old Mother Hubbard. So, let’s put a list together and fill your new house with all the items you’ll need so it feels more like home.
While the items on this new home grocery list may be a big chunk of change up front, purchasing these kitchen and home staples will make your future grocery shopping trips far less expensive. Bonus: you may have already purchased some of the items before your move (especially if you’re following our First Apartment Checklist) and buying some of these items in bulk now might save you even more in the long run.
New home grocery list: what should you buy in bulk?
The list of shopping items that follow includes many, if not all, of the items you’ll need to get your new house fully stocked and in order. But before you head off to the store, a little pre-planning is in order. Buying some items in bulk is a great option when shopping for your new home. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will also save you time (because you’ll have to make fewer trips to the store), and gas (because you’ll be doing less driving).
So, now might be a good time to sit down and decide what items you’ll buy in bulk, and which items you won’t. Things you’ll want to consider before buying in bulk include:
Determine the cost per unit of an item to determine if a bulk buy is a smart buy
Just because a container of cereal is gigantic, doesn’t mean the cost per ounce is overall less than what you normally pay. Consider spending a little time comparing cost-per-unit prices before making a bulk buy.
Determine how much space you have for bulk items
Buying in bulk might cause clutter and frustration if you don’t have room to store all the extra items so be sure to figure out your space constraints and designate an out-of-the-way area, first.
Be aware of expiration dates
Items like pasta and paper goods have much longer shelf lives than items like milk and yogurt. When you buy in bulk, you’ll want to ensure the items you buy will last longer than it takes you to use them.
New home grocery list: paper items and cleaning supplies
Whether you love the feeling of clean floors or just want to make sure you can use your dishwasher right away to rewash those newly unpacked dishes, make sure to check these items off your grocery list.
- Toilet paper
- Toilet cleaner
- Toilet brush
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
- Ziploc bags
- Laundry detergent
- Stain remover
- Fabric softener
- Dishwashing soap
- Dishwasher detergent
- Glass cleaner
- Stainless steel cleaner
- Air freshening spray
- All-purpose cleaners like Lysol or Mr. Clean
- Wood floor cleaner (if necessary)
- Carpet cleaner (if necessary)
- Swiffer with dry and wet pads (or a mop and a bucket)
- Plastic wrap
- Aluminum foil
- Wax paper
- Parchment paper
- Light bulbs
New home grocery list: fresh food essentials
Whether you love eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables or can only stomach broccoli with a generous dose of butter, make sure to add your favorites to your new home grocery list. Throw some of these fruits and veggies in your shopping cart and you’ll find yourself ready to whip up a nutrient-filled dinner in no time!
- Green beans
Meats, fish, and other proteins
Meat-eaters and seafood lovers, this one is for you. Whether you’re feeling fresh salmon or just a classic hamburger, this list has got you covered! Remember not to add too much fresh fish and meat to your grocery list, unless you see yourself cooking within three days of purchase! (Need we remind you of the freezer-burned mystery meat you found in the back of the freezer before your move?) Instead, stick with longer-lasting frozen meat and fish when you first move in.
- Deli meats
- Ground beef or turkey
- Hot dogs
- Ground sausage
- Pork chops
Don’t forget these dairy items on your grocery list – cereal isn’t quite the same without the milk! If you’re not a dairy lover, most of these foods can be substituted with a non-dairy alternative. But be sure to check the expiration dates as you’re shopping as many dairy products do not have a long shelf life.
- Half and half
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Cheese slices
Whether you love your morning toast or really need your favorite cookies to make it through that afternoon slump, be sure to check these items off your list.
- Bread, rolls, pitas, or other sandwich preferences.
- Bagels, English muffins, muffins, donuts, or other breakfast preferences.
- Cookies, cakes, or other dessert preferences.
New home grocery list: basic kitchen staples
Whether you’re a baking expert or find your cookies consistently burnt, it’s a good idea to have some baking staples on hand. With these items, you’ll be prepared to make homemade muffins when the craving calls or simply add some flour to an amazing homemade teriyaki sauce. With these essentials on your grocery list, the possibilities are endless!
- Brown sugar
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips
Frozen food essentials
Amidst the chaos of unpacking your first apartment or new home, you’re going to want plenty of frozen food on hand – at last until you figure out where the plates, pots, and pans ended up. Make sure to add these foods to your new home grocery shopping list, and you’ll be ready to prepare a quick, easy, and yummy meal after a long day of unpacking. Still, need to move some leftover freezer items from your old home? Make sure to follow these steps for packing food for your move!
Pro shopping tip: Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money — and they’ll last longer.
- Vegetables (peas, green beans, carrots, corn, mixed vegetables)
- Fruit (berries, mango, peaches)
- Frozen meat (burgers, chicken nuggets, etc.)
- French fries
Cans, jars, and boxes
Your first shopping trip after moving into an apartment or house is the perfect time to pick up some canned and jarred items. These pantry gems will stay safe to eat for ages and are the perfect addition to a quick and easy weekday meal. Add these items to your new home grocery list, and you’ll be one step closer to a fully stocked kitchen.
- Breakfast cereal
- Dry beans
- Pasta and/or spaghetti
- Pasta sauce
- Canned soup and/or chili
- Canned beans
- Canned vegetables
- Canned tuna
- Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth
With all the meal planning you may be doing, you don’t want to forget some snacks on your new home grocery list! Of course, you have your favorites, but here are a few items to get you started.
- Snack crackers (Cheez-Its, Goldfish)
- Chips, pretzels, or similar snacks
- Microwavable snacks (think Bagel Bites, Hot Pockets)
You might be just fine with tap water. If not, don’t forget to add some drinks to your new home grocery list before you get too thirsty!
- Coffee and/or tea
- Bottled water, or water pitcher and filter
- Seltzer water
New home grocery list: spice it up
Spices and seasonings
Any new home grocery list would be incomplete without spices and seasonings. These items can take just about any dish to the next level, so make sure you check these items off your shopping list—according to your preferences!
- Red pepper flakes
- Italian seasoning
- Chili powder
Condiments and sauces
One of the best parts of making a new home grocery list is adding in your favorite sauces and condiments (or throwing out the 6-year-old mustard you found in the last fridge). Whether you want to spice up your weekday dinners or kick up the heat on your weekend eggs n’ bacon, don’t neglect these cooking essentials on your first shopping trip.
- Oil (olive, vegetable, canola, sesame, etc.)
- Vinegar (white, balsamic)
- Salad dressings
- Maple syrup
- Soy sauce
- Tabasco or sriracha sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Steak sauce
- Mayo or Miracle Whip
- Jam or jelly
- Nut butter
New home grocery list: personal items
You may already have many of these items on hand. If not, you definitely don’t want to neglect the personal care section of your local grocery store (and don’t forget that many of these items are great options for buying in bulk). These final items on our new home grocery list will ensure that your bathroom has everything you need to stay clean and look great, too.
- Hand soap
- Bar soap or body wash
- Facial cleaner
- Cotton swabs and balls
- Dental floss
- Shaving cream
- Feminine products
- Hair styling products
- Antibiotic ointment
- An anti-inflammatory such as Advil
Once you pick up all the items you need on this ultimate new home grocery shopping list, you’ll be ready to settle into your first apartment or brand new home.
Haven’t made the big move yet? Then our most epic moving checklist in the history of moving checklists is for you!