Shopping Essentials for Students in your New Accommodation in Ireland

student food shop

The novelty of walking into your kitchen at home and everything you ever need is always there has come to an end. It is now time to arm your own kitchen with all the basic essentials. Read more to find your shopping essentials for your new accommodation in Ireland.


Packing your life away can be stressful enough without having to think of all the basics you need to have in your kitchen to make a decent meal. Bringing along a grocery list or a weekly menu is a good idea if you get easily side-tracked in the store or don’t know where to begin.


When creating a shopping list you should consider creating a healthy and well-rounded diet . This should primarily comprise of whole, nutrient-dense foods. Include for example,veggies, fruits, protein sources like fish and eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. 


HomeHak has put together a go to list of essentials to get your cooking journey started. It’s time to stock up the refrigerator and cabinets – let’s get started! 


Let’s start with groceries.


Student doing their grocery shopping


Let’s start with the essentials!


  • Protein – chicken, beef, fish.
  • Grains – rice, pasta.
  • Milk 
  • Cereal
  • Bread
  • Oats
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Fresh fruit and vegetables:

  • Potatoes
  • Berries – strawberries, blueberries.
  • Bananas 
  • Apples
  • Onions 
  • Peppers

Spices and herbs:

  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Dry basil


  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce 

Frozen food:

These are truly a gift in university. They take away the pain of chopping up vegetables and there is no worry of your fruit and veg going out of date. 

  • Fruit 
  • Vegetables
  • Meat- chicken, beef, fish

Home essentials

It is easy to forget about everything we take for granted at home but do not forget these basics to get your kitchen in proper running order.

  • Washing up liquid
  • Hand soap 
  • Laundry supplies (if needed) – detergent.
  • Toiletries – razor, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies


Best supermarkets to do your food shop in? Check out these:

Aldi is your best bet when it comes to buying only essentials. This store focuses on the staple items. They offer some of the cheapest products and weekly sales that really help when you are on a budget. 


Lidl is the cheapest of them all when it comes to buying your shopping essentials. It focuses on essentials. Lidl has weekly specials where they offer amazing discounts not only on food items but also on electronics and more expensive products in general. 


SuperValu is Ireland’s largest grocery and food distributor serving local communities throughout Ireland This reputation has been earned through their fresh food quality, strong value offering, consistent support of local producers and the expertise and customer service across their stores.


Dunnes is a high-end supermarket which makes it a bit more expensive than Tesco. The stores usually sell clothing, homewares and groceries. You can find reasonable and trustworthy products of their own brands. They have a grocery delivery system and a click and collect from their nearest stores. 


Tesco is a UK based retail store and probably the largest supermarket chain in Ireland. They have the widest range of products including well-known brands and a variety of their own brands. You can also find some of the cheapest prices for your groceries here. 

student doing their food shop

To summarise

When creating your shopping essentials list try and break it into sections. For example non starchy / starchy vegetables, fruits, beans and grains, nuts and seeds, proteins, frozen foods, dairy and nondairy substitutes, drinks, condiments, and miscellaneous items.


Want to learn more? Read the definitive guide to healthy grocery shopping here. 

If you are an international student, check out our article “Where to shop for international students”. We share the best places for you to do your shopping and get all your necessities!