A Shopping List for the First Week in Your New Kitchen

updated Aug 22, 2022
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

A new kitchen is wildly exciting. It’s a blank canvas, a brand-new space to make all your own, a fresh start … that’s in desperate need of groceries. You need so many groceries that the first trip to the store can feel totally overwhelming — especially if you’re moving into your own place for the first time or making a long-distance move, and stocking your fridge and pantry totally from scratch.

We’re here to help, with a grocery list to get you set up and fully stocked for life in your new kitchen, whether it’s your first apartment in college or a new flat in a new town.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

This is one time you definitely need a shopping list!

I’m an advocate of making a grocery list for all shopping trips, but it’s especially important when you’re hitting the store to stock up a new kitchen. Without a list, it’s easy to buy things you don’t really need and won’t actually use. You know what I’m talking about.

Because you might not know the layout of your new grocery store, break your list into four main areas of your kitchen: spice cabinet and condiments, pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.

Plan on more than one trip to the store.

Use this first trip to stock up on just the basics and get yourself set up for easy weeknight dinner ideas. Because even if you leave with two carts full of groceries, there will be things you forget and things you didn’t realize you need. It’s inevitable.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Your Grocery List for Stocking a New Kitchen

This list contains many of the basics that make for easy weeknight meals and daily necessities. Of course, our necessity might not be yours. The list is certainly varied and designed to jog your memory as your rebuild your pantry from scratch.

Pick and choose as you desire, of course — if you already have flour, leave it off! If you never take cream in your coffee, then probably no need to buy it. Add anything that we may have left off (pet food? a few jars of baby food puree?).

With your adjustments, this list is all you need to arm yourself with the essentials to get started during your first week or so. Then, once you’re settled and have done a meal plan, go back for another big shopping trip.


  • Rice
  • Dried pasta and noodles
  • Beans (dried or canned)
  • Lentils
  • Whole grains
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Canned soup
  • Chicken broth
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole oats
  • Cereal
  • Snacks (nuts, dried fruit, crackers, pretzels)
  • Cooking oil (olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, sesame oil)
  • Vinegar (white, balsamic, apple cider, white wine)
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Coffee and tea
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)


  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Juice
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Tofu
  • Tortillas
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)


  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen fruit
  • Meat and poultry
  • Ice cream
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Spices and Condiments

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Basic spices (garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Jam or preserves
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

What are the must-have essentials to get you through your first week in a brand-new kitchen?