New House? Here’s What Needs to Be on Your Grocery List

Moving is so incredibly stressful. Just when you think you’ve crossed everything off your to-do list, you discover five more. One of those pesky tasks is going grocery shopping so you don’t have to move into a new home without any food.

Completely starting over with your fridge and pantry can feel overwhelming, so we compiled a list of everything you’ll need.

1. Oil

Pick whatever kind of oil you use most. | Rodrigo Bark/iStock/Getty Images

You’re quarter-full bottles of oil probably aren’t going to make the move, so it’s easier to just start over. For this first grocery run, just buy the types of oil you cook with the most, whether it’s olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, or vegetable oil. You can always come back for the other ones you use from time to time, but this grocery trip is all about getting the essentials.

2. Cereal

Save your cooking energy for lunch. | iStock/Getty Images

Cereal is a family staple. During the first couple days (or let’s be real, during the first couple weeks) of moving in, you’re probably not going to have the energy to wake up bright and early to cook a big breakfast, and eating breakfast out every day can add up fast. Get yourself the very easy, always reliable breakfast of champions: Cereal. While you’re at it, get a box of breakfast granola bars for those extra hectic mornings, too.

3. Spices

Mixed spices

Stock up on the basics. | iStock/Getty Images

If you’re mostly empty spices didn’t make the move, you’ll definitely want to reload your spice rack. You can’t really cook a meal without them. Not sure where to begin after starting over? Salt, pepper, parsley, basil, paprika, oregano, dill, ginger, garlic powder, and chili powder are typically the most used spices.

4. Tea and coffee

Cup of tea on a blue stone background

They’re an important start to any home. | Anna Pustynnikova/iStock/Getty Images

Another item that probably won’t make the move is your half empty bag of almost expired coffee. Restock with your favorite brew and a couple of tea options for winding down at night. If you’re big on hot chocolate at your house, pick up some of that as well.

5. Pasta and pasta sauce

quinoa fusilli pasta

It’s a quick meal staple. | iStock/Getty Images

Another thing that’s easy to prepare in the chaos of moving is pasta. Stock up on your family’s favorite kind of noodle and favorite sauce (they often have deals to persuade shoppers to buy more than one, so your moving shopping trip is the perfect time to stock up).

6. Rice

Brown Basmati Rice

It’s simple addition to your meal. | Vm2002/iStock/Getty Images

Rice is a meal staple for any home and something that most likely won’t make the move. It can make any side-dish into a meal; all you need is a meat and/or a vegetable. So make sure you stock your pantry with rice (whether white, brown, or jasmine) upon first moving in.

7. Snacks

Choose snacks wisely. | iStock/Getty Images

Whatever your family’s favorite snacks are, add them to your moving grocery list. Whether you’re a hot Cheetos and cookies family or a rice cakes and dried fruit family, it’s nice to always have snacks on deck so that no one feels like there’s “nothing to eat in this house.”

8. Broth

chicken broth

This is great for all sorts of meals. | iStock/Getty Images

You use it for soups and for cooking meat, rice, couscous, orzo, so broth is another pantry item to stock your kitchen with upon moving in. If you’re not a vegetarian household, having a good variety of chicken, beef, and vegetable is nice because you never know what you’ll be cooking.

9. Baking staples

Ingredients and tools to make a cake, flour, milk, raisin ,eggs. With space for text.

Be ready for all your baking needs. | Medea83/iStock/Getty Images

No kitchen is complete without your basic baking staples. Be sure you’re ready to go with these items: Flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract, baking powder, yeast, and cocoa. Baking ingredients usually aren’t at the top of your mind when going to the grocery store, unless you’re planning on baking something. So stock up during your moving grocery trip to cross off a future day’s to-do list.  

10. Condiments

Catsup and Mustard condiment bottles

You’ll need them for a burger or sandwich. | NeilLockhart/Getty Images

It’s always sad to see an empty fridge during the first few days of moving in. One way to recify that is by stocking up on condiments. Staples usually include ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip), relish, and BBQ sauce. While you’re at it, don’t forget the butter, either.

11. Peanut butter and jelly

PB and J’s are a perfect snack for unpacking. | iStock/Getty Images

These are two staples for almost every household. Whether you’re making sandwiches for your little ones or you like to have toast with one of the two slathered on, peanut butter and jelly are two things you’ll want to pick up for your new house.

12. Sauces

You can use them in recipes or to dress your meats. | iStock/Getty Images

Like condiments and spices, it’s hard to prepare a meal without sauces. Stock up on your favorite sauces on your first grocery trip after moving into your new house. Soy sauce, steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce are good places to start.

13. Fruits and veggies

Open refrigerator full of fruits and vegetables

They’re perfect for healthy snacks or meals. | AndrewRafalsky/Getty Images

Just so you’re not completely without fresh fruits and vegetables during the first week in your new home, pick up a couple of your family’s favorites. You don’t need to do your typical farmers market haul, but grab a few apples and your family’s favorite vegetable or two to have with dinner.

14. Salad dressings

Variety of sauces and salad dressings

Salads can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. | VeselovaElena/iStock/Getty Images

Another easy meal to throw together during a hectic moving week? Salad. So don’t forget to purchase dressing on your new-house shopping trip. Plus, you can use dressing for more than just salad. It’s good for marinating meats, topping pasta salad, dressing up sandwiches, and dipping, among other things.

15. Freezer staples

Greek Pizza on a wooden board

It’s a simple and quick crowd-pleaser. | iStock/Getty Images

Lastly, grab a couple things to pop into your freezer. The point of this initial grocery trip is to stock up on items you’re going to need most often and to make sure you have easy things to make at home during the first week in your new house. Having yummy and easy frozen food on deck can help keep your sanity intact in the middle of moving. Whether your family likes frozen pizza, lasagna, or chicken wings, be prepared with a few items that are sure to be easy crowd-pleasers.