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List of what to buy (Your first shop)

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List of what to buy (Your first shop)

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Everybody's first major shopping trip is going to be different, dependent on what you have brought with you and what you actually need. Think of this as a master/mega list that assumes you start with virtually nothing, hopefully much of which you can scratch off before starting!


[edit] Groceries

Fill up your cupboards at a grocery store like Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Aldi, Walmart, Trader Joe's etc. See also this list of chains.

  • Condiments
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Tomato sauce
  • Chilled
    • Milk
    • Butter
    • Juice
    • Cheese
    • Cooked meats - ham
    • Raw meats - chicken, fish, beef, bacon
  • Bakery
    • Bread
  • Fresh fruit/veg
    • Fruit - apples, oranges, pineapple
    • Veg - carrots, onions, lettuce, potatoes, garlic, ginger, peppers, green beans
  • Frozen
    • Frozen veg - peas, fries
    • Ready meals
    • Pizza
  • Toiletries
    • Toilet roll
    • Soap
    • Shampoo
    • Shaving cream/gel, razors
    • Nappies (diapers)
    • Wet wipes
  • Drinks
    • Beer
    • Wine
    • Soft drinks
  • Somewhere
    • Sugar
    • Tea
    • Coffee
    • Cooking oil - vegetable oil, sunflower oil, olive oil
    • Chips (crisps)
    • Other snacks
  • Household
    • Clingfilm (Saran wrap)
    • Foil (tin/aluminium)
    • Sandwich bags
    • Kitchen roll
    • Clothes detergent
    • Fabric conditioner
    • Tumble drier sheets
    • Cleaning fluids - work surfaces, floor, toilet, bleach, etc
    • Dishcloth/sponges
    • Dishwasher fluids/salts/rinse-aid/tablets
    • Mop
    • Broom
    • Dustpan/brush
    • Bin bags
  • Stationery
    • Pens, pencils
    • Paper
    • Scissors
    • Envelopes

[edit] Kitchen

Maybe your things are in a container somewhere on the high seas. In the meantime, you might be able to find these in your local supermarket or a kitchenware shop.

  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Spatula
  • Frying pan
  • Saucepans
  • Wok
  • Sharp/cutting knives
  • Cheese grater
  • Garlic press
  • Plastic storage boxes / Tupperware
  • Chopping board
  • Tea towels
  • Kettle
  • Coffee maker
  • Drying rack
  • Microwave
  • Plastic cover for reheating in the microwave (anti-splatter)
  • Measuring jug/spoons/cups

[edit] Dining Room

Buy some cheap crockery or plastic plates to tide you over, and you can always keep them for emergencies once your main stuff arrives. The ubiquitous Walmart sell boxloads of cheap cutlery and crockery; 99c stores and suchlike sell cheap plastic plates etc.

  • Dining table, chairs
  • Crockery - plates, cups, bowls
  • Cutlery - knifes, forks, spoons
  • Placemats
  • Glassware - tumblers, wine glasses
  • Serving dishes

[edit] Bedroom

Be wary that bed sizes in the US do not match the UK, even with the same names (they tend to roughly be one size up compared to the UK).

  • Bed, boxspring, mattress, pillows
  • Bedsheets, duvet/comforter, pillowcases
  • Bedside cabinets
  • Bedside lamps
  • Laundry hamper

IKEA sell "proper" duvets and duvet covers for reasonable prices. Bed, Bath & Beyond also sell them but they're not cheap. Neither have quite the range of duvet covers that you'd see in the UK. Comforters, on the other hand, are normal and there are often huge choices of design.

[edit] Bathroom

  • Toothbrush holder, cup
  • Soap dish
  • Towels - hand, bath
  • Mirror
  • Bath mat - to stop slipping in bath
  • Bath mat - to step on outside the bath

[edit] Laundry

  • Washer
  • Drier
  • Laundry basket (plastic, for carrying laundry)
  • Laundry hamper (eg wicker basket for bedroom)
  • Clothes pegs
  • Hangers
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

[edit] Lounge

  • TV
  • Cable
  • Couch
  • Rug
  • TV cabinet
  • Coffee table

[edit] Office

  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Computer - monitor, mouse, mouse mat, keyboard
  • Printer - plus paper
  • Internet access

[edit] Other

You might be able to make do with just mobile (cell) phones but don't forget they might not work in an emergency like a power cut in a storm - land lines are a bit more resilient.

  • Telephone

[edit] Throughout

Make a house a home, as the adverts say.

  • Blinds/curtains
  • Potted plants
  • Pictures