Yes, I am a student. But, I love my pantry, and am always in the process of expanding it. I'll also include certain other permanents at my place, even though they might not actually be in the pantry itself. Here's a glimpse as to what I always keep in store. 

  • Spices and herbs - I would recommend you stock up on those you use most. For me, that's cinnamon, red pepper flakes, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, fennel seed (great for tea), nutmeg, cloves (when I can!), garlic powder
  • Oils and Vinegars - EVOO, sesame oil (I love stir-fry), apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar
  • Random - reduced-sodium soy sauce, honey, Nutella, flour, sugars (I personally like brown), penne, vermicelli (I'm serious about my stir-fry), loaf of good bread
  • Nuts - almonds, peanuts, pine nuts (they're very pricy, so check for discounts/coupons), walnuts
  • Dried Fruits - cranberries, raisins, apricots, apples
  • Fridge - skim milk, eggs, cheese: goat, feta, bocconcini, blue, havarti, cottage, brie (this list can go on for far too long, so I'll stop here), butter, margarine, apples, celery, scallions, arugula
  • And More: avocados, bananas, potatoes (I love red for broiling), garlic

I have a lot of food for a student, but I also cook far more than many students, so it works out well. Also, I will note that where and when you can buy local and farm-fresh, do! It's tastier, fresher, greener, better for your local economy, and good all over. Plus, I must say that farmers' markets beat out chain grocery stores in my books any day!