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Summer is winding down. There’s pumpkin spiced… everything in shops. All while frantic attempts are being made to cram a bedroom full of belongings into tiny cardboard boxes, while trying to decide which items qualify as ‘university essentials’.

Fortunately, SPAR is there for you; with some suggestions as to what to include in your student starter kit from our fully stocked Deals and Groceries section.

From healthy, high-quality frozen food for late night study sessions, skin and hair care products to ensure you’re looking your best in those early lectures, or those all-important kitchen and bathroom products your parents keep nagging you about, SPAR has your needs covered; whether you’re going back to university for your final year, or are a new student set to embark on your university journey.

And so, no matter where you are on your university journey, here are our picks for what to include in your student starter kit.

University Essentials, by SPAR

Curated for you by SPAR, our student starter kit is intended as guide, allowing you to focus on what matters, so don’t worry too much about specifics; make the kit your own. (And share your picks with us!)


Making nutritious, appetising meals whilst slammed by late nights and lectures can be challenging; especially if cooking isn’t on your student orientation plan!

Fortunately, our humble fresh pasta (we recommend fresh egg tagliatelle) is healthy, versatile and delicious. A university essential and dining staple for so many; follow one of our pasta recipes or pull together some ingredients from our fruit and vegetables section and stir up your own pasta creation.

And if you’re looking to ignite a dorm-room debate at university, try our Pasta & Marmite recipe.

Our top pasta recipes: 

Ice Cream

See? We promised university essentials, and we have delivered. A vital addition to your student starter kit – whether celebrating, commiserating or just plain convalescing – your freezer needs to contain a tub of ice cream at all times. Sorry; we don’t make the rules.

Be it plain vanilla, begging to form the basis of an indulgent sundae, or our decadently delicious chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, our range of ice cream is university freezer staple, and a top-tier university essential.

Tea & Coffee

Coffee is study session rocket fuel. Tea is wind-down companion excellence. Both are university essentials.

Whether you need a rich, full bodied pick-me-up to cure the late night daze, or a something soothing and aromatic for a mindful moment to yourself; our fresh coffee and green tea options are bone fide student starter kit essentials.

And, honestly, is there anything better than to while away a lazy autumn afternoon in halls than surrounded by friends, spilling the tea (or coffee]).

If you’re feeling daring, you could also try making our Dalgona Coffee; just don’t blame us when classmates keep showing up begging you for more.

Hair & Skin Care Products

Aside from the late nights spent with your nose buried in a textbook, bafflingly early lectures (there’s an 8 o’clock in the morning now?), and deadline juggling required to obtain your degree, university is, as much as anything else, a social experience.

And why not? Studying is taxing – mentally and physically – and you deserve to blow off some steam, whether on campus or off. And, if you’re anything like us, you want to dazzle.

And slaying at the Students’ Union needn’t cost the earth; we’ve got a wide range of salon-quality hair and skin products, meaning you can dress to impress, no matter the event. While you're picking up dry shampoo (it's a lifesaver!) in the health aisle - don't forget to stock up on paracetamol, plasters & anti-bac gel as well. 

Cleaning Essentials 

Okay. It’s time for the real talk. Whether you’re starting university for the first time, or going back to university for a new year, you’ll likely be striking out on your own; cultivating your own fortress of solitude for intense study or tranquil relaxation, as well as pitching in with general household upkeep.

Kitchens don’t clean themselves. Fortunately, you needn’t risk damaging you skin or picking up unwanted viruses with our friend, the humble rubber glove). Multipurpose and utterly essential for cohabiting, ensure that your student starter kit is equipped with this stone-cold classic, along with cloths, spray & bleach! 

You’ll thank us later.

Beers, Wines & Sprits

Technically we’re cheating here a little, as we’ve rolled three university essentials into one, but, honestly, who can ever agree on what to drink? Really?

Ensure that your fridge is stocked with wines for that overdue catch-up with a classmate, beers and ciders for fresher bonding sessions, and spirits for those who fancy themselves cocktail maestros.

Sidenote: if you feel yourself to be a budding mixologist, you should definitely try your hand at our 10 classic cocktails recipe. Don’t forget to share your results on social!

Tea Lights

Ambience is important. It focuses the mind and soothes the nerves; making it a bone fide university essential and, by extension, making tea lights the perfect final inclusion to your student starter kit. 

Applied in a range of scenarios, tea lights can help you craft a little slice of nirvana, whatever may be happening outside your bedroom door.

And here endeth the lesson. And remember, our university essentials may not be your university essentials, so feel free to tweak as necessary. (Except for the ice-cream. That has to stay.)

You can find all the items for your student starter kit at your local SPAR. For more university inspiration, sign up to our E-Newsletter and receive updates on our latest deals, recipes, and competitions.