list of items to buy in usa

You must have seen shopping list for a list of items to buy before you come to the USA. Your shopping doesn’t end right there.

There is a long list of things to buy after you come to the USA for the first time. Especially as a student, there’s going to be a lot of  things you would have to buy for your Kitchen, Apartment, Bathroom, Living Room to Bedroom.

I have put together this list to help you with the list of items. If you are moving into brand new apartment with your friends, then you have to buy most of the items listed below or You may decide to bring some of the items listed above to save money.

Mindset of new students would be like:

  • “Don’t Spend. This is an expensive item.”.
  • “OMG, soap costs INR 300?”.

Eventually, the currency conversion mentality would go away. Trust Me. It can take up to six months to 1 year. In the mean time, you have to shop, buy food. So, go with the flow.


I have owned and used several laptops over last 15 years. I started with HP, and now I’m typing this on a Macbook Air.  Between My wife, out son and I, we have Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iMac, Desktop PC, HP Envy, ThinkPad and Dell ( and two iPads).

Here’s my recommendation (order of preference)

  1. ThinkPad T Series (I would stick with T-Series from Lenovo)
  2. HP Laptops (Envy or Spectre)
  3. Microsoft Store (Checkout all Windows Laptops in one place)
  4. Macbook Pro (This would be my first choice but for college students, I would stay with PC)

Buy a laptop that is sturdy and can take a beating. Don’t buy something that is flimsy for the looks.  You can’t beat the ultrabook design with Lenovo, followed by HP and Dell. Plan to spend $800 to $1500 for a decent laptop.  Look for 14-inch or 15-inch laptops. Not less than 13 inch for sure.

Wireless Router: There are several options available, but keep this in mind. If you are going to be sharing your apartment, then you need the higher end routers. I know the heavy usages among students to download things and online games.  I use Apple Airport Extreme at my home. If you are not an Apple Fanboy like me, you can go with

I know the heavy usages among students to download things and online games.  I use Apple Airport Extreme at my home. If you are not an Apple Fanboy like me, you can go with Netgear.

Routers that you would get for less than $100 might not be enough.

  • Ethernet Cable (just in case your wireless doesn’t work)

Cell Phones (iPhone and other smartphones): there are so many options to choose from. Figure out if the network is good from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile. Then buy a family plan with your friends.

Kitchen Things

  1. Kitchen Knife – Vegetable
  2. Kitchen Knife – Chicken
  3. Kitchen Cutting Table
  4. Can Opener
  5. Trash Can
  6. Trash Bag
  7. Water/Juice Drinking Glasses
  8. Frying Pan Big
  9. Frying Pan Small
  10. Storage Containers

When buying utensils for kitchen,  make sure it is safe to use the microwave.

It’s good to bring one plate, but I recommend you purchase a couple of plates after you come here.  Aluminium plates can’t be used in the Microwave.

Items for the Restroom

  1. Shampoo
  2. Soap
  3. Trash can
  4. Trash Bag
  5. Shower Curtain + Shower Liner
  6. Mat for Sink
  7. Mat for Shower Tub

Items for the Bedroom

Mattress (or Bed) to sleep 

Don’t skip the mattress. I have seen students who sleep on the floor or sleeping bag. Please, you don’t have to be so frugal to let go of a good night sleep. You need a good mattress for a good nights sleep.

Mattress Size ( small to big):  Twin, Full, Queen, King and California King. Twin size will be good for one person.

Blankets or Comforter

During cold seasons, we use Plush Blankets as a bedspread and as the blanket. Depending on where you live and your cold tolerance, you may need two comforters or plush blankets.

Buy Full or Queen size blankets or comforter. If you buy Twin, it would just fit you. If you toss and turn, you would be exposed.


$8 pillow from Walmart will last for a year or two.

Laundry Bag or Basket:

You may prefer a Laundry Basket or Laundry Bag. I had a basket, and it was difficult to carry. So, I switched to Laundry Bag after few months.

Iron Box and Ironing Board

  • For an Iron ( we call it as Iron Box in India) spend $20 or more. Cheap ones from Walmart doesn’t last long.
  • You would need an Ironing Board (but you can choose to skip, it will be a hassle)

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.



  1. Pratik on January 20, 2016 at 8:40 AM

    $8000 to $15000 for a decent laptop….really?? 😀 😀

    Rectify the error…and a repeated paragraph…

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 20, 2016 at 8:54 AM

      The text editor is having some issues. It doubles some sentences. I will get that fixed. $8000 for laptop – No Way 🙂

  2. Revathi Reddy on October 9, 2015 at 8:25 AM


    I love to read your blog regularly. The articles are really amazing and truly helpful for students and working professionals who are planning for abroad studies. Everything is awesome, but I would like to give you a small piece of advice – Keep a check on your grammar and spelling mistakes in your article. If grammar mistakes are corrected, then your articles as well as blog reaches to masses.

  3. nim on July 30, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Could you please let me know iPhone price in USA?

    • HSB on July 31, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      iPhone 3gs from $1
      iPhone 4s – $199 with 2 years contract for 16 GB.

    • Revathi Reddy on September 26, 2015 at 7:33 AM

      The price of iphone 6 in USA is $649.(i.e., approximately equal to 42,185/-).

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