Grocery Shopping & Meal Planning

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Lily Nannini
March 13, 2023

One of my goals for study abroad was to gain independence and experience living on my own. I’ve been in Vienna for over six weeks now, which means I’ve been cooking for myself for over six weeks now. In the two years I’ve been at college, I was on a meal plan. The moment of the reality of having to be an actual adult sinking in will forever be ingrained in my memory. It was after I had made my first “real” meal here in my apartment. In this post, I share some of my go-to recipes and meal ideas while studying abroad, as well as a few recommendations and tips.


  • Eggs scrambled with cheddar, salt & pepper
  • Yogurt w/ granola (müsli) or fruit
  • Cinnamon oat protein pancakes with apple
  • Fruit
    • Banana
    • Strawberry
    • Kiwi
    • Apple
    • Blueberry
    • Blackberry 
    • Pineapple
    • Clementines
  • Avocado toast with salt/pepper or everything bagel seasoning
  • Oatmeal/porridge
    • Banana
    • Mini chocolate chips
    • Raspberries
  • Overnight oats
    • Almond milk
    • Syrup
    • Mini choc chips
    • Banana
  • Rice cake w/ peanut butter & jam


  • Salami & cheese semmel
  • Ham & cheese
    • grilled cheese
  • Quinoa, rice, pasta + protein
  • Soup
  • Tuna fish
    • Tuna melt w/ avocado & cheese


  • Chicken & quinoa stir fry
    • Snow peas
    • Chicken
    • Quinoa
    • Soy sauce
    • Oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic
    • Mushrooms
    • Edamame
  • Beef taco bowls
    • Ground beef
    • Taco seasoning
    • Avocado
    • Taco sauce
    • Sour cream
    • Cheddar cheese
  • Pesto pasta
    • Protein (optional)
    • Pesto sauce
    • Milk/cream
    • Butter
    • Parmesan cheese
  • Coconut chicken chickpea curry
    • Rice
    • Garlic
    • Chicken
    • Olive oil
    • Coconut milk
    • Curry paste
    • Chickpeas 
    • Lime (garnish)
    • Bread (to dip)
  • Billa frozen schnitzel
    • w/ mushrooms & green beans
    • mashed potatoes


  • Manner schoko brownie törtchen
  • Strawberries/banana with Nutella
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Apfel chips
  • Cashews 
  • Granola bars

Shopping at Billa: My first experience at Billa, the grocery store I shop at, was a humbling one. I stocked up on all the essentials and when it came time to check-out the person at the register was definitely not happy with me. She scanned every item at rapid fire, faster than I thought was humanly possible. I was frantically trying to shove items into my tote bag as she prompted the payment. Basically, I learned the hard way that you’re supposed to throw all of your items back into your basket and use the counter near the registers to organize and bag your items. At least I wasn’t in it alone, because all of my friends from the program faced the same problem. You also have to bring your own bag, and I think investing in a Billa shopping bag is also a good move, so you can transport a sizable amount of groceries at a time. With that being said, I also learned the hard way not to buy more food than I know I’m going to use. I’ve had to throw out more moldy cheese or leftovers that stayed in the fridge for too long on multiple occasions. It’s hard to change my mentality of stocking up to buying on a day to day basis, but it may be worth it to not throw out food that goes bad wicked fast.


  • Investing in a 3-pack of glass tupperware from Höfer has been a lifesaver 
    • Makes it super easy to meal prep
  • Utilizing Too Good to Go
    • I’ve gotten a ton of bread/pastries from the Billa bakery surprise bag for €4
  • Reusing containers
    • Glass yogurt/nutella containers for making overnight oats or storing little things like hair ties or clips


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Headshot of Lily Nannini.

Lily Nannini

Hi! I'm Lily and I'm from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I currently attend Washington and Lee University in Virginia. I'm always down for spontaneous adventures, catching sunrise/sunset, and taking pictures of food:) When I graduate college I want to renovate a van and travel the country, visiting every U.S. National Park as I go. Hopefully I'll have a golden retriever with me too. I love meeting new people and gaining new experiences, so I am extremely excited for this term in Vienna!

Home University:
Washington and Lee University
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