You don’t have to break the bank when buying kitchen items for your college apartment. I put together a list of the ten most basic kitchen necessities that will get get you through the year, without spending a lot of money.
1. Pots and Pans- You will use these for almost everything, so therefore quality not quantity is important. Instead of buying a cheap set of a bunch of pots and pans, I would suggest buying one really good large saucepan, a frying pan and a large pot. It’s important to know about the different types of materials of the pots and pans before you buy them, such as aluminum, stainless steel and non-stick. I prefer non-stick because it makes cleaning up a lot easier.
2. Cooking Utensils- Utensils are something you want to buy in a set because there a lot of different types that you will use. You’ll at least need a spatula, ladle, whisk, tongs and spoon. A can opener, peeler, wooden spoon, pizza cutter and grater will also be very useful. Target has great utensil sets that have most of these items, if not more, for cheap. Rubbermaid, Chefmate and Calphalon are reliable brands that have good quality products.
3. Blender- A blender comes in handy for making smoothies and milkshakes, but also can be used in place of a food processor. With a blender you can make sauces and purees as well. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a single-serve blender from Hamilton Beach that I love for making smoothies. It’s also good however to have a large blender for when you are using it in place of a food processor.
4. Knives- Knives are another important part of your kitchen, but you don’t need a whole bunch of them. You really only need three types: a chef knife, a bread knife and a paring knife. The crazy sets of 10+ knives is unnecessary for a college kitchen. Make sure your knives are always kept sharp for best use.
5. Pot Holders and Kitchen Towels- You can find these at the dollar store. The pot holders or oven mitts are often forgotten, until you go to grab something out of the oven. Dishtowels are needed for cleaning up spills and splatters while cooking.
6. Measuring Spoons and Cups- Most recipes require you to measure out ingredients. I suggest getting measuring spoons that are attached with a ring so you don’t lose any. Measuring cups come in plastic, glass or metal. Pyrex is a great measuring cup to have because it is glass and therefore can withstand heat.
7. Baking sheets- Another item that is used frequently is an aluminum baking sheet. It isn’t only used for baking, but also for things such as frozen pizza and wings. Half- sheets are the ones that fit most home ovens. I would suggest having two baking sheets in your kitchen because they are used so often.
- 8. Leftover Containers- Storage containers are great to have on hand so your leftovers can be preserved. It’s good to have reusable containers to save money. There are plastic sets and glass sets. Again, glass comes in handy because it can be microwaved, but plastic is nice for when you are bringing a meal to class.
9.Ice cube trays- Another item that is often forgotten is ice cube trays. My college doesn’t have refrigerators with ice makers, so ice cube trays are important. I love the trays IKEA has in different shapes, such as fish and flowers, because they make your drinks fun.
10. Coffee Maker- Coffee is a staple in college students’ lives, so it’s good to have a coffee maker in your apartment. You will save money by making it yourself, rather then buying it at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks all the time. There are tons of different coffee makers for every type of coffee drinker, so it really depends on how much you think you’ll use it. If you’re sharing an apartment with roommates who also have a love for coffee you guys can put your money together to buy a really nice one.
Let me know what other necessities you guys couldn’t live without in your college kitchens!