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By Kate Strassel | Citizens Bank Staff
It’s the day you’ve dreamt of for as long as you can remember: You’re moving into your own place! No more letting your parents know when you’ll be home (seriously — don’t they understand you’re an adult?) or adhering to dorm rules and restrictions. You are a bona fide apartment renter with your own living room, bedroom, bathroom … and kitchen.
When you lived at home or on campus, chances are someone else — Mom, Dad, dining halls, the local pizza joint — was preparing meals for you. Not anymore. Unless you’ve struck gold in the roommate department and you’re living with a Food Network fan or culinary student, you’re going to have to learn to cook something. Eating out gets monotonous — and expensive — pretty fast, and there are some foods (like eggs or burgers) that just aren’t that appetizing when microwaved.
If the only meal you’ve ever successfully prepared is a bowl of instant ramen or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you might not have the slightest idea of where to start when stocking your kitchen with cooking supplies. We’ve put together a list of basic kitchen essentials, along with a few “nice-to-haves,” so you’re made ready to prepare meals for yourself — and maybe a friend (or date?) who’s willing to give your cooking a shot.
Maybe all you plan to make is sandwiches, canned soup, and microwave pizza. At the very least, you’re going to need something to eat off of — and with. Disposable plates, silverware, and cups might be convenient (I mean, who wants to wash dishes?), but they’re neither environmentally friendly nor cost effective.
Unless you’ll be entertaining large crowds on a regular basis, you don’t need to go all in and buy an entire dinnerware set. But you should plan to get at least four of the following:
Let’s assume that you plan to cook at least some of your meals. If you don’t happen to score a set of pots and pans from someone you know, you can easily make do with:
The best kitchen items are those that do double-duty, such as:
These miscellaneous items will quickly become your daily go-to's in the kitchen:
Maybe you’ve got the cooking basics down and you’re ready to get adventurous in the kitchen. Create Insta-worthy dishes using these common kitchen tools:
Whether you enjoy cooking or view it as a necessary part of adulting, making meals in your own kitchen can go a long way toward streamlining your monthly budget. If you’re not yet sure how you feel about your cooking capabilities, start off with the basic essentials. As your confidence grows, you can always add to your collection. Who knows: In a few months, you may find yourself hosting monthly supper clubs and giving cooking lessons to your friends.
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