Moving out on your own? Here are the tools you need to stock your first kitchen

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Congratulations on having your own kitchen! Whether it’s on your own or with a roommate or spouse, moving out and into your own space is a huge step forward in becoming a financially independent and responsible adult.

You might know your way around the kitchen from helping your parents out during holidays or being the designated dish washer over the years, but buying your own kitchen supplies can be overwhelming. If you’ve ever been in the kitchen section of Bed Bath and Beyond, you know exactly what we mean.

Kitchen Essentials

With so many gadgets and gizmos to choose from, its difficult to figure out what you really need. Luckily, we’ve narrowed it down for you! Stock your kitchen with the kitchen essentials you really need:

1. Measuring cups:

You’re going to need these little guys for any baking or cooking you do. If you’re low on space, try these collapsible cups. For $15, you get a set of eight measuring cups and spoons that can be easily hung on the inside of a cabinet or stored flat in a drawer.  Also consider purchasing a cup that can hold a quart like this one by Pyrex for $6.50. Pyrex products are dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe.

2. Dinnerware:

Who said you have to spend an arm and a leg on fun plates and bowls? Corelle makes great, affordable products that are chip resistant, dishwasher, and microwave safe (have you noticed a theme yet?). They come in a variety of designs to suit almost every style. These sets of 16 pieces will cost you between $25 and $30.

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3. Flatware:

Forks, knives, and spoons are necessary because you can’t eat everything with your hands. Go for fun pops of color if you have eclectic style. Otherwise, stick with simple colors for a streamlined look.

Shop our favorite kitchen essentials here!

4. Knives:

A good paring knife is useful for almost everything, from slicing fruit and veggies to cutting through tough pieces of meat. This one from Ikea is a steal at $8.99. Looking for a more versatile set? Ikea also offers this three-piece stainless steel set for $2.99. I would recommend investing in a sharper, versatile knife as well.

5. Utensils:

Unfortunately, you can’t cook with forks and spoons because they will damage your pots and pans. Ikea’s five-piece non-stick set in black will cost you $2.99.

6. Storage containers:

Useful for storing leftovers, a 10 piece set should do the trick. This Rubbermaid set from Target has multiple sizes and runs for $16.99.

7. Mixing bowls:

Having bowls around to use for your baking experiments is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. This five-piece multi-size and color set from Bed Bath and Beyond is only $20 – a super bargain at only $4 a bowl. All of the pieces are both dishwasher and microwave safe and can also be used as serving dishes for meals – a two for one!

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8. Pots and pans:

When buying these, think about the types of things you will be cooking most often. If you aren’t going to making big pots of soup or cooking for a family of four, you probably don’t need to purchase a complete cookware set. This 8’’ Farberware fry pan from Target is near perfect. Consider getting two so you can cook meat and vegetables simultaneously. This 2-quart saucepan from Ikea should be sufficient for your cooking needs. If you do want to purchase a complete set, I recommend a ceramic one, like this Cuisinart set.

9. Baking:

While this might not be for everyone, consider purchasing a cupcake pan like this one from Target for $10.50. A baking pan, such as this one by Wilton for just over $8, can be used not only for cakes but anything you would want to bake in the oven.  You never know when you might need to bake for an office party or a friend’s birthday.

10. Other:

There are also a few smaller items that you might need in the kitchen. A cutting board is necessary for anything involving a knife. To prevent damage to your new counters, consider this heavy-duty set of four for $10.

And don’t be caught without a can opener! This one from Ikea can also be used as a bottle opener. Speaking of bottles, don’t forget to pick up a corkscrew for $2.99.

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colander can be used to drain water from pasta or to rinse fruit and veggies. Finally, don’t forget your oven mitts, potholders and kitchen towels! Try IkeaBed Bath and Beyond, Target, or Kohls for a great selection to suit any style.

11. A Crockpot:

A crockpot has been a lifesaver for me, I use it every week! It feels like a really “adult” thing to use but it’s extremely practical for saving time and making a few days worth of meals at once. This one from Amazon is only $30.

While this list is not exhaustive, it covers basic needs on a budget and will get you started in your new place! Once you really get going, you will figure out what exactly you will need in your kitchen.