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10 Must-Have Kitchen Items For Your Apartment

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Lady in Kitchen at Monticello at Town Center

You've moved into your new apartment, unpacked your boxes and are finally settling in at home (congratulations!). Now, it's time to outfit your kitchen with the essentials you'll need to cook, bake and prepare your favorite food items.

Like many residents, your new move may mean that it's time to upgrade old kitchen equipment (think crusty pots and barely working toasters), or purchase items that you simply didn't need in your previous living space. Wandering the housewares aisle at your nearby department store or kitchen supply store can be overwhelming, and you may find yourself leaving empty-handed or with 10 things you don't need at all.

Don't give up! We've come up with a handy list of 10 basic items that most cooks, whether novice or experienced, will want in their kitchens. You won't have to exhaust an enormous budget or fill all of your cabinets when you keep stocked in the essentials, and you'll find it's easier to prepare your every day, favorite dishes with just a few must-have items.


  1. Pots and Pans. If you want to stay budget-conscious, you should be able to get by with a frying pan (look for stainless steel), saucepan with lid and a cast-iron skillet.
  2. Crock Pot/Slow Cooker. There's nothing simpler and more satisfying than a warm, slow-cooked meal waiting for you when you arrive home after a long day. Invest in a crock pot that you can set for short and long periods of time and you'll find yourself using it on your days off, as well.
  3. Knives. It's worth it to buy yourself a mid-range block of knives that includes a serrated knife, steak knives, and a well-sharpened, all purpose knife.
  4. Wooden Spoons. You'll find yourself reaching for wooden spoons when mixing soup, stir-frying vegetables, mixing marinades and more. These are inexpensive and usually can be bought in a pack with multiple sizes.
  5. Cutting Boards. Plan to purchase 3 cutting boards for your new home: One for produce, one for meat and one for bread.
  6. Can Opener. At the last minute, you won't want to find yourself stuck without a way to open a can. Pick up the least expensive version you can find, and plan to spend less than $5 on this basic necessity.
  7. Toaster. You love your bagels and fresh bread toasted, but you don't necessarily need to purchase a large toaster oven or pricey toaster. Plan to spend around $30 on a basic toaster that will last for years.
  8. Food Processor. You can buy small or large food processors, depending upon your needs. You'll need these to whip up pestos, sauces, slaws and more.
  9. Digital Thermometer. Cooking meat can be stressful if you don't have a proper thermometer, so invest in a simple, digital version and prepare your next family feast with no worries.
  10. Mixing Bowls. Plan to pick up a pack of mixing bowls in multiple sizes to help you whip up marinades, sauces, salads, slaws, etc. We recommend glass, but plastic may be less expensive.

Filed Under: Apartment Living

About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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