If you’re moving out for the first time as a student, you’ll need to make sure you have all the essentials for the kitchen, but might want to do some preparation to make sure you don’t have seven toasters. The first thing to do, if possible, is to get in touch with the student halls you’re staying at and find out what will already be supplied. Even better, if you can find out who you’ll be living with, you can start a group chat and make sure you aren’t all bringing the same things.
The best place to start is with some cheap but useful items, and then buy more as you go. A good place to start is with a set of crockery and glasses that are nice, but cheap enough that you don’t mind them breaking (a strong possibility in your first few years). Once you have these, you can think about what appliances you’ll need to get once you started. There’s nothing wrong with getting a takeaway from Food Panda from time to time, but having all the essentials means you won’t be spending your student finances on pizza within the first month.
A good slow cooker can be found relatively inexpensively and is one of the simplest ways to get started with cooking. You can simply get some basic ingredients together, some meat, vegetables, and stock, throw it in for a few hours, and have a delicious meal waiting for you after class. You can also easily cook meals in bulk, so that you have meals for the whole week with only one session of prep needed.
Three-piece knife set
For getting started, you don’t need a set of seven professional knives. A good place to start is with a three-piece set with a chef’s knife which you can use for meat, a smaller knife for vegetables, and a smaller knife still for more delicate chopping jobs. You can pick these up from Amazon for less than $15, and have all the knives you need for your first few years.
Non-stick frying pan
For frying food and stir-fries, picking up a good non-stick pan is a must. This is one utensil we recommend spending a bit more on, as a poor quality non-stick pan will deteriorate quickly, and you’ll find your eggs and meat are sticking to the pan in less than three months. If you pick up an excellent pan by a brand like Tefal, you’ll be spending more to start with, but in the long term, you’ll save money from not having to replace it over and over again.
Mini food processor
This is a slight investment, but it can be a great purchase to save you time in the kitchen. A mini food processor can turn 10 minutes of chopping vegetables into 30 seconds. This is perfect for when you’re starting to crave some fast food and have just had a long session in the library to stop you from getting the third takeaway of the week.