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This post is about college apartment kitchen essentials.
Transitioning from a dorm room to a college apartment is a big life experience!
Having a kitchen opposed to trying to cook food in your microwave is such a nice change, and it really makes you feel like a full blown adult.
If you have roommates, coordinate with them so there isn’t a random array of 5 sauce pans, 18 forks and no knives in your kitchen. Split everything up! If you’re living in an apartment alone, this is a great packing list!
Here’s 21 college apartment kitchen essentials.
College Apartment Kitchen Essentials
1. Silverware Set
This is something that is worth investing in. Silverware kits are relatively inexpensive, so “investing” isn’t a ton of money.
Getting something a little nicer holds up a lot better in the long run. You won’t have to throw this away at the end of the year!
Here’s what I recommend:
2. In-Cabinet Spice Rack
Spices have the tendency to build up pretty quickly, and just become a jumbled mess. Designate a cabinet in your apartment for spices, and get a spice rack! They’re inexpensive, fit all cabinets, and help to keep your college apartment super organized.
The ones I’ve selected below come with jars that fit in them, and with labels. Go to a natural food store and fill them inexpensively!
3. Knife Set
A knife set is an absolute necessity. If your college apartment is going to have roommates, this is even more of a necessity! Everyone will end up bringing similar sized knives and you’ll never have one that you need.
Designate one person to get a knife set, and then they can take it when your lease is up. This solves a lot of problems!
Here’s some inexpensive and fancier ones that I recommend.
4. Cooking Utensils Set
Instead of buying these things separately, it’s a good idea to buy them as a set. This saves money, gives you everything you need, and helps with making sure your roommates don’t bring doubles of everything!
Alongside the silverware and knives, it’s good to designate one person for this purchase.
Here’s some more budget friendly and more expensive cooking utensil set options.
5. Pots and Pans Set
This is a purchase that can be a bit more spendy. If you have the budget, this is something that could be designated to one person. However, if no one has the budget to invest, see what pots and pans you’re able to bring from home amongst you all and go from there.
Here’s some budget friendly, but limited, options, and some spendy sets!
Related: The Best Apartment Decor on Amazon
Another set that needs to be purchased. I’m not sure why, but odds and ends dishes in a cabinet have always made me associate it with uncleanliness. Same with plastic dishes!
What’s nice about ceramic dishes is that they don’t need to be expensive. This is a big misconception! You can get ceramic dishes at a really nice price, and they look so much better. Plus, let’s remember to always think of the environment.
Here’s my favorite budget friendly sets. I also included some more spendy ones so you can compare!
7. Kitchen Tools
Can openers, a pizza cutter, cheese grater – these things are easy to forget, and are absolutely essential in every kitchen.
Just like cooking utensils, these are best bought in a set. I couldn’t find any sets that didn’t include at least some cooking utensils, so count them as extras!
You won’t realize you don’t have a colander until you really, really need one. Here’s a few different sizes and a few sets.
9. Cutting Boards
There’s a lot of variety with cutting boards, and with that, a lot of different price points. I personally recommend wooden ones opposed to plastic, but the choice is yours!
Dependent on budget, here’s a few options!
10. Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls are another forgotten item that you don’t realize you need, until you really need it!
I really like metal or glass mixing bowls, which last longer and won’t melt when exposed to high heat, but there’s great reasons to get plastic ones too. The first that comes to mind is if you’re apartment is with roommates you don’t know, and you want to wait to invest in more expensive bowls.
Here’s some great sets –
11. Wine Glasses
These make every college apartment instantly extremely classy. Wine glasses are an absolute must for entertaining guests, or sharing a meal!
I love stemless wine glasses if you’re concerned about storing them, but stemmed ones are great too if there’s a designated shelf in a cabinet for them.
12. Drinking Glasses
Wine glasses may be first priority, but drinking glasses are an essential, too! This is another one that’s important to consider the type of environment your apartment will be.
Plastic ones if you’re not sure on the people who’ll be living there, and glass ones if you know everyone is responsible and careful. Whichever you choose, don’t use disposable plastic cups! They’re too wasteful and cost a lot of money in the long run.
13. Hand Mixer
This is an inexpensive kitchen tool that is an absolute necessity. One of the biggest changes I noticed when moving from a dorm to an apartment was the amount of cooking I did. There was no more pre-cooked meals in the dining hall!
A hand mixer is an absolute college apartment essential for your kitchen.
14. Pots and Pans Rack
I never really understood why people keep their pots and pans all in a pile in a cabinet or in the built-in drawer that’s under their oven.
Designating a cabinet to keep your pots and pans is the first step, and the second most crucial step is to organize them!
15. Baking Sheets
Baking sheets, muffin tins, loaf pans, and a pizza stone are so useful, especially when you’re first learning how to cook meals for yourself.
One of my favorite things to do is cook an entire school week’s worth of food on baking sheets in the oven, and then I don’t have to worry about making lunches during the busy school week.
Related: College Apartment Living Room Ideas
16. Baking Dishes
Just like baking sheets, baking dishes make life a lot easier. Casseroles, cakes, lasagna, and any kind of food that’s baked in liquid needs a baking dish!
This is another one of my favorite tools when I’m prepping my meals for the school week.
17. Coffee Cups
Are you really in college if you don’t develop a coffee addiction, or at least a caffeine addiction?
I know that I used to go to the coffee shop every day, but making coffee at home is so much cheaper!
I also like to make mug cakes a lot, and coffee cups are perfect for that.
Coffee makers just don’t make sense ever since keurigs came out. They come in all different sizes, meaning all different price points, and last a long time!
To combat plastic use, I use compostable K-cups and an airtight container to hold them in since they need to stay sealed. I included them below, and really recommend them!
19. Pantry Storage Containers
These definitely aren’t a necessity, but sure make organization look a lot nicer!
I love when pantries have labeled areas for food, and that includes foods that already come in boxes. Again, these aren’t a necessity. You can organize foods in the boxes they come in, but this just makes it prettier!
20. Kitchen Linens/Oven Mitts
When these things are bought in a set, it’s really aesthetically pleasing! Plus, it’s usually a little bit of a discount.
Here’s my favorites.
21. Measuring Cups and Spoons
Turns out a lot more needs to be measured in the kitchen, not just when baking. Similar to almost everything else in the kitchen, measuring cups and spoons come in plastic and metal options. Here’s both of them.
This post showed you 21 college apartment kitchen essentials.
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