9 Kitchen Essentials for Your First Apartment Skip to main content
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9 Kitchen Essentials for Your First Apartment

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9 Kitchen Essentials for Your First Apartment Textbooks.com Blog You’ve found roommates, you’ve put down your deposit, and you’re about to rent your first apartment. Between your bedroom and the living room, there’s a lot to do as you scan down that first apartment checklist. Make sure the all-important kitchen is on the list, too. We rounded up some kitchen essentials, small appliances, and cookware to get you started.

Coffee Maker
Oh, yes – first things first. Whether it’s a stand-alone version, a combination of kettle and Bodum French press, or Melitta pour-over cone, this morning companion is one of those must-have kitchen essentials for coffee drinkers.

Forget the block sets. You don’t need most of the knives that fatten the price of a block. For prepping food, you will definitely need a classic 8” chef’s knife and a 4” paring knife. Everything else – trimming, deboning, filleting – is task specific – and for a first kitchen you need utility players. If you plan on doing some entertaining and or love baking bread, then add a long serrated bread knife to the list. Eat meat? Then a set of steak knives would be a bonus.

Dishes + Glasses
Keep it simple and keep it classic. We love IKEA’s dinnerware sets. They come in simple colors and patterns that won’t go out of style next week. And they’re affordable. Check out their 365+ collection sold by the piece or the Fargrik set ($20 for 6 settings is a bargain). For glasses, budgetistas should look at Libbey and Anchor (and of course, IKEA).

You’re on a budget, we get it – but you have standards. No more plastic knives and bent forks lifted from the dining hall, OK? Affordable options for your first kitchenette abound with 4-setting flatware from brands like Pfaltzgraff, Oneida, Mikasa, and Corelle running $20-$25.

Toaster Oven
Skip the toaster – it does one thing, toast bread. With a toaster oven, you can toast a bagel without burning down the house, roast a chicken, cook a nice, crispy pizza, reheat last night’s leftovers, and much, much more (like these easy dorm recipes). Depending on the bells and whistles, you’re looking at the $20-$50 range and it’s worth the investment. Summertime bonus: Not turning on the kitchen oven and upping your apartment’s already sweltering temps.

Pots + Pans
A few pots and pans is all you need. A 10” non-stick skillet is a must for eggs, sautéing, and stir-frying, along with a 4-quart pot for pasta, soups, and chili. A small sauce pan will round things out. Like to bake or roast veggies? A sheet pan is a must.

Cutting Board
Your landlord will not be pleased with cut marks on the counter. A $10 bamboo cutting board should do the trick (and salvage your damage deposit).

Cooking Utensils + Measuring Cups
A trip to the dollar store and you can cross these basic kitchen tools off your list. For cooking utensils, you'll need a spatula, slotted spoon, wooden spoons (for non-stick pans), and a ladle, along with measuring cups and spoons. Prefer OXO or Good Grips? You’ll save at places like TJ Maxx and HomeGoods.

Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls do double duty – dinner prep and serving it, too. Look for one – like the colorful Room Essentials set from Target – that can do both.

What’s on your list of kitchen essentials? Join us on Facebook and chime in on your favorite kitchen tools.