Set Up Your Kitchen With These Frugal Kitchen Essentials

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We recently moved into a new condo. We didn’t buy anything before moving, but our parents did give us a few things, and we decided we would buy things that we needed after living in the condo for a bit and seeing what we truly needed.

We were armed with a few things (thanks mom and dad!) but uh, I really wish I would have just got the things I needed before moving.

Based on my experience (of only having one steak knife and no cookie sheets), I’ve created this list of kitchen essentials for you! Everything on this list should be less than $500 total, and should be enough for you to make most simple meals, have utensils to eat the meals, and some items to keep the leftovers in!

**BTW this is just the kitchenware, no food is included in this list.

Affordable Kitchen Essentials on Amazon:

Bon Flora 20-Piece Stainless Steel Cutlery Set

Okay you’ll definitely need a set of flatware (aka silverware). This set comes with 20 pieces, including a knife, a bigger spoon, a smaller spoon, a bigger fork, and a smaller fork (four of each). This set is also dishwasher safe! And it has a fancy-looking pattern on the handles so you can impress your friends.

madesmart Silverwear Tray

You’re going to need something to put your silverware in, this tray is perfect! It should fit in nearly any drawer, and is white so it will go with any decor.

AmazonBasics 16-Piece Dinnerware Set

This 16 piece set of dinnerware is perfect for your silverware set (since they both serve 4). This set comes with dinner plates, smaller plates (for desserts [or snacks!]), bowls, and mugs!

This set is also microwave safe, oven safe, and freezer safe (why would you freeze these though?).

Cook N Home 15-Piece Nonstick Stay Cool Handle Cookware Set, Black

I wish I had gotten this set when I first moved! It has 2 different saucepans (perfect for soup [ahem ramen!]), a casserole dish, a dutch oven stockpot (the really big pot), two different frying pans, and a 5-piece utensil set (spatula, ladle, and something you can use to flip all the pancakes you’ll be making).

Also comes in black, green, red.

Hefty 7-Gal Textured Step-On Trash Can with Lid Lock and Bottom Cap (Stainless Steel) + Bags

You’re going to need something to put your trash in, especially if you’re going to be doing any type of cooking. This trashcan is a good size for the kitchen, big enough to fit any food boxes or containers you don’t need, and you just step on the pedal at the bottom to open it (so you don’t have to touch it).

Cotton Terry Pot Holders, Heat Resistant and Machine Washable, Set of 3

If you’re going to be cooking or baking, you’ll definitely need some pot holders. This set is cute, and very budget-friendly! Also machine washable (for when you get the pasta sauce all over them).

Dish Drying Rack Bamboo Dish Rack Collapsible Dish Drainer

This is perfect for EVERYONE. If you don’t have a dishwasher in your new place you’ll love this, but if you do, then you may not want to run the dishwasher every day (especially if you live alone – you don’t have many dishes at once).

This rack is collapsible, so you can put it away when you aren’t using it.

It is made out of bamboo, so it will go with most appliances/kitchens.

Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups Combo

You’ll need a starter set of measuring cups and spoons for your cooking and baking needs!

KitchenAid Classic Set of 3 Mixing Bowls

If you do any type of baking, then you will have a need for mixing bowls. This set gives you 3 in the sizes that you’ll use the most! Also comes in blue and white.

Bottle Openers

If you plan on entertaining or enjoy having a drink every now and then, a bottle opener is a MUST.

Rubbermaid 2065352 Easy Find Lids Food Storage Containers, 42 Piece, New Assortment, Racer Red

You will most likely have leftovers at some point, so why not get something to put it in! These super durable Rubbermaid containers are microwave safe, freezer safe, and dishwasher safe!

These also can nest (put then inside of each other) which makes storing them super easy!

Norpro Cut N’ Slice Flexible Cutting Boards, Set of 3

Nice low-cost set of 3 flexible cutting boards!

Amazon Basics Toaster

For all of your bagel and toast needs!

Kitch Ice Tray Easy Release White Ice Cube Trays, 16 Cube (Pack of 2)

If you don’t happen to have a ice maker built into your fridge, you should pick up some ice cube trays!

KitchenAid Can Opener, Red

A can opener for opening soups and sauce containers!

AmazonBasics 12-Piece Colored Knife Set

A knife set for cutting veggies, meats, and other food items you’re going to cook!

Comes in an adorable set of bright rainbow colors!


So there you have it, a set of low-cost items that will help you get started in your new kitchen!

These items also make AMAZING gifts!

Did I leave anything off of this list? Comment and let me know!

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