Adulting 101 : How to Set Up Your Kitchen


For some reason, so many of us pride ourselves in the inability to cook.  While dining out and living off of delivery service delights seems easy, it has some major downfalls like cost.

Eating out is one of the biggest drains on any budget. As you know, most meals that you cook at home will be cheaper, and often quicker, than a similar meal from your go-to eatery.

Now before you start thinking of all the lame excuses as to why you don’t cook, think of all the money you can save. The average restaurant meal cost $13, while a home cooked dish will range closer to $4. Seems insignificant, but if you eat out every day for lunch, then most evenings and weekends, you are spending an unnecessary $100. So, if you want to save money consistently, gain an impressive skill and throw out the ramen, cooking at home is a great place to start.

Ah, but there’s a problem. Your kitchen isn’t set-up for actually cooking a meal and getting the essentials is expensive. Well, my friend, it isn’t as costly as you may think. Equipping your kitchen for daily use on any budget is possible.

A Checklist of Cooking Basics

This part is going to have a start-up cost, but I’m going to help you minimize it by focusing on what you absolutely need. You are going to end up spending about $250-$350, but before you back out, think about what you spent on your last cell phone or that trip to Vegas.

My goal was to create a list of tools that beginners need for daily cooking using our go-to shopping destination, Amazon.  So, let’s get started.

Cleaning Tools & Supplies

Unless you like food poisoning, having a clean kitchen is the most basic part of cooking.  You likely have most of these items or can get them from your local dollar store.  So before you start getting your Iron Chef on, make sure you have these basics.

  • Dishwashing liquid safe for dishes and hands
  • Multi-purpose surface cleaner for counters
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands
  • Broom, dustpan, and mop for cleaning the floor
  • Scrub brush for pots and pans
  • Bottle brushes for cleaning inside of items with narrow openings
  • Heavy-duty sponges for surfaces and dishes
  • Cloth, microfiber or paper towels for drying dishes, wiping up spills and regular cleaning
  • Steel wool for cleaning appliances and the sink
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Dish Rack for draining your dishes
  • DIY cleaning essentials: white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice
  • Trash bin and trash bags
  • Cleaning bucket for mopping and storing your supplies


The List

Stores sell these beautiful sets of cookware that can cost you hundreds of dollars. They are super convenient, however, the new cook won’t use most of it. The lists below are just the essentials to outfit a novice kitchen.


I’m keeping it simple remember. You don’t need a chopper, grater or peeler at this stage just these two things.

Prep Tools

Eyeballing ingredients and draining things with the pot lids are a sure fire way to hate cooking. These tools will make the process much easier and keep you out the emergency room.


I guess you could mix and flip with your hands, but that’s just messy. Get these tools and save your forks and spoons for dinner.

  • Whisk.  You think you don’t need it, but you do. A whisk is perfect for making salad dressings, pancake batter and scrambled eggs that are fluffy and delicious.  Try: OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk, $9.47 on Amazon
  • Instant-read thermometer.  If you’re new to cooking, time and texture will not let you know you can eat that chicken without contracting E-coli. Take the guess work out of if your meat is ready with this little utensil.  Try: GDEALER Digital Talking Instant Read Thermometer, $16.99 on Amazon


Before Big Mama starts telling you to get a cast iron skillet, remind yourself you’re not there yet. These four basics will cover your cooking and baking needs.


These tools are critical, but there are dupes available in your home. If you don’t have these, get them the next time you’re near Ikea or on Amazon.

  • Timer.  If your stove or cell phone does not have one, this is a must have. Most recipes call for things to cook for a certain amount of time, so get one.
  • Trivet.  I remember when I first started cooking I burnt a hole in my counter. Get an inexpensive heat resistant pad to place hot dishes on your table or counter or use a kitchen towel.  Try: Chefworx Silicone Trivet Mat, $8.00 on Amazon
  • Oven mitts or pot holders.Unless you have fireproof hands, protect yourself from burns while baking and cooking.  Try: DII Heat Resistant Potholder, $6.99 on Amazon

Quick Click Shopping list

  • Timer: Likely on your cell phone


Well, that wraps it up. How did you outfit your first kitchen? What cooking essentials would you add to the list?



Author: Charice

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