The list author says: "This is a list of things that I have recently purchased to field my first kitchen. **I do own everything on this list.** I also continue to update this list when I find something new that I love.
I am a recent grad on a budget, and I only want high quality items for not a lot of money. 4-for-3 promotions are your best friends. USE THEM WELL to get the most out of this list.
If you are looking for absolute cheapies, you can find "cheaper" on other lists. I am in a transition phase, and have graduated from my days of dollar store shopping, and am now trying to have a more efficient kitchen for not a ton of money. To me, it's quality first, cost second.
Shopping Advice: I got most of these things from Amazon, however prices have changed on some of them... sometimes substantially. My bank (Bank of America, Add It Up Program) gives me cashback on purchases from stores like Target, which means I will sometimes purchase things from Target instead of Amazon. Amazon doesn't ALWAYS have the best deal. I also use couponcabin.com and retailmenot.com. If you do not have a bank or credit card that offers cashback, fear not. Ebates.com actually has a much better selection of stores, is free, and also collects coupons for you. Sometimes their cashback is substantially higher for the same store.
There are so many times that I’ve gotten cashback, free shipping, and gotten the cheapest price for the item as well. Be savvy, and you'll get great stuff for less than most people pay for cheap stuff.
When shopping for things on Amazon, I spend a lot of time researching. I generally have a set pattern. I search in a specific dept, 4+ stars only, select a price range, and then do a keyword search. Sometimes I am left empty-handed and may then go with an item that is not rated at all if I want something specific. I also check the sidebar for promotions I can search for. Sometimes just browsing the Kitchen selection of 4-for-3 items can be fruitful!"
Great spice rack. I bought many. Each carousel only holds 12 spices, but check this out, each compartment also has a shake option, a large spoon option, and also an auto-measure 1/4 tsp option. They also stack! :)"
"Perhaps the best thing I've ever bought. I use this almost daily. I use it to make spice blends and no longer buy any spices from the store. This makes dried spices more fragrant. Buy spices in bulk (nutsonline.com is great), and look up your own spice recipes online. “Poultry Seasoning” is often little more than what you already have on your shelf. My boyfriend uses it to "release anger" :)"
"These are great for produce. GREAT for produce. I wish I had more of these than I do, in fact. You can buy individual sizes as well, but this is a good (read: economical) to get these storage containers.
Because the tops are interchangeable, you can buy the set above, and switch the tops around so that you can put the deeper size bowls with the green lids."
There are different sizes of this item, only the 16" is available for the promotion, however. There is also a version of these tongs with nylon tips!! I use these one for pots, and the nylon tipped ones for the George Foreman!
I believe this set that I bought is no longer on the promotion, however, make sure that you look for Corelle on the promotion. That was an absolute caveat of mine. I bought 2 of these sets, flatware, and glasses, and got to have one of the corelle sets for free.
Like the corelle, I'm just using this as a stand-in for what you should know: buy your flatware on the 4-for-3 promotion. It's always nice to have "the best" but who honestly needs "the best" at 23? This is a nice, heavy set, and I was ecstatic that I got the promotion with it.
Amazon cycles different Corelle and Oneida sets. Find the one you like."
I'm on my way to replacing all of my cheap nylon utensils for something really nice: Oxo Steel ones. The key is to go in waves. I'm sure you don't think of this as "budget", but it is if you consider the quality.
Buy them a few (4-for-3 promotion!!) at a time, the ones you need the most to the ones you need the least."
This was a great purchase. There are a few things in your kitchen that you can buy to add functionality and coziness to your kitchen, so consider this carefully. I chose function over the cuteness factor.
Training your S.O. to use the lid rest for LIDS instead of another utensil might be a bit difficult though...."
"This is probably not expected. Let me explain. I would NEVER spend so much on a garbage can, except that mine caused me so much anguish. This one is a step can, that closes quietly, the bags don't balloon inside of them, and I don't have to worry about it getting dirty.
If you do buy a simplehuman garbage can, make sure you use the coupons that you get spammed with by BedBathandBeyond."
"I use these for my baking essentials. The different sizes, shapes, price, and fact that they are SNAPPED shut, make them nice cheap canisters. I have one for flour, white sugar, brown sugar, palm sugar, etc. Why replace brown sugar because you left it on a shelf? Check Sterilite's website for the full list and descriptions."
I bought this spoon rest for next to my microwave. I bought a kitchen island for my apartment which I will list below. I didn't want my S.O. to ruin the finish with chocolate, butter, ketchup, what have you, so I invested in a spoon rest for my microwave.
This was a nice, solid investment. I love throwing it in the dishwasher, top or bottom shelf, both clean well."
"I don't know that this is the "best" hand mixer you can find, but I'm happy with it. It's one of the most inexpensive you can find, and I really just wanted it for making mashed potatoes... but it's also good for cookie dough, however, I'm going to use my food processor more for some of those things. Still, I give this a good recommendation, especially given the price."
"A great option for an indoor grilling experience. I bought this for my S.O. The removable plates are fantastic. They clean easier, because they can be brought to the sink or put in the dishwasher. There is a temperature control, and more space. It also includes different plates. Highly recommended."
I got this as a gift. What a great peeler! Do yourself a favor and get a kitchenaid euro peeler. You won't regret it! Re: CFTC and breast cancer donations... don't count on buying Pink to support breast cancer financially. Read the first review on this board, and you will see why."
"Amazing knife! If you are going to acquire nice knives slowly, like I am... get Victorinox knives. There is a reason that 411/493 of the reviews are 5 stars. Knife reviews are tricky reads, because we are all looking for something different. If you're looking to spend about $25 on a knife... this is it."
"The best roast beef and chicken I have ever had in my life came out of this thing. Sorry Grandma. Use the probe to make a whole chicken while you're at work. I also suggest dumping in some chicken broth. Moistest stuff I've ever had. I've also used it to make Pho (Vietnamese soup). Top notch product."
"This is *actually* the best sponge I have ever used. I used to be partial to the o-cel-o ones, but they were really not good for stuck on food on my pots because inevitably they would wear out quickly. I have had this sponge for 2 months, haven't even put it through the dishwasher yet... and no sign of wear or tear. It doesn't smell either. Cleans great, and doesn't scratch Teflon. Give it a try!"
"This item is currently unvailable, but if it does come back, I think it's a pretty decent buy.
This item is really a stand in for a piece of info: Get a sponge holder if you use sponges because it drains the water away from the sponge, and helps the sponge to dry out --> bacteria doesn't grow on your sponge."
"I <3 this cutting board. It has an indendtation along the edges to collect liquid runoff. This means any juices/blood from meat, water left over from the lobster you steamed, butter, anything, it collects in the little "pool" area on the side.