Everything You Need to Stock a Kitchen

Nicole kitchen
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m trying to limit my new-apartment spending to the $437 security deposit I should be receiving in a few days. At this point, I’ve been mostly spending gift cards my friends have sent me, so I think I might actually be able to pull this off.

I still need to buy three big-ticket items: the sofa, some kind of table and chairs, and—if there’s any cash left—an armchair.

Otherwise, nearly all of my apartment spending thus far has been on my favorite room in the apartment: the kitchen.

I thought very strategically about how I wanted to tackle my kitchen shopping. There were charts, and then there were revised charts, and there were many hours of price comparisons on Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond. (Ester, the reason I haven’t been reading Outlander is because I’ve been spending every free minute analyzing the benefits of Hamilton Beach vs. Crock-Pot.)

In the end, this is what I bought:

4-quart Crock-Pot programmable slow cooker: $34.99. Crock-Pot is the Kleenex of slow cookers, and I am very happy with my choice.

Melitta Coffee Maker, 6-Cup Pour-Over Brewer With Glass Carafe: $10.99. I already owned a Hamilton Beach electric teakettle, and I thought about buying a dedicated coffeemaker, but I often like to have a cup of tea in the afternoons, and I did not want to clog up my limited counter space with two hot water boiling tools. So I’ll use the teakettle to make pour-over coffee.

Medelco #4 Cone Permanent Coffee Filter: $5.39. I thought it would be smart to get a gold filter instead of using disposable filters. It probably is smart, but this thing is a pain in the butt to clean. I don’t have a garbage disposal, so I need to get every little coffee ground into my compost bucket, which generally involves me digging wet grounds out of the coffee filter with my fingernail. Suggestions welcomed.

Brita Grand Carafe Pitcher: $34.99. This pitcher made me so angry because it had no price tag on the box and then it turned out to cost nearly forty dollars. Then it broke the very first time I used it. The little flap of plastic that went over the pitcher spout fell off and went down the sink drain.

—Drain covers: $3.99. Also good for not clogging up my pipes with food scraps.

Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch: $18.99. My apartment has neither a toaster nor a microwave, but the great thing about a cast-iron pan is that it can cover for both of those appliances. Want to reheat pizza? Cast-iron pan. Making toast? Cast-iron pan. Frying up some bacon? LOOK AT THIS PAN.

—Stainless steel medium-sized saucepan: $5.99. I got this at Value Village, and it has thus far been the only thing I’ve actually been willing to pay money for at the Value Village. The thing about Amazon is that it sells new stuff at Value Village prices, so I haven’t been utilizing the thrift store as much as I thought I would.

This saucepan is the other part of my “homemade microwave.” I can reheat solid food in the cast-iron pan, and liquid food in the saucepan. I also already own a set of Pyrex baking dishes, in case I need to reheat anything in the oven.

—13” by 9” glass baking dish: I accidentally tossed out the receipt on this, but it was around $6.00. Essential for casseroles and desserts, both of which I’ve made in the past week.

Ikea Food Containers, Set of 17, Green: $10.83. Obviously this is part of my long-term Crock-Pot freezer strategy. I have leftover beef stew in my freezer right now.

These containers come in multiple sizes, and the very-very-tiny sizes are ideal for packing snacks that go into my purse. I’d highly recommend these, if you were in the market for 17 freezer containers.

Dexter Supplies’ Cute Kitchen Utensils With Colorful Handles: $22.99. This is the problem with ordering things online; you don’t realize until they arrive that they are way too big for your hands. I picked these utensils because they were cute—and yes, multiple friends immediately tweeted “cutensils” at me—but I’ll probably end up replacing them eventually.

—Oxo Soap Squirting Palm Brush: $5.99. Hey guess where I am washing my dishes? IN A SINK. Not in a bucket. I am getting more joy out of this than even Marie Kondo can imagine.

—Anchor mixing bowl: $6.99. I thought I would buy my mixing bowl at Value Village, but all of them were stained or sad-looking, so I got one at Safeway instead. It cost about the same.

Since I already have a full set of Fiestaware dishes, silverware, shot glasses that spell out “F-I-R-E-B-A-L-L,” an all-purpose chef’s knife, and a cutting board, I should have everything I need for my kitchen, right? I can cook just about anything with these tools; I can make bread in the Crock-Pot and turn it into French toast on the cast-iron pan, and then I can get soup out of the freezer containers and thaw it until it’s soft enough to heat up in the saucepan.

I can also make pumpkin fireball brownies with the mixing bowl and the baking pan, and I can put a few brownies in a freezer container and stick the container in my purse to take over to a friend’s place. I can make coffee with the gold filter and water from the electric teakettle, and later I can make tea with the electric teakettle.

Is there anything my new kitchen can’t do?

 

This story is part of DIY Month. Mostly for “homemade microwave.”

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