First Apartment Kitchen Essentials


Your first kitchen is a wonderful place. Whether it’s located in a college apartment, basement suite, or the Upper East Side, it’s a momentous occasion. Having your own kitchen is a whole new realm of adulthood, one that requires a new set of tools. What to get for your first kitchen can feel like an overwhelming question, but odds are, you need a lot less than you think you do. First kitchen essentials are basic tools that you’ll use everyday, things that will make your life a lot easier, and budget-friendly.

Between appliances, cooking tools, and dishes, this list will guide you through everything you’ll need to set up your kitchen, ensuring that it will fully functional and organized. 

First Apartment Kitchen Essentials

Photo by Marcin Galusz on Unsplash


1. Instant Pot

If you buy one thing on this list, make it the Instant Pot. Your first kitchen may have you feeling inspired and ready to cook, but I can promise you that you won’t always feel that way. The Instant Pot has saved my butt during busy weeks as I try to stick to meal-prepping, giving me an easy way to make good food with absolutely minimal prep. I’ll swear by it forever.

2. Blender

This one may be a bit of a you-call, but if you can afford a higher-quality blender, it can be a great option for cooking & meal prepping. This blender is made by the Instant Pot brand, retails for only ___, and sits on my counter as we speak. It’s a really great price for what’s basically a mini Vitamix, and can make soup, salad dressing, and killer milkshakes.

3. Toaster Oven

Toaster ovens are a severely underrated piece of equipment, particularly because they can actually function as an oven if yours is being otherwise used or out of commission. Again, great for meal prep, but also just makes for a killer breakfast.

4. Hot Water Kettle

5. Coffee Maker

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Pots & Pans

1. 1 frying pan

2. 1 medium sized sauce pan

3. 1 large sauce pan

4. 2 large cookie sheets

5. Strainer


1. Meal prep boxes

If you’re new to meal prep, check out this blog post on Meal Prepping for Beginners!

2. Cutting board

3. 8 plates

4. 4 bowls

5. 8 coffee mugs

6. 8 glasses

7. Utensils set

8. 2 spatulas

9. 2 different sized mixing bowls

Photo by Uliana Kopanytsia on Unsplash

Storage & Miscellaneous Tools:

1. Brita water filter pitcher

2. Coasters

3. Dish drying rack

4. Dishcloths

5. Paper towel holder

6. Scissors

7. Pizza Cutter

8. Chip Clips

9. Affordable storage 

I love using jars for storage. These IKEA ones are my favourite for things like rice and flour because they keep em fresh, allow you to see exactly how much you have left at any given time— and also, they’re just really cute. I keep a few other things in cheaper, smaller jars I found for around $3 a piece at Walmart. 

Photo by Good Soul Shop on Unsplash

Cleaning supplies:

1. Glass Cleaner

2. All purpose surface cleaner

3. Stovetop cleaner

4. Dish soap

5. Dishwasher liquid or soap

6. Hand soap

These are all the essentials that you’ll need to set up a beautiful, functional new kitchen! Your first apartment kitchen doesn’t have to rival a gourmet restaurant, but supplying yourself with quality basics will get you off on the right foot. Cooking shouldn’t be a chore, especially in your own space, so make sure it’s one you can be proud of.

I’m always looking to try out new things, so let me know what your kitchen essentials are in the comments!

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