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The Top Kitchen Essentials You'll Need in College
When you go to college, your kitchen skills get a chance to shine. Whether you've been putting together your meals for years or this is your first time cooking on your own, it's worth a refresher of the kitchen basics. Nobody wants to get caught in the middle of studying or getting ready to go out with no way to make a quick meal. Rely on this quick list of easy basics to stock your dorm kitchen with everything you need for the year.
When you're at home with your family, you might be able to get away with one big shopping trip every couple of weeks, because you have a house with space for extras or bulk purchases. In a dorm room, the options are a little tighter. You'll probably be shopping a little more frequently and storing smarter.
Make the most of your space with an ingenious combo of mini-fridge plus cart. A mini-fridge lets you store healthy grab-n-go items, like your favorite fruits, crunchy veggies, low-calorie dips that pack in the protein, bottles of green juice and other brain food for long days of classes.
Put the fridge on a wheeled cart for easy access. You won't have to stoop to get into it, but you won't have to take up precious counter space in your dorm, either. The shelves or drawers on the cart double as more food storage for dry goods, like cans pasta or nuts. Plus, the wheels make it easy to move the fridge around safely without straining yourself.
Cooking and food prep is easiest when you have the right tools for the right job. Start with a microwave or a hot plate to make warm food or to re-heat leftovers. You'll need only a few basic kitchen accessories and utensils to make a decent meal:
- A sauté pan
- A pot
- A strainer
- A cutting board
- A knife
- A wooden spoon
- A can opener
With this standard kit of kitchen essentials, you can make everything from sophisticated pan-seared veggies over a pilaf, to comfort-food macaroni and cheese; all on a standard college budget. Talk about working with what you have!
Don't forget to get a water filter, too. This is a beyond-essential for anyone who has long days, possibly longer weekends and needs to stay sharp on a regular basis. Drinking enough water makes everything about college and real life easier.
Now that you've figured out how to get a good meal going, let's focus on serving it. Sure, you could eat standing up against the counter, but college is about growing up; at least a little. A beautiful table setting in your dorm home is as IG-worthy as any other gorgeous interior or restaurant fare. Keep it easy by sticking to just the essentials. Make them yours by selecting styles you know you'll love semester after semester:
- Dinner Knives
For the quintessential table setting, go the distance and grab placemats in a color you love and pick up at least one charger. That extra plate that does nothing, really, but looks amazing on Pinterest or at dinner parties, even for one.
You already have that water filter, which is seriously going to get you through everything, but you might find that a little caffeine helps with studying, too.
If you're a coffee enthusiast, or you have roomies and friends who are, grab a coffee pot and a teapot. If you're the no- or low-caffeine type, the teapot is enough for you. Pick up a set of cute mugs that suit your style so that you can pour beverages for yourself or study buddies. Make sure you have a travel mug to take to class with you, too.
Stocking one of your first real kitchens is easy and fun when you know what to get. Enjoy the novelty of making your own meals as you settle into dorm life. This kind of independence is what college is all about.