Kitchen Essentials

What kitchen essentials do I need?

​It’s daunting to start a new kitchen from scratch, but it’s also a crucial first step in setting yourself up in a new home.


To keep costs down, keep a close eye on flyers and websites for sales, especially on costly items. If you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to get fancy with your choices; dollar stores and discount shops often have a large selection of basic kitchen gear, as everyone needs it. As much as the “you get what you pay for” rule applies to kitchen basics, there are some things you can’t afford to do without, so it’s better to buy a cheap item and replace it later when the budget allows than to not have it in your kitchen at all.

Our professional home economists have come up with the following list of kitchen essentials, along with a few optional extras. Print it out, scratch items off the list as you find them, and get your first kitchen in order.



• 4 dinner plates

• 4 small plates

• 4 bowls

• 4 glasses

• 4 mugs



• 4 table knives

• 4 small spoons

• 4 large spoons

• 4 forks

• Chef’s knife (or chopping knife)

• Paring knife

• Serrated knife (for breads)

• Vegetable peeler

• Tongs

• Ladle

• Can opener

• Bottle opener with cork screw

• Grater

• Metal, plastic or silicone spatula

• Wooden spoon or plastic mixing spoon

• 2 plastic cutting boards


Small Appliances:

• Microwave

• Toaster or toaster oven


Kitchen Cleaning Supplies:

• Dishwashing liquid

• All purpose cleaner

• Baking soda

• Vinegar

• Soft white cloths or rags

• Kitchen brushes

• Rubber gloves

• Scouring pads

• Paper towels

• Microfibre cloth

• Dish cloths

• Dish towels

• Dish rack or drying mat


Cookware: non-stick, stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum

• 1 medium or small saucepan with lid

• 1 large saucepan with lid

• 1 medium sized frypan

• Small baking dish

• Rimmed baking sheet



• 1-2 microwave-safe bowls

• 1 liquid measuring cup

• 1 set of dry measuring cups

• 1 set of measuring spoons

• 2-3 mixing bowls of different sizes

• Pitcher or jug for juice or water

• Colander

• Oven mitts



• Plastic or glass food safe containers for saving leftovers

• Plastic bags

• Freezer bags

• Plastic food wrap

• Aluminum foil



• Trivet

• Serving dishes or platters

• Kettle

• Kitchen timer

• Coffee maker

• Tea pot

• Kitchen shears

• Steak knives

• Small slow cooker

• Blender

• Pasta pot