I am absolutely understanding of being money conscious - so here is a list of what products I recommend as 1) the essentials, and 2) extras if you want to spend a little more!
Pots & pans set - non-stick is best, this one I linked is a cheaper set, but see “Extras” below for a nicer set
Wooden slotted spoon set (wooden saves the bottom of your pans)
Plates & bowls set - I really love the bowl sizes! And this set is a pretty white
A good cooking knives set
At least 1 cutlery set (for yourself!) - this is the one I have, it’s light and professional!
Sieve - it’s good to use a very fine mesh one since you’ll need it for foods like quinoa, but is also works for larger foods like penne. You could buy one, but online it’s actually cheaper to get a set like the one linked here!
Measuring cups and spoons set
A bigger glass measuring cup for
Kitchen Tongs - like many of the items above - it’s actually cheaper to buy more than one :) AND I actually think it’s best to have 2+ tongs so you can use one for raw meats and one for cooked meats so you can avoid cross contamination
GreenPan non-stick pans - these are supposed to be healthier for the body than regular non-stick pans. This is a set, or just getting 1-2 frying pans works too if you already have other pots and pans!
Cast Iron Pan - this is a great pan because it can go on the stove top AND in the oven, e.g. if you’re cooking steak or chicken and want to sear it before baking
Coffee Pot - this is the one I have! I love it!
Instant Pot or pressure cooker (Instant pot preferred because you can do so much more with it)
Air Fryer - this is a little oven that’s really easy to clean. Love it!
Food Scale - this is actually really not necessary, but if you like to know exactly what you’re eating it can be helpful
Meal Prep Containers
Here’s my complete blog post on these!