When you’re heading away to college, one of the first things you’ll need to do is set your new home up. If you’re living in a space with a kitchen, you’ll need to purchase the right equipment. Being able to cook at home will save you money and is generally healthier than takeaways. But what to buy? Let me help you decide.
This somewhat depends on what you want to cook, but if you’re not used to preparing all your own meals you might not know what the essentials are for your first kitchen. There’s no point in wasting money on fancy equipment that you don’t need or won’t ever use. There are some essentials though that will make your life so much easier and are worth the investment. This list will help you decipher through all the options out there.
Purchasing certain items will mean you can avoid unhealthy takeaways and they’ll also speed up the cooking process. Eating healthy food will help you think more clearly and give you more energy for everything you need to get done during the day. You want to make cooking quick and easy so you have more time to spend on study, work and with friends. Especially during exam season you don’t want to be spending too much time cooking as you have other priorities. You also want to limit the amount of money you waste on items that you can make yourself for a fraction of the cost (coffee, I’m looking at you!).
Kitchen Essentials For College Students
Mini fridges are kitchen essentials whether you’re living in a college dorm or in an apartment. It does the obvious of keeping food fresh if you have a kitchen, but even in a dorm they are essential for keeping leftovers. Nothing quite like cold noodles the next day! Check with your dorm room before you purchase as there may be certain requirements around size or even a specific model that you need to purchase. Or there may be discounts available as people purchase in bulk!
Instant ramen. Instant coffee. The two essentials that will get you through college. You need hot water from a kettle for both so get one soon. You don’t want to have to head to the dining hall every time you want to make either of these. You can also experiment with fancy instant coffee that has flavorings or milk included to step up your instant coffee game and keep you away from those expensive coffee shops. Most dorm rooms will allow you to have one just don’t try and cook anything in it.
One of the biggest expenses as a college student is fueling your coffee habit. Getting a coffee maker and a travel cup of some sort will help you save so much money. These can range from expensive barista machines, pour over sets, stovetop espresso machines, drip filters or plungers. Have a look at the various options and see what’s within your budget. Then pick your favorite, get the correct grind of coffee beans and drink up.
Depending on the size of the dorm rooms, a toaster oven can be a lifesaver. Being able to heat up snacks, leftovers and most importantly, grilled cheese. Warm deliciousness that will pass as a meal or a snack, depending on the time of the day. You will need to check what’s allowed in your dorm room as it can be a fire hazard. But it is one of those items that will make cooking easier by not having to head to the floor kitchen all the time. Meaning you’re more likely to do it rather than ordering in!
If you’re living somewhere that has a kitchen, there are a few bits and pieces you’ll need to set it up. Plates and cutlery are obvious but there are a few other things that will help make cooking a breeze. Pop to your local store and pick up a fry pan, measuring spoons, a cutting board and a measuring cup. Check to make sure they’re all dishwasher safe even if you don’t have one. You want to be able to keep these when you move into your next place too and it ensures that they’re easy to clean. Also, check the style of cooktop you’ll be using. If it’s induction, you’ll need to make sure your frypan is coated in stainless steel.
There are a few other things that make college student life easy but you can live without. Slow cookers are definitely one of those things that you can survive without, but they make life so much easier once you’ve got one. Being able to throw together a meal in the morning and coming home after a long day in the library to it being perfectly cooked is what dreams are made of.
Magic Bullet Blender
Preparing healthy food can take time. Or you can get a blender for your college kitchen and it will do all the hard work for you. It’ll help balance out all those noodles and grilled cheese sandwiches by getting in your five a day. Throw some fruit, milk or milk replacement and even a little protein powder in and you’ve got yourself a healthy breakfast. Look for a set that has a to go cup as one of the attachments or buy something that you can throw in your bag on your way out the door. Then you can be sitting in the front row, sipping on health.
This one is a little more than it seems. Yes, you can cook perfect rice every time. Which is incredible all on its own. No watching, stirring and praying it doesn’t stick. But there are some very clever people that also cook eggs, sausages and pasta in their rice cooker. All from the comfort of their dorm room. Check the standards of your dorm room to make sure it’s allowed for you to have one then be prepared to blow your own mind with how much you can do from this one piece of equipment.