Going to university can mark an exciting new chapter in a person’s life, but there are lots of things to think about to ensure the student has everything they need to get started. Whether you’re living in non-catered student halls or private accommodation, you’ll need a varied supply of kitchen essentials to make sure that you don’t just survive on take outs or beans on toast. Here’s all you’ll need to know.
Compile an inventory
If you’re sharing digs with a group of friends you already know, then split an inventory between you, so that you don’t bring along five toasters or kettles, etc. It will help to make the most of the limited space you might have. Don’t bring your favourite mug that you’ve had since you were a kid, as there’s a chance it might end up being used by someone else or mislaid – unless you intend to put a lock on your cupboard!
Bring the items that you will use the most. It might be a nice idea bringing a coffee maker, for instance, but if you seldom drink coffee then it might only gather dust. Opt for items that have the most uses, such as pots and pans.
Some halls may even provide some kitchen items, so find out if that is the case.
Aside from plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs, glasses and pots and pans, don’t forget items such as a potato peeler, cheese grater, wine bottle opener, spatulas, serving spoons, tin opener, a colander, chopping board and chopping knives. A couple of decent pots and pans of various sizes will also come in handy, as will a frying pan or a wok. Other items could include mixing bowls, oven trays, a whisk, sieve, casserole dishes, a measuring jug, an eggcup and kitchen scissors.
You don’t need to bring along a full set of plates and bowls or a whole canteen of cutlery, just a few of each to ensure that if one item goes missing or broken, you’ve got spares.
Don’t forget other essential items such as tea towels, kitchen wipes, washing up liquid and cloths.
Microwaveable tubs will come in handy, as will plastic tubs of various sizes that can be used to either store leftover meals or be used with packed lunches. Sandwich bags, cling film and tin foil are also useful for the kitchen.
Consider investing in a slow cooker so that you can load it with food in the morning before lectures, and when you come home later in the day you’ll have a ready prepared meal available.
Store cupboard essentials
There are certain items that every kitchen cupboard should have whether you’re a student or not. Tea bags, coffee and sugar are necessities, as will be other beverages you favour. Salt, pepper, herbs and spices, jam, honey, stock cubes, vinegar, cooking oil, flour and sauces such as ketchup or mayonnaise are worthy additions.
Basic cupboard staples for students on the go include tins of beans, dried noodles, pasta, tins of soup, biscuits, tinned fish and tinned fruit.
There are lots of cookbooks available aimed at students or those strapped for time or cash, so invest in one of these if you want to learn a few simple, quickfire recipes that will avoid you having to eat beans on toast every night.
Crispin Jones writes for Appliance City, an online retailer of kitchen appliances – specializing in Fisher Paykel and Rangemaster. Check out their recent post about their favourite food blogs.