Shopping for homeware and utensils can be an expensive job, particularly if you’re equipping your kitchen from scratch or replacing items that have worn out over time. The internet is a veritable feast of inspiration for would-be chefs and food bloggers, but it takes a special knack to secure items for the best price without wasting your money. Here is a guide to help you set up your kitchen.
What will I need in my kitchen arsenal?
It’s easy to get carried away when shopping for kitchen equipment. All too often, buyers fall in love with the latest technology or shiniest pans only to discover they’ll never actually use them during cooking sessions. If you’re stocking your kitchen from scratch, you should consider purchasing a decent set of pans and an iron skillet, a frying pan or wok, two wooden or plastic chopping boards (one for vegetables and one for raw meat), baking sheets or trays, various sizes of mixing bowls, a decent set of knives and a sharpener, a serrated bread knife, a meat thermometer, a kettle, a slow cooker, a food processor or blender, a hand blender, measuring accouterments such as scales and spoons, a measuring cup, a heatproof dish, and a roasting tin. Accessorize your kitchen with a vegetable peeler, a box grater for numerous grating and peeling tasks, silicone spatulas, a whisk, wooden spoons, a colander and sieve, a can opener, a corkscrew, a set of straining spoons, and plastic storage containers or freezer tubs. Don’t forget to pick up some oven gloves!
You will also need a set of cutlery, including forks, knives, dessert spoons, table spoons, and tea spoons, some dinner plates and bowls, and a selection of mugs and glasses. Some chefs swear by microwaves and toasters, while others put their ovens and grills to better use; consider the amount of cooking you’ll be doing and how you might use your kitchen before making larger purchases.
Become a savvy shopper
Perhaps the easiest way to save money on kitchen essentials is to make a list of what you need rather than heading into a homeware store with little idea of what you’re looking for and a purse bursting with cash. In much the same way that shopping while you’re hungry will lead to expensive extras, entering a homeware store without a clue could lead to you buying things you just don’t need. Take a look at our list; what do you have already, and what do you still need to buy? If you can’t be trusted not to overspend, complete your kitchen set over time; you’ll soon realize what you need and what would simply end up gathering dust in the cabinet.
Purchase items with multiple uses
Instead of buying expensive accessories that will only see the light of day every once in a while, consider the items that are going to serve you well every day. Box graters can be used to slice and dice all manner of ingredients, while silicone spatulas will scrape, blend, mix, and scramble if you give them the job to do. By all means, shop for items that inspire you, but don’t be taken in by jargon. Will you use it more than once? Ask yourself this question before you part with any cash.
Look out for quality
This tip is perhaps a given, but look out for the quality of the items that you’re buying. It’s essential to choose utensils and accessories that will stand the test of time rather than opting for an inexpensive alternative because it’s there when you really need it. A copper cookware set may not be the cheapest thing you’ll buy for your kitchen, but you can guarantee that you won’t be replacing any of the pots and pans any time soon. By sourcing quality, durable items now, you’ll save a heap of cash on bills for replacements in just a few short years.
Discover the perks of online shopping
It’s nice to head into a store and browse before you buy, but that’s one surefire way of spending more than you intended. Shopping online can be a great way to stock your kitchen, especially because there are usually bargains to be found in the strangest of places. Head over to sales corners, check out the latest blogs, and always sign up for e-newsletters if you can. It’s even worth browsing the discount sites in search of codes; you never know what’s going to come in handy. Never disregard thrift stores or second-hand shops; a set of vintage scales will look incredible on your kitchen counter and may not cost as much as their electronic counterparts.
Ask for gifts
If you’re setting up a kitchen from scratch, there is a good chance you’ve recently undergone a change of circumstances, such as a move to student digs, a wedding, the purchase of a new house, or a renovation project. If you’ve found yourself in need of a few things, consider asking friends and family to gift kitchen items instead of the usual presents of money. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also end up with an array of wonderful items you may not have considered before.
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction inspired by a well-stocked kitchen. While glossy magazines and Pinterest may terrify amateur chefs into thinking that the ideal kitchen is going to cost a fortune, the reality is a lot more purse-friendly. Happy shopping, and enjoy those precious moments spent preparing meals for your loved ones!