Whether it is your high school graduate moving into their first apartment or your college student moving out of the dorm to a first independent house, the kitchen is the one room that will need the most "stuff" to make it functional. As a parent of grown children, I have helped set up their new kitchens with and without roommates. This is one time in my children's lives when I knew what was going to inevitably going to happen. For at least the year prior to this major event in their lives, I set started to make a plan that would make this transition easier and more cost-effective.
First, I started a list of basic kitchen necessities. Here are the recommended minimums:
- Dishes - A set of 4
- Glassware - 4 large water tumblers
- Utensils - Service for 4
- Good set of knives
- Mixing bowls
- Wisk, spatulas, wooden spoons, paring knife, vegetable peeler, cork screw
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Blender or Food Processor
- Pots and Pans including frying pan, 2 sauce pans, a dutch oven, a large pasta pot and skillet
- Cookie sheet or large pizza pan
- Assortment of baking dishes including a large casserole dish
- Assortment of storage containers
- T-towels and dish rags
- Drain Rack
- Vegetable or fruit basket for the counter
- Trash can
- Recycle bin
- Coffee pot
- Cutting Board
- Toaster oven or microwave oven, depending on what the new kitchen equipment supplied
- Crock pot
- Rice cooker
- Basic herbs, spices and panty ingredients: Salt, pepper, granulated garlic or garlic salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, baking soda, baking powder, vinegar, olive oil, canola oil, Pam
- Plastic bags, aluminum foil, paper bags
With this list in hand, I began looking through my kitchen to see what I could contribute from all my duplicates. In addition, I had been wanting new dishes to replace my dwindling set. It made much more sense to give my son the non-chipped pieces of my set and purchase a new set for myself than get him the new set. I considered the same concept for my pots and pans. In my case, I had multiples of everything that I was no longer going to need since my son was moving out on his own.
When it came to the spices, I simply gave my daughter all the duplicates I had in my pantry. What I didn't have duplicates of, I divided what I did have into plastic bags that I labeled. At least she had enough to make a few meals and could replace them as she used them. Anyways, spices don't last forever on the shelf.
To further save money, I shopped yard sales, thrift store, goodwill type stores, and estate sales (this is a great resource for kitchen equipment). I let friends and family know what we still needed. Before the big event, I had almost everything on my list packed and ready for the move.