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When you Google a question like this, you have finally
started adulting. Stocking up your own kitchen is a healthy choice you make as
it is a step away from all those ready-to-make foods and take away junk food.
No one can survive on instant noodles forever, be it students starting a new
life miles away from home or working couples hardly finding time away from
their laptops. At some point or the other, you need to stock up the kitchen and
put all the YouTube videos you saw to use.
If you are moving across the country or across the world, you cannot carry all the kitchenware in the limited cargo that airlines allow. So you need to stock that kitchen up right from scratch. Though it’s going to take you many days, it’s no rocket science. By the end of it, cooking a meal all by yourself will feel like an accomplishment. So to get you started, we have cooked up a guide for you:
CALCULATE MY MOVE
A well-stocked kitchen does not mean walking into a fridge
full of food. There is so much more to it than just a stock of food. Remember
walking into your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen and finding different tools
for cooking. Finding all the ingredients that cater to multiple flavors, all
tools to cook up any dish, and every item at the right place are all indicators
of a well-stocked kitchen. Such a kitchen can not be designed overnight.
But if you choose to not stock your kitchen, you’ll start
identifying the need for missing kitchen items only when you start cooking. But
you don’t need to jump right into the advanced kitchenware yet, start slow and
just learn from the process of stocking up. Here’s how you do that!
When you move into a new home, you will be greeted with an
empty pantry. Note the basic items you need to shop for in order to cook your
meals in the first week. Don’t prepare a long checklist and add the entire
supermarket to the cart. This way you will end up buying more than your needs,
resulting in you spending a fortune on things that will stay ignored in the fridge
or pantry. Go for the necessities first, and bit by bit fill up the entire
We have compiled a list of things you can include in your shopping list. But don’t just go by our word, your preferences will differ based on whether you like to bake or cook. Even your ethnicity will determine what you shop for; not everyone needs the same spices for their food! So keep it flexible and make your own list of things you might need. Refer to the list below in case you get stuck.
Urgent Essentials You Might Need:
Items that Can Wait:
Once you have made a checklist of the things you need to
shop for, get ready for the supermarket. Include baby food in your checklist if
any of your children are under 1 year of age. Before that, check if your
refrigerator is functioning properly after the move. If it is new, then check
if the installation and setup are completed.
Though you might have already cleaned your new home, it’s
never a bad idea to clean the pantry shelves once again. Because once you start
stocking up, cleaning the pantry is going to be difficult. A small tip before
you drive to the supermarket will be having a heavy meal/snack before going
shopping. An empty stomach is going to tempt you into buying unnecessary things
that appeal to a hungry consumer’s mind. So eat some instant noodles or grab a
hamburger on the way to the supermarket.
Once you are inside the supermarket, don’t go haywire and
buy everything on your checklist. Buy the essential items like dairy, spices,
bread, etc. that can sustain you for a week. When buying perishable foods, shop
less so they don’t go to waste if you forget their presence in your kitchen.
Remember that you don’t have to fill up the entire fridge and pantry right in
the first week after your move. You can make several trips to the grocery store
if something is amiss.
What’s the use of all those ingredients if you don’t have
the equipment to whip them into a meal? You need a separate trip to the
departmental store to get your hands on some kitchenware. It can range from
basic wares like bowls, spoons, and saucepans to appliances like blenders,
kettles, cookers, etc. Before you get any confused, go by this mantra: prioritize!
On your first trip to the departmental store, buy essentials
without which cooking even the basic breakfast is impossible—like a pan and
spatula to fry bacon and eggs. If you are shopping for kitchenware for the
first time, you don’t need expensive ones. The basic kitchenware at Target or
IKEA will be sufficient and useful.
Stick to the list you make and don’t get a load of kitchen gadgets just because they are cheap. A clear minimal kitchen counter is much better than a cluttered one. At the same time, don’t go too minimal, get a set of four dishes, spoons, and forks even if you are single. Though you should shop according to your needs, the list we have compiled below can help. This is curated keeping in mind you already might have a kitchen stove:
Kitchenware To Buy In First Week:
Kitchen Gadgets That Can Wait:
When you are walking the aisles of the departmental store,
don’t forget to add some miscellaneous items to the cart. They can easily skip
your mind, popping up in your mind only after you spend some time in the
kitchen. They include:
Once all the stock is in, it’s time to put them in their
right places. Keep the dairy in the fridge first. Place all the kitchenware in
cupboards and cabinets, keeping glassware separate from other materials. Now
let’s get down to understand where the perishable and nonperishable food items
Dairy products like milk, cream, yogurt, butter, and cheese
should be stored in closed bottles and containers. Perishable fruits and
vegetables like grapes, apples, carrots, lettuce should be stored inside the
fridge to keep them fresh. Make sure to clean and dry them before you toss them
inside the fridge. Store the eggs near the main body of the fridge away from
the door to keep their temperature consistent. While storing meat, place them
in ziplock bags or air-tight containers on a low shelf. Frozen vegetables and
ice creams should go on the bottom shelf, as it is the coldest part in most
Though it’s easy to toss tomatoes inside the fridge along
with the other vegetables and fruits, it’s going to be a big mistake. The
artificial cold temperature of refrigerators ruins the texture of tomatoes. The
same goes with bananas, they need room temperature to ripen. There are chances
that bananas might decay if kept in the fridge. Store onions and garlic in the
pantry. Coffee is best stored outside in an airtight container to retain its
essence. Items like potatoes and honey need a cool and dark spot in your
pantry. Refrigerating bread will make them stale, so if you don’t want
dried-out bread for breakfast, keep them outside.
Put the kitchen window sill to some good use. Did you know
that you can actually grow herbs on a window sill? A few months after planting
herbs on your window sill, you can actually stretch out a hand towards fresh
herbs to flavor your meals. These herbs can include parsley, chives, basil,
cilantro, thyme, etc. You can even plant lettuce and use it when you are in the
mood for some fresh salad.
You’ll be lying if you deny craving for snacks and savories.
Apart from all the healthy foods stocked in your pantry and fridge, make some
space for comfort foods too. You can store items like crackers, cookies,
candies, popcorn, and chips on a lower shelf of the cupboard or pantry. We
specifically recommend placing them on a lower shelf so they don’t catch your
eye every time you enter the kitchen. Store up healthy snacks too, like dried
fruits and unsalted nuts.
Setting up a kitchen isn’t a difficult task, but you might
feel lost at some point. Call your friends or family; everyone has a kitchen
and they surely can help you with setting up your kitchen. If you are moving as
a student, you might be on a tight budget. In such cases, don’t hesitate to ask
friends if they can spare some extra food stock. Consider getting a food bank
hamper if you are low on pantry supplies. In the end, you can save money by
shopping only for essentials to cook up a decent meal.
How Long Does It Take
To Stock Up A Kitchen?
It can take you anywhere between two days to two weeks to
stock up a kitchen. It completely depends on how fast you want it to be filled,
how many trips you are willing to make to the supermarket, and so on. We would
suggest taking it slow and stocking it over a period of two weeks so you don’t
end up buying unnecessary items while shopping in one go. If you stock you with
good foresight, the supplies in your pantry can last you even as long as 3
What Does It Cost To
Stock Up A Kitchen?
You can keep aside $175 and $345 to stock up your kitchen,
this will include all your groceries with perishable and nonperishable items.
But budget separately for all the kitchenware and appliances. Getting modern
appliances can burn a hole in your pockets. Planning and budgeting for
appliances will avoid unnecessary expenses. If you are on a budget, postpone
buying non-essential appliances and kitchen gadgets.
How Do I Keep A Track Of Perishable Items In My Kitchen?
An organized way to keep track is by making a dated master list of all items in your pantry. Include the number of items and their quantity in this list. Every time you use some item for cooking, update it in the list. Keep the master list attached to your grocery list. As soon as an item gets struck off your master list, add it to your grocery list. This trick is going to save you a lot of effort and ensure an inventory that never goes wasted.
See also: First Apartment Checklist | How to Pack Small Kitchen Appliances
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