Buying the basics for first place- help!!

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

For cleaning supplies, I would suggest Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and Windex. Other than cleaner for the toilet and dish soap, those are the three things I find myself using the most.

For kitchen suppplies, I would suggest getting something like this:

I can’t find the exact one that I purchased when I moved into my apartment, but it also included knives. Granted, they are super high quality, but they get the job done. As far as pots and pans go, I would do one large non stick pan that you can use to do everything from eggs to spaghetti sauce in and then two pots: a small one for rice/gravy/etc and a large one for pasta/potatoes.

I was on a really strict budget when I first moved out, so I bought a TON of stuff at places like the Dollar Tree and Christmas Tree Shoppes. If you see something you think  you are going to need while it’s on sale, get it. I got a Pyrex baking set that had 6 or 7 pans in it on sale for $20. It was a great deal and I use them ALL the time. I bought my cookie sheets at the Dollar Tree, along with kitchen towels, sponges, dish soap, mop, bucket and small trash cans for my bedroom and bathroom.

Post # 4
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Scottish Rite Cathedral (New Castle, PA)

FI and I just moved into our new house! The kitchen was the place that I ran into the most “Crap! I started making a dish and don’t have what I need!” moments. Pot/pan wise I think you could get by with a deeper two handled pot like for soup, a smaller one handled pot and a couple inch deep pan. However, FI and I bought ours as a set when it was on sale and was definitely a better deal than buying all separate. I would definitely check into reviews and make sure the ones you buy are going to last. Also get some good cookie sheets and cassarole dishes. When we were prepping to move we would sit down every sunday and look through ALL the sale papers to see if there were any great deals. We also shopped the clearance rack at every store we went too. We got our whole set of silverware for 80% off at Kohl’s. We bought a good knife set and it was the best decision we made, I never for a second regret spending the extra money on them. Don’t forget a cutting board and a strainer! Those were things we forgot about. Get at least one good spatual and spoon, we got ours in a set at Target that was way cheaper than buying them separate but I’m sure you could find them at thrift stores. Thrift stores are also always stocked with glasses/mugs if you don’t mind not having a full set.

We also opened cards at Macy’s and Kohl’s. We never paid interest on them or anything, just opened and paid them off immediately but you get a discount for your first purchases and you have to have a card to get their deals. Macy’s fluctuates how much you get so wait until they’re offering 20% off if you open a card and then buy your expensive stuff. That’s if you’re comfortable opening them, we don’t use them at all now but it was worth it for the big purchases we did.

Definitely stalk craigslist and garage/estate sales in your area. FI and I (more me) went a little crazy in the beginning trying to stock up on all this stuff i thought I needed but now I’ve gotten more comfortable with realizing it’s a process and just acquiring slowly as we find good deals. You’ll be okay, just go slow and shop smart. 🙂

Post # 5
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I survived for years with just a sauce pot.  It’s not ideal, but you can cook pretty much anything.  A saucepot and a frying pan would be pretty good though.

You also will need at least one knife.  Better to have one regular and one serrated though.

You also should have at least 2 cereal bowls and 2 plates.  Make sure they are microwaveable, so ceramic is probably good.

And you’ll need a hot pad and aluminum foil for baking.  You can add some pans and cookie sheets later on, but you don’t need to right away if you wanna just bake things on aluminum foil.

if you’re very strapped for cash, just collect plastic forks and napkins at every fast food place you go to.  These will get you by for a little while, and you can even reuse the forks.

Post # 6
2291 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

Pot Holders, One Skillet, one small pot, one large pot, spatula, spoon, cookie sheet, can opener, aluminum foil, plastic bags, one mixing bowl, Mr Clean eraser, windex, chlorox, sponge, dish soap, dishwasher soap, sponges. You should be able to get most of these at the dollar store or wal-mart.

Don’t forget bedroom curtains unless you like waking up at the crack of dawn

Post # 7
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012


Ajax or Comet or something to clean the toilet.  You’ll also need a cleaning brush.

All-purpose cleaner (something without bleach).  You can use this for both kitchen and bath.  I usually get an off-brand orange all-purpose cleaner.

Windex or some sort of glass cleaner

Dish soap

Dishwasher soap if you have a dishwasher

Broom + dustpan

Mop + bucket – you can get a pourable all purpose cleaner for the floors or use a little bit a dish soap (but if you use dish soap don’t get the kind with lotion)

Sponges or rags



1-med sized pan and 1-med sauce pot.  I’d start with these as they are the ones I use 90% of the time.  You won’t be able to cook any super large meals, but it will get you by until you figure out what you want.

1 set of dishes (usually stuff comes in sets of 4).  Technically you only need 2 of each, but it’d probably be nice to have an extra set should you have company.

1 set of glasses (usually sold 4-6 per set)

Coffee mugs


can opener


cutting board

knives (1 good straight and 1 good serated)

Tupperware.  You don’t need a lot, just a few things for left overs.  You can also save the containers you get from take out or if you buy lunch meat.

Coffee maker (if you drink coffee)

Wooden spoon

Big serving spoon


Measure cup and measure spoons

Mixing bowls

Cookie sheet

Cork screw (it’s really suck to have your friends bring over a bottle of wine and not be able to open it)

Oven mitts

Kitchen towels


That’s about all I can think of.  Target, Kohls, IKEA, and Walmarta are going to be your new best friends.


Post # 8
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

You can get by with very little, but a friend gave me a list of basic and useful kitchen supplies when I first moved into my own apartment.  It has served me very well.  As far as cleaning, I keep a gallon of bleach, a gallon of vinegar and a box of baking soda.  I find that by mixing those things with water and having a good sponge I can clean just about anything.

I agree with a pp who recommended a set of cooking utensils.  Also, I recommend a good starter set of Pyrex – it isn’t too expensive but covers a lot.  Ikea is also a great place for dishware, utensils and pots.  They are quite cheap, but also well designed and long lasting.

Starter Kitchen

  1. Small Appliances

  1. Coffee Maker
  2. Hand Mixer
  3. Toaster

  • Cookware
    1. 1-quart covered sauce pan
    2. 2-quart covered sauce pan
    3. 4 or 6-quart dutch oven
    4. 10-inch ovenproof skillet with cover

  • Bakware
    1. 2-quart rectangular baking dish (12x7x2)
    2. 2-quart square baking dish (8x8x2)
    3. Jelly Roll Baking Pan (15x10x1)
    4. 8 inch round baking pan
    5. Cookie sheet (get 2)
    6. Loaf Pan or Dish

  • Cooking Gadgets
    1. Bottle Opener
    2. Can Opener
    3. Chef’s Knife (Spurge a little and get a good one)
    4. Glass Measuring Cup (for liquids)
    5. Colander
    6. Corkscrew
    7. Instant-Read Thermometer (for meat)
    8. Kitchen Timer
    9. Ladle
    10. Long-Handled Fork
    11. Spatula
    12. Parking Knife
    13. Cutting Board
    14. Potato Masher
    15. Serated Knife
    16. Set of Dry Measuring Cups
    17. Set of Measuring Spoons
    18. Set of Mixing Bowls
    19. Slotted Spoon
    20. Tongs
    21. Vegetable Peeler
    22. Wire Cooling Racks
    23. Wooden Spoons

    Post # 9
    10453 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    There are some things that are nice to have I see listed, but aren’t neccessary.  I never use wooden spoons as an example.

    Glass storage containers are very useful.  You can use them instead of dishes & bowls.  Get ones that can go in the oven, microwave, etc.  If you get a large enough one, you can use it as a mixing bowl, although the flat bottom can be annoying.

    Glasses aren’t needed if you just drink everything from a mug.

    Lysol, dishsoap, vinegar and baking soda are about all you need for cleaning solutions.  Maybe bleach eventually, but I don’t use it often.  Get a spray bottle from the dollar store and stick some vinegar & water in it for the windows.

    Unless you’re going to do batches of stuff, cooling racks aren’t neccessary, I just leave things on the stove until the cool most of the time.

    I recommend 3 pots/pan: a smallish one – sauces, rice, etc sized, one big enough for pasta, and a decent sized fry pan.

    If there’s carpets, you’ll want a vacuum.  I would also recommend getting a microwave fairly soon, but that all depends on how you prefer to cook.

    Post # 10
    3677 posts
    Sugar bee

    Ditto on using vinegar, baking soda, etc. for cleaning, especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies!

    You might ask your parents (siblings, friends, relatives, etc.) if they have any kitchen supplies or utensils sitting around that they aren’t using. They might be able to get you started with a bunch of odds and ends and save you having to buy them new. Your parents’ secondhand utensils might end up being better quality than a brand-new cheap set from Wal-Mart or Target.

    Post # 11
    5351 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Must have kitchen minimums: microwave, toaster, coffee maker (for us at least,) and least one good cutting knife, cutting board, at least one pot and one med size pan, along with at least one mixing spoon, measuring cups/spoons, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 baking sheet, and one glass/ceramic baking sheet, oven mitt, kitchen towels, dishes drying rack, paper towel holder. Plates, cups, flatwear. 

    Other must haves for first time home owners (if there is a lawn) lawnmover, edger, weed wacker. 

    Also, must have a vaccuum! 

    Post # 12
    1568 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I will try to help a bit and give you mine and FI’s list of crap we need to buy (and stuff already bought). We have a 3 year old and a 3 bedroom condo that we are moving into but maybe this will help. This list is straight from my microsoft word. Forgive the personal touches.


    • Has a built in microwave X
    • Toaster (getting it from a coworker) X
    • Dry Erase Board X
    • Garbage Can
    • Cooking Utensils (dollar store)
    • Knives (17 piece set from ross) X 29.99
    • Dishes (16 piece set from Ross) X 26.99
    • Silverware (Storage Unit) X
    • Pots and Pans (10 piece set at ross)
    • Swiffer Wet Jet or Mop (Current home)
    • Drinking Cups (7 at ross) X 5.99
    • Mixing bowls/serving bowls (10 assorted sized from Ross) X 14.99
    • Broom and Dust Pan
    • Bake ware
    • Dish rags
    • Can Opener (current house) X
    • Veggie Peeler (current House)X
    • Drink ware
    • Strainer

    Mud Room/Closet

    • Hangers (Current House)
    • Welcome Mat

    Dining Room

    • Dining room table and chairs (Mom – Wal-Mart) X $189
    • Place Mats (4 metallic silver from ross) X $5.99
    • Center Piece (Vase will practice wedding bouquet in it) X

    Living room

    • Couch and Loveseat (MIL’s old ones – Storage Unit) X
    • TV and TV Stand (Current house) X
    • Lamp (storage unit) X
    • Corner Table (Storage Unit) X
    • Sofa Table to go behind couch (Storage Unit) X
    • Toy Bin
    • DVD Case
    • Coffee Table


    • Elliptical (Current home) X
    • Recumbent Bike (Current Home) X
    • Full sized mattress and bed frame (Current home) X
    • Full Sized Box Spring
    • Desk (Storage Unit) X
    • Bookshelf

    AJ’s Bedroom

    • Twin Bed Frame, Box Spring, Mattress
    • Toddler bed (current house) X
    • Toy Organizer (current house) X
    • Toy Chest
    • Dresser (current house) X
    • Stuffed animal net
    • Toddler clothes hangers
    • Rug
    • Paint (Green and brown)
    • Black out drapes

    Master Bedroom

    • Queen Sized Bed Frame, Mattress, Box spring – (Shella)
    • Dresser (Current home) X
    • Bed Tables
    • Drapes
    • Hangers (current house)
    • Storage bins for closet
    • Shoe organizer for closet
    • Clothes Hamper (total of 5)

    Both Bathroom Everything X2

    • Toilet Brush
    • Plunger
    • Shower Curtain (1 from shella)
    • Scale (need just 1 – Current home) X
    • Bath Mat
    • Toilet seat cover
    • Toilet mat
    • Bath floor grip
    • Soap dispenser
    • Shower Caddie
    • Waste baskets


    • Light bulbs
    • Bleach, Windex, multipurpose cleaner
    • Sponges
    • Toilet paper
    • A lot of wash rags etc. (we don’t use paper towels)
    • Dish Soap
    • Dishwasher liquid
    • Steel Wool
    • Candles
    • Garbage Bags
    • Febreeze
    • Swiffer wet jet accessories
    • Decoration
    • Decoration hangers for drywall
    • Rugs
    • Fans
    • Lamps for each room
    • Toilet bowl cleaner
    • Laundry detergent
    • Drying line (for in the laundry room)
    • Dryer sheets

    X – We already have it

    ( ) – Where to find it

    I feel that this is a good list. I know that it is missing all sorts of stuff that I will find out about along the way.

    Post # 13
    23 posts

    Ross and Tj Maxx are surprisingly good places for pots and pans at a reasonable price. I’ve bought several different ones from there. They have them in fun bright colors too. I don’t know what your style is but I thought it was fun to mix and match the bright colors unexpectedly in pots and pans.


    glasses can also be bought at these stores as well at a reasonable price. However honestly in my book a glass, is a glass, is a glass..they have simple clear ones at the dollar store too. Can’t beat that price! 

    Post # 14
    845 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I’d hold off on buying stuff if you can until you actually move. Packing, moving, and unpacking SUCKS!

    It would be a dream to move into a place with just a tiny bit of stuff and then collect it once you are in the new place. I also think it’s smart to work with the absolute minimum and then aquire things as you need them.

    When we first lived together we had a studio apartment and we owned two pots, 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 sets of silverware, 2 big knives, a spatula, a big spoon, 2 mugs, a toilet brush, a broom/mop/bucket, some kitchen rags/towels, some tupperware/jars. All of it was second-hand, thrifted, purchased from Marshalls/TJ Maxx or literally picked from the trash (we got an amazing pan from someone’s pile of stuff they were throwing out!). We didn’t even have a trashcan! We bought stuff slowly as the budget allowed. We gave each other a lot of practical presents in our first few years together like a blanket, a bathmat, an awesome TRASHCAN!

    I look back on that time and think about the fact that we just as happy as we are now! You don’t need “stuff” to have a great life! 

    Post # 15
    9137 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    @ForeverBirds:  I am giving bare bones basics.  You need two plates, two forks, two knies, two spoons, two cups; when they get dirty wash them.  As for pots and pans, you can survive with just two: a 2-3 quart sauce pan with a lid and a 6 quart covered stick pot.  If you cook more often, you will quickly figure out what else you need.  As for bakeware, I recommend a large metal cookie sheet with a lip so you can make other things in it, and a 9×11 glass or metal pan.  Again, as you cook, you will figure out what else you need.

    As for pot holders, I would spend the money on dish towels which you can also use as pot holders when they are folded up.  Dollar stores sell serving spoons and spatulas for $1.

    Fo cleaning supplies we use good old fashioned bleach.  It’s cheap, it’s a disinfectant, and it goes a long way.  Other than that we have Windex for windows and glass.

    Post # 16
    2079 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    @ForeverBirds:  As far as cleaning supplies go, an inexpensive cleaner I like to use for scrubbing the bathtub/shower, toilet, and sinks is Comet cleaning powder. I believe a large can is a buck and it generally lasts a while. Watch what you wear while cleaning with it though, as it is pretty much bleach powder. For washing dishes by hand, Dawn is your best bet, it will take grease stains out of clothes, as well. Those Lysol or generic brand anti-bacterial wipes are great for cleaning your bathrooms and wiping down countertops after preparing raw meats to be cooked.

    As far as utensils and pots and pans go, I’m not sure how much you guys cook, but at least two good frying pans of different sizes are essential. I use a small one to cook eggs in and the larger one to make sauces, cook chicken and veggies in. You’ll also need a couple cookie sheets and casserole type dishes for baking fish/chicken/pork, etc. I find that several size saucepans are useful, as well. A small saucepan is good for soup, medium size for vegetables, and large one for potatoes and stews. A decent set of cutting knives and at least four sets of silverware are also necessary. I like the Corelle brand for dishes. They’re inexpensive and hold up extremely well after being dropped, washed and used repeatively. My grandma still has her set from the 70’s.

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