empty apartment kitchen

The $150 Starter Kitchen

Know anyone getting ready to move into their first apartment? Whether it’s a recent college grad, newlyweds or maybe it’s you, outfitting the kitchen can be a daunting, albeit essential, task. And it can get expensive. The problem is that as long as that kitchen sits idle, someone will be spending a lot of money eating out.

empty apartment kitchen

For less than the cost of a week’s worth of restaurant meals, I can show you how to set up a starter kitchen that will get that special someone in your life excited about cooking at home. Just keep in mind that these aren’t the highest quality items available. But for newly minted grads and couples, this will get them started cooking great cheap meals in the kitchen while they save to one day invest in higher quality cookware.


Pots and Pans

Here’s a budget-friendly cookware set that looks good, cleans up easily, and will get a new kitchen up to speed in a hurry! Tempered glass lids with steam vent make viewing food easy, keep heat and moisture in, and do double duty on the fry pans. Not Induction compatible. Works on gas, electric, glass, ceramic, halogen, etc. Oven-safe to 350F. Dishwasher safe. Two handy utensils are a nice bonus.




Every kitchen needs one good all-purpose chef’s knife. Of course you could spend hundreds, or not that much at all. This 8-inch knife gets rave reviews, which is surprising given its price.


Coffee Maker

Nothing is more essential than coffee. This coffee maker has no bells or whistles, but it’s a reliable workhorse that will make hundreds and hundreds of great cups of coffee.



Baking Dishes

Any kitchen that’s worth its salt needs at least one Pyrex baking dish. Make it this basic set of two and dinner is sure to be on the table day after day.



Oven Mitts

Oven mitts are essential and this silicon set gets very high reviews. You don’t want to skimp on safety, especially with novices running the kitchen! This pair is flexible, heat resistant to 450 F., and even machine washable. 




No one should have to live without a slow cooker. This 3-quart slow cooker is a basic starter appliance for making chili’s, stews, sauces, and even a 3 lb. chicken or roast The removable inner stoneware pot is easy to clean.


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  1. Linda says:

    These are great but as a lifelong cheapskate, I have to say, don’t forget about picking up some basics from Goodwill or some other thrift stores. Personally, I don’t trust thrift stores for electrical items (coffeemakers, crockpots, etc) but when it comes to things such as bakeware or even dishes and silverware, you just can’t beat the prices offered at thrift stores. When my daughter started college, we probably equipped her kitchen with 70% of thrift store finds.


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