Looking for the best student kitchen essentials for your flat or student digs? We have you covered in our guide as we look at everything from pots and pans to chopping boards and more.
If there’s one mental image people conjure up when they think of students, it’s tins of beans and packets of ramen… but let’s be honest, none of us actually want to live on the stuff, even when we’re attempting to be frugal to save cash for nights out, trips away and big events.
Recipe books can be a minefield and when you add in dietary requirements or preferences, it’s all too easy to get swept away on a wave of rare ingredients, intricate kitchen equipment and convoluted measurements.
The best policy with managing a kitchen and at least trying to maintain a balanced diet as a student is to keep it simple. You don’t need everything and you don’t need to master every dish, but with these essentials, you’ll be able to boast an impressive repertoire that looks, sounds and tastes much more complicated than it really is!
In our student kitchen essentials guide, we pick out some top buys to deck out your student kitchen for less.
- 1 The Best Student Kitchen Sets – The Results
- 2 10-Piece Marble Cookware Set
- 3 Black and Wood Silicone Utensil Set by Dunelm
- 4 Student Kitchen Essentials Bundle at Wilko
- 5 Amazon Basics 15-Piece Cookware Set
- 6 Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Chopping Board
- 7 STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIAL SUMMARY
- 8 The Groceries Every Student Kitchen Needs
- 9 Other Top Tips for Budgeting in your Student Kitchen
- 10 Cheap Student Recipes That Aren’t Just Beans On Toast
The Best Student Kitchen Sets – The Results
We’ve been busy researching all the student kitchen essentials including cookware sets, utensils and everything else “kitchen” and we have the results.
First, we’ve selected the best kitchen sets for specific categories and then provided you with pictures and more information on features and details on each specific set.
Check out the results today:
Best Student Kitchen Set for Cooking
Best Utensil Set for Students
Best Overall Kitchen Set for Students
Best Chopping Board
Here are all of our student kitchen set top selections reviewed in more detail, so move over Gordon: there’ll be no swearing in the kitchen with these brilliant Student Kitchen Essentials:
If you enjoy cooking (or eating) curries, stews, chillis and other dishes that require a few pots and pans, then this cookware set could be a great purchase for you.
Easy clean and non-stick, you don’t need to lace everything with lots of oil or butter to avoid peeling bits off after and made of carbon steel, it’s super hard-wearing so can withstand just about anything (yep, even if you manage to burn it on somehow!).
A 10-piece student kitchen essentials set is more than enough for a group of people to use so you won’t need to buy one each in shared accommodation, unless, of course, you want to. Available on eBay.
STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIALS REVIEW SUMMARY: A fantastic set for the student who enjoys cooking for friends and visiting family. This 1o piece set is everything a busy student kitchen could need. Highly recommended.GET COOKWARE SET >
Looking for a handy, cheap but stylish utensils holder – then look no further.
This set comprises 5 basic utensils all on a storage hanger, and all presented in black to hide any discolouration or wear and keep things looking smart!
The silicone finish ensures that even the most frantic of chefs won’t scrape or scratch pans, and the food storage unit means you’ll be always able to find the utensil you need – there’s no excuse for not putting them back in the right place when it’s this obvious!
STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIALS REVIEW SUMMARY: If you’re looking for utensils then this is the purchase for you. It’s value but looks a million dollars and has all the utensils you require in a handy storage hanger.BUY UTENSILS >
Even the most novice of cooks can’t go wrong with Wilko’s kitchen essentials bundle – because it’s a single purchase that provides everything you need to knock up every meal of the day!
Your cupboards will be well-stocked with this bargain set, including a 12-piece dinner set (that’s enough plates, side plates and bowls for four people), a 16-piece cutlery set (in black, so it goes with pretty much everything), a 4-pack of hi-ball tumbler glasses, 2 non-stick saucepans, a non-stick frying pan, an oven tray and a rectangular glass roasting dish.
Everything you need in this student kitchen essentials set comes in one box and is easily enough for a few people to use… providing, of course, your student house washing up rota is stuck to.
STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIALS REVIEW SUMMARY: Wilko’s have come up trumps with this kitchen essentials set. It has all the pots and cookware you need plus cutlery and glassware included providing excellent value.GET KITCHEN BUNDLE >
If you don’t yet have your pots and pans or cooking utensils and it’s your first time away from home, then this all-in-one student kitchen essentials set is the ideal buy.
Containing a spoon, ladle, spaghetti-stirrer, draining spoon and spatula alongside 2 non-stick saucepans, 3 pots with lids and a casserole dish with lid, this is a great starter set for any kitchen. The pots and pans are made from aluminium (not stainless steel) with non-stick coating and stay-cool handles, and the utensils all tough BPA-free plastic. If you turn up to your first day in digs with this set, you’ll be all set – even if your roommates haven’t come prepared!
This fabulous cookware set is available through Amazon, where you can also get free student prime delivery.
STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIALS REVIEW SUMMARY: If you’re looking for an extensive cookware set then this is for you. Utensils, pots and pans make it fantastic for those budding Mary Berrys and larger student households.BUY POTS AND PANS >
A decent chopping board is essential and we have the perfect one for you.
There is truly nothing worse than finding tiny old bits of food around the kitchen; especially when your flatmate hasn’t bothered to wipe up for a few days after cooking, and they’re beginning to get old and mushy. Yeeeeuugghhh.
The Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot chopping board, available at House of Fraser (great for customer service), negates any risk of stray ingredients flying about – truly, a godsend for shared kitchens. Simply chop your ingredients on it, and fold to pour directly into the pot, pan, bowl or container, with no overspill. Genius!
It’s dishwasher safe and hard-wearing too, so easy to see why this brand hit the big time with this as their main product.
STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIALS REVIEW SUMMARY: Be the best chef you can be and look amazing with this most stylish and practical of chopping boards.GET CHOPPING BOARD >
STUDENT KITCHEN ESSENTIAL SUMMARY
We hope you have enjoyed our guide on the best student essentials for your kitchen.
Our teams look a variety of different options from retailer including pots, pans, bakeware and utensils to find you something perfect for your needs and budget.
Also, read on to find out about other student kitchen and cooking tips.
The Groceries Every Student Kitchen Needs
Food is an unavoidable expense, but there are some ways that you can save by ensuring your cupboards are stocked with staple ingredients that can be easily used for loads of different dishes. These include:
- Tinned tomatoes – easy to add to all kinds of other ingredients to make a quick sauce
- Tinned fish – can bulk out and add healthy fats to salads, pasta dishes and curries without breaking the bank
- Herbs and spices – add flavour to anything, even if it hasn’t turned out quite as tasty as you’d hoped!
- Tinned pulses – an easy veggie source of protein and ideal for bulking out other dishes, or for using as meat alternatives
- Dried pasta – a student staple, sure, but also something easy to get hold of, cheap to buy and super fast to cook for when you need something pronto!
- Potatoes – slice up and serve as fries, cook in the oven and have a jacket, or roast as everyone’s favourite Sunday Lunch side. Potatoes are good for just about everything and last for ages if kept in a cool, dark place
- Dried fruit – a grab and go snack that’s not just junk but can also be stirred into porridge oats or cereal to bulk up a breakfast
- Eggs – scramble, fry, omelette, stir into baked beans… if you eat eggs they’re a great source of protein and can be cooked in a whole host of quick and easy ways
- Bread – did you know bread can be frozen? Most toasters have a defrost setting and it lasts for ages in the freezer, so even if you don’t get through a loaf quick enough before it starts turning green, you can still have this staple in easy reach.
Other Top Tips for Budgeting in your Student Kitchen
There’s lots of ways to keep your student kitchen running and your tummy full on a budget without just living on packets of 20p ramen noodles. Here at Student Discount Squirrel, we often utilise the following to save some pennies and enjoy some great meals, even on a shoestring.
Go food shopping late in the day
if your local supermarket closes at a set time, head in for the final hour, or, if it’s 24hrs, do so in the evening. This is the time of day when the most items will be discounted in order to try and encourage them to sell before they’re unusable.
Use cashback apps
There’s a whole host of apps to make grocery shopping smarter and cheaper, including the likes of Shopmium and ReceiptHog. Photo your receipts and sign up for coupons to claim money back when you buy selected products but remember – don’t buy a product just for a discount, or you’re not actually saving money!
Shop the world foods aisle
Although the goods are more authentic in the world foods aisle (real Italian pasta, Asian spice mixes, European tinned veg), they’re often cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere in the supermarket. They’re still great quality and often work better for dishes, so keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to pick up something from a brand you don’t recognise.
Ok, so meal planning isn’t the most exciting thing to spend a Sunday afternoon doing, but it does really help keep costs down! Think of it like receiving a HelloFresh box – plan out each meal ahead and buy exactly what you need for each, then pop each meal’s ingredients in a tub in the fridge/cupboard as required and you know where they all are when you need them!
If you eat meat, cut it out a few days a week – vegans and veggies wax lyrical about saving money by not buying meat, and they’re not wrong: it’s expensive. Choosing a veggie option just two or three days a week could make a hefty cost saving to your grocery bill and give you a chance to try out some new recipes too.
Set a no-spend day once a week
If you’re someone who tends to do a big shop but then find yourself topping it up constantly in convenience shops and budget supermarkets, CUT IT OUT. Set yourself at least one day a week where you commit to spend no money at all and stick to it. You’ll soon find yourself making cupboard snacks and not indulging in unnecessary spend on those tricky ‘in-between’ days.
Students aren’t best known for their healthy diets or glorious cookery skills, but you know what? This is your opportunity to change it all. OK, so you may not be eating kale or guzzling almond milk three times a week and you probably won’t be an entirely all ‘new you’, but this is a chance to start afresh and build some new kitchen habits. Who knows? You may even enjoy it!
Cheap Student Recipes That Aren’t Just Beans On Toast
You’ve probably been given a recipe book aimed at students as a Christmas or birthday present at some point, and as handy as they can be to dig out from time to time and try a new variation on chilli con carne, often the recipes are all very similar and sadly not all particularly inspiring and you’ll be looking for something exciting to cook with your new student kitchen essentials. However, there are some budget recipe books for first time student cooks that offer things up a little simpler that aren’t aimed at what publishers think students want to read… so it’s not all beans on toast. Jack Monroe, author of Tin Can Cook and Cooking on a Bootstrap, offers the following two recipes as cheap and easy main meals. Plus shop at Co-op and you can get a student discount on your groceries on top!
Microwave Marmite Mac’n’cheese, 34p a portion
30g cheese spread or grated cheese
½ tsp Marmite or own-brand alternative
Tip your pasta into a mug and cover with cold water. Cover the mug with cling film and pierce a few times. Stand in a bowl or jug and cook on full power in your microwave for 2 mins. The water will have bubbled up the sides, so it’ll end up in your bowl or jug. Pour it back in. Give a good stir, and leave to stand for a minute. Repeat twice or more, until your pasta is soft. If you need more water, pop it in as required.
Stir in butter, Marmite and cheese. Cook for another minute on full-power and stir.
Turkey Meatballs, 53p a portion
400g tin of baked bins
400g tin of tomatoes
2 slices of bread
1 tbsp flour
400g turkey mince (it’s cheaper than other meat mince!)
2 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to season (optional)
Tip your beans into a colander or sieve and run under a cold tap to get rid of the orange sauce. Pop your newly naked baked beans into a pan and cover with water, boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 10 mins – this will really soften them up. Drain well, tip into a bowl, and mash. Peel and chop your onion, tear up your bread into small pieces, and throw all in the same bowl along with the flour. Stir. Take your mince out of the packet, separate with your fingers and add that too the bowl. Mix all together until well combined. If your beans or mince are too wet, add some more flour as needed. Form little balls out of the mixture.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and drop your meatballs in. Jiggle carefully and cook for about 10 mins, size-dependent, so they’re the same colour on all sides and well cooked through. Season and drench in grated cheese to taste.
There are a whole host of brilliant budget recipes available online, as well options for those following vegan, gluten-free or allergen-free diets. A quick search online will also help you uncover recipes for microwave cooking, one-pot dishes and those with as few ingredients as possible.
We hope you have enjoyed our student kitchen essentials guide, here are some of our other student guides.