Basic Kitchen Supplies for College

Whether you are moving into an apartment or staying at the dorm, you will need to purchase some supplies for the kitchen. This sections includes some basic tips for deciding what items you will need for your kitchen, purchasing options to help you find the best deals, and a checklist that you can tailor the list to fit your individual situation.


Take an inventory of what you already have at home and put those items in a box or lay them out on the table so that you can easily see what supplies you already own.

Make a checklist with what you need to purchase for your dorm or apartment. Decide what items you are going to purchase now and which will be purchased upon arrival at school. Set a timeline for what needs to be purchase and by what date so that you won’t end up running around at the last minute trying to buy everything.

Before you buy anything, especially the high-ticket items, check with the dorm to get a list of prohibited items so that you don’t spend money on something only to find out that you can’t keep it in your room.

You may also want to check with your roommate(s) to compare lists and find out what they will be bringing with them to school. You don’t want to go out and spend money on a microwave if you roommate already has one. Although, before you decide that you are going to use their stuff, you want to make sure they don’t have a problem with sharing. If you know the person you are going to share a room with, it will be easy to coordinate who will be bring what to school.

If you are going to college out of state or a considerable distance from home, it might be easier to purchase the larger items like microwave, vacuum, etc., and the incidentals like paper towels, foil and cleaner, once you are at school. If you are getting a moving truck, it won’t be as much of an issue; however, if you are planning to fly or pay to have your boxes shipped to college, it can be expensive to ship larger items.

**If you decide to purchase the items at school, make sure there is a store nearby where you can purchase everything. You can check online for stores in the area, or get a list from the school.

The best tip I have for finding deals is to visit the website of the store(s) where you may want to shop and sign up for their email list. Many stores will notify when they are having a sale, and some may even include a coupon that you can use online or in the store.

PURCHASING OPTIONS has a wide range of products for your dorm or apartment. They offer sell just about everything you would need to stock your kitchen. Buying online and shipping to school means that you won’t have to pack the items or transport them to school. Also, your purchase may qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping.

Department Stores carry brand-name kitchen electrics and housewares for your dorm or apartment. If you shop during a sale you can get a good bargain on brand-name appliances.

IKEA has a wide range of roducts for your kitchen — from cutting boards to dinnerware sets; all at amazing prices. You can also order from them online — you will have to check their website for shipping costs.

Mass-Market Stores like Wal-mart and Target carry a variety of electronics and housewares.

For comparison shopping, check prices at Costco, Best Buy, OfficeMax, and Staples. Also visit Linens N Things and Bed Bath & Beyond for housewares and kitchen electronics.


Here is a guideline for items you will need for your apartment or dorm. The checklist includes kitchen basics, cooking essentials, and kitchen electronics:

Kitchen Basics

  • Dinnerware Set
  • Glasses and Mugs
  • Flatware
  • Measuring Cups
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Kitchen Storage Containers
  • Saran wrap/Foil
  • Paper Towels
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Dish Soap
  • Dish Sponge
  • All-purpose Cleaner
  • Garbage Can
  • Trash Bags

Cooking Essentials

  • Frying Pans
  • Sauce Pans (with lids)
  • Casserole Dish
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Baking Pans
  • Pot Holders
  • Fire Extinguisher

Kitchen Electronics

  • Hot Plate
  • Compact Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Toaster Oven
  • Coffee Maker
  • Electric Kettle
  • Hand Mixer
  • Can Opener