How to Stock a Small Kitchen with Everything You Need

Even if you have a small kitchen and a small budget, you can still save money by stocking it efficiently.


Up next in Cooking Equipment (19 videos)

Master some new cooking skills and techniques with the tips in this Howcast video series about cooking equipment.

You Will Need

  • Basic pantry staples
  • Multi-purpose cookware


  1. Step 1

    Start with the basics

    Start with your pantry. Buy only what you think you'll use on a regular basis. Look at the ingredients of your favorite dishes in cookbooks and see which items show up the most.

  2. If you're a beginning cook, stock up on a few basic spices and condiments to experiment with flavors.

  3. Step 2

    Acquire pots and pans

    Choose pots and pans. A large, aluminum-core skillet and a preseasoned cast-iron skillet cover searing, sauteing, and frying, and can go from stovetop to oven. A sturdy saucepan serves as the perfect pot for sauces, rice, and veggies, while a stockpot handles pasta and soup. For roasting and baking, pick up a jellyroll pan.

  4. Stack pots and pans inside each other for storage, or just keep them on the stove if storage space is at a premium.

  5. Step 3

    Acquire utensils

    Cover the utensil basics: a wooden spoon and a heatproof spatula, a sturdy spatula for flipping, a pair of tongs, a ladle, a rasp grater, a vegetable peeler, and a whisk. A chef's knife can handle the work of several specialty knives.

  6. Step 4

    Limit appliances

    Be selective with appliances. How much do you cook, and what can you do by hand? A toaster oven takes up little space but is a great multi-tasker. If you drink coffee every morning, consider a single-cup maker.

  7. Step 5

    Dishes and flatware

    Unless you entertain often, four settings of basic dishes, glasses, and flatware should do the trick. Save the espresso cups and oyster forks for when you get a bigger place!

  8. Did you know? In 2008, Russian archaeologists unearthed Stone Age utensils made of bone and decorated with geometric patterns that were likely considered magical by their creators.