Kitchen Essentials

Sometimes, cooking can be a hassle, especially if you are new at it or simply don’t have the ‘right’ ingredients to make you’re favorite dish or simply just eat.

Being away from a parents home can also be annoying, too, without having a parent available to provide food. There are a few recommendations and tips available for usage and healthy choice selections.

With a complete kitchen or pantry you will always have something to make a meal at the spur of the moment. More advanced cookers may be surprised that many of these ingredients are generally in recipes.

Students can either buy these things on as a needed basis for recipes or make a list and randomly purchase them for future use.

Some people may feel differently about these items, however, keep in mind that this is a general list and that everyone has their own taste buds to answer to.

Here are some things that students should consider purchasing to stock up their refrigerator and pantry.

The Fridge

MilkIt’s a great source of calcium and when added to cereal, makes for a quick and healthy breakfast or compliment to cakes and cookies. Try using 2% or skim milk.


A protein-packed breakfast item, necessity for many baked goods, or ingredient for various type of salads and sandwiches.

Margarine or Butter

Not recommended for everyday use, but definitely needed for baked goods and adding flavor.


These require little to no preparation when hungry or if guests stop by. Grapes, apples, bananas, and oranges are commonly available.

Lemon Juice/Fresh Lemons

Lemon juice is found in many recipes. You can also add a fresh slice or drop to a glass of faucet water for added refinement or use lemon juice as a low-fat salad dressing.


This is needed to spread on bread, mix into tuna salad and make dips. Use the low-fat variety.


Many of them can be eaten raw or added to supplement recipes and entrees. Carrots, cabbage, squash and tomatoes are just a few.

Water, Juice, soft drinks

There is always a need for cold beverages; they offer instant refreshment.


Whether it is chicken, turkey, fish, beef or pork, they often complete the meal for meat eaters.

The Pantry

Cooking Spray

Always a great substitute for using margarine, butter, lard or other fats often used for cooking.

Peanut Butter

It will remain its freshest in the fridge. Use instead of butter to spread on morning toast for more protein and healthier fat.


A great relaxant as well as energy provider for those long days at school. Tea also helps with digestion and common cold symptoms.


You should always have this basic staple handy. To make sandwiches, or complete a breakfast in the morning.

Oregano, Basil and Thyme (dried)

Dried herbs are great to use in sauces, soups and dressings, often the finishing touch that adds an extra boost to an entree.

Tomatoes (canned)

Extremely useful when you need to prepare a quick pasta sauce.

Olive Oil

Use as a marinade, in sauces, alone, or in salad dressing. This oil has multiple purposes around the kitchen.

Cooking Wine or Vinegar

Great for pasta sauces and salad dressings. You can get all types, such as red or white cooking wine and balsamic, apple cider or white distilled vinegar.

Garlic and Onion (fresh or powdered)

Quintessential ingredients used to add flavor to several recipes.


The fastest dinner you can prepare and will always provide guaranteed satisfaction. You have a variety of choices such as spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine and macaroni.


A quick and easy 20-minute preparation time and complement many meats, vegetables and seafood meals.

Canned Vegetables

Beans, carrots, spinach are all veggies that can complement and create a quick balanced meal.


This is a very versatile vegetable that can easily join a meal.

Cereal (dry or hot)

Always have cereal handy for the fastest breakfasts, or even as a snack.

Tuna (canned)

You can prepare awesome casseroles with cheese or amazing salads with flakes of tuna or simply stick to the basics and make sandwiches with it.

Salt and Pepper

As obvious as it seems, these are essential ingredients in tons of recipes. Salt should be used in moderation and salt substitutes are available.


Flour, cinnamon, corn meal, extracts and baking soda are also handy.