These are my essentials to make it possible to truly enjoy cooking in your own kitchen. Check off the things you have and then we can see what you will need. They are all set up in Amazon so you can buy what you need. I do make a tiny commission when you use these links, but it doesn’t change your price at all. In fact, I’ve made this list with a tight budget in mind and hand-picked each item that had the best rating/price ratio.
If you are wanting to make your life easier by using the Simply Real Food™ concept, then you will definitely want to have plenty of storage containers. I am giving you options of plastic or glass depending on your preference. Please contact me if you have any questions. Amounts listed are minimums, you may want to have extras in case you end up with some of the containers still in use (freezer for instance) when you are ready for the next week’s prep.
Glass (Note: Jars are cheaper by the case. See notes next to each)
11 cup Pyrex Glass Dishes – You will need 4 for SRF
6 up Pyrex Glass Dishes – You will need 5 for SRF
32 oz Jars (case of 12) – Order on Amazon for convenience, but really Target is cheaper by far. For make ahead salads see below for plastic alternative.
4 oz jars (case of 12) – Very useful as prep bowls, dip containers for snacks and to hold small amounts of prepped ingredients. Target or JoAnn’s Fabrics have the better prices.
16 oz wide mouth jars (case of 12)- For dressings and sauces. Impossible to find on Amazon Prime, but I have purchased at Target several times.
Wide Mouth Pour Spouts (pack of 3) – Genius way to convert jar to a dressing container.
Rubbermaid 9 cup bowls BPA Free – This includes 2 medium containers so you will need 3 sets
Rubbermaid 14 cup bowls BPA Free – This includes 3 containers so only 1 set is necessary.
Rubbermaid 5 cup Bowls – This is a 6 pack. For make ahead salads. 32 oz jars are alternative.
Rubbermaid 1.25 cup Bowls – For storing small amounts of prepped ingredients.
Other Equipment you will need
No need to buy everything at once (unless you just want a kitchen overhaul!) I have listed them in the order of how much I use them especially for the Simply Real Food™ Plan.
Large Baking Sheets (about 16 x 12") - I suggest having 4 for SRF purposes
Unleached Parchment Sheets - fit the baking sheets perfectly!
Instant Pot – Seriously not an indulgence, I use it constantly!
Ninja Air Fryer - Again…I have been known to use this for every meal. It’s better than a toaster for toast and bagels!
Magnetic Sheet White Board for Fridge - I use this every day to plan my meals, keep track of grocery/toiletry needs and to note what needs to be eaten soon.
Label Once - labels for containers, erasable and reusable through several washings.
8" Chef's Knife – Doesn’t have to be expensive, I have a Wusthof, but my Ikea $20 knife is my fave and is dishwasher safe
18 x 12" heavy bamboo cutting board with an edge for liquids
Smaller dishwasher safe cutting boards for little jobs and keeping raw meat separate
12" Heavy Stainless Steel Skillet
3.5” Paring knife – Same as above
10” copper nonstick skillet for cooking eggs
3 qt stainless steel saucepan with lid - All purpose pan for everything.
Large stainless steel bowl set – I love the medium sized for tossing family sized main dish salads, the small for mixing meatloaf/burger/meatball mixtures since they are dishwasher safe and the large one I fill with water and vinegar for washing veggies prior to prep day.
Large colander – For draining veggies after washing.
Food Processor – My very favorite for the price. Makes food prep even easier and I wouldn’t even attempt homemade mayo without it.
Spider - A strainer/ladle that I use all the time to remove pasta, skim broth or soup, etc.
Spatula - Silicone in several sizes. I use these for eggs, scraping bowls when baking, etc.
Whisk - One big whisk is all you need but this set has three.
Bamboo Utensil Set - Can be used in any cookware.
All-purpose floursack towels - For eco-friendly drying of produce and storing of washed greens. I literally have 30 or more of these!
There are certainly other things, but with these you can make almost anything. So, get real and get cooking!