Kitchen Essentials on a $500 Macy's Budget - Input is GREATLY Needed!


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Kitchen Essentials on a $500 Macy's Budget - Input is GREATLY Needed!

daydream | | Apr 7, 2011 07:06 PM

Hello, Chowhounds!

In two months I'm moving out on my own. I'm a novice cook; I just started really cooking and experimenting with food at the beginning of the year. (My New Year's Resolution was 'learn to cook!') Lucky me, I'm inheriting a beautiful table and six chairs from my aunt, and I'd like to have some little dinner parties, as well as continue to better my kitchen skills. I'm wondering what Chowhound would recommend for a beginning cook who's starting out by herself for the very first time. I have a short list already:

- Dinnerware and drinkware for 6 people (dinner and salad plates, cereal bowls, mugs, tumblrs, wine glasses, flatware)

- Pots and pans (How many? What size, aside from a small frying pan and a medium-sized pot?)

- Knives (what's the best budget brand?)

- Utensils like spoons and spatulas, a veggie peeler, a colander, and some measuring cups

- Cookie sheet and muffin pan

- A casserole dish (Glass? Ceramic? Metal?)

- Cheap toaster and coffee pot that won't be used every day, maybe 2 - 3 times a week

What else am I missing? I already have a microwave on lock.

I have $250 to Macy's, and I'm a Macy's card holder. I'm trying to budget my moving-out money, and I can put another $250 toward that amount, maybe $300. I'm hoping to go to Macy's when the have a sale or deals for card holders and try not to go past $500/$550. What's the best cookware, utensils, dishes, etc for a moderate/cheap price? Is it even possible to get all I need, for now, with that kind of money, at the store I'm intending to shop at? (Of course I want to build my kitchen, but not for at least another three or four months after initially moving out.) Is there anything I'd be better off buying elsewhere with my cash? What do you think of:

- Tools of the Trade?

- Martha Stewart brand cookware/dishes?

- The Cellar brand?

Is there anything I should splurge on?

Thanks for your time!