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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tulane chapter.

Living in your first off-campus house or apartment has a lot of perks– your own space, no dorm rules, and no dining hall. That last perk does require that you learn to cook for yourself, unless you want to get takeout for every meal. After a lot of trial and error over my first year living off campus, I can confidently say I have the tools I need to make all my favorite meals.

Big containers of cooking oil, salt, and pepper

You will go through these fast, especially if you share them with roommates, because I use them in pretty much everything I make. Instead of repurchasing every other time you go to the grocery store, get the biggest size possible. If you have a Costco membership, this is your time to shine.


Vegetable peeler

Even if you don’t think you will use one that much, this tool is a must-have for a reason. Sincerely, a girl who peeled three sweet potatoes with a knife and hated every minute of it.


Dish towels and rags

There are endless uses for these: drying your hands, cleaning up the inevitable spills and stains… the list goes on. They are much more sustainable than using paper towels for everything and you can just throw them in with your laundry!


More than one set of measuring cups and spoons

Sometimes you are just in a rush and can’t be bothered to clean that half tablespoon you used earlier. This is totally worth the investment in my opinion, and a very reasonable investment at that.


Pasta server

Those long spoons with prongs on the end to grab spaghetti might seem unnecessary, but they have a cool feature. The hole in the middle is meant to measure a single serving of spaghetti without a scale! This has legitimately been such a gamechanger for me.


Something that makes you excited to cook

The best kitchen tools are the ones that will make cooking easier and more fun for you. If you’re going to make everything in that air fryer, go for it. If the special avocado slicer will make your avocado toasts come together twice as fast, that’s amazing. At the end of the day, you know yourself best. 


My equation for the perfect off-campus kitchen is basics+smart buys that will make your life easier+a few fun items. Once you’re done shopping comes the fun part…happy cooking!

Hi! My name is Rachel Topolski, and I'm a junior at Tulane from Illinois. I'm majoring in management and minoring in social entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to spend my year writing for Her Campus.
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