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Here’s How I Outfitted My Whole Kitchen for $50

The prospect of furnishing my first kitchen was, admittedly, daunting. A quick trip to the fancy home store near me (cough, Williams-Sonoma) revealed an arsenal of gorgeous, rose-gold and enameled gadgets I needed...but definitely couldn’t afford.

Shortly after moving into my new apartment, I started culinary school and received my first knife roll (the culinary school equivalent of binders and pencils). Inside was every cooking tool I'd ever need. The whisks, zesters and pairing knives were just as sturdy as their rose gold counterparts—but without the fancy frills. 

All of the tools had come from the kitchen supply store down the street, a treasure trove of inexpensive gadgets and appliances that supplied restaurants across Manhattan.

And that's when I first discovered the magic of kitchen supply stores—and proceeded to outfit my whole kitchen for not a penny more than $50. Because here’s the thing: Anyone can shop there, not just chefs. And while they do sell wholesale-size bundles of baking sheets for extremely discounted prices, they also sell single baking sheets for extremely discounted prices.

You might be asking yourself, “but what if my town doesn’t have a kitchen supply store?” I assure you that if your town has a restaurant, it also has a kitchen supply store within driving distance. (Google maps will reveal the truth.) And if for some reason it doesn’t, you can totally fall back on the magical online equivalent, webstaurantstore.com.

For a little perspective, on the website, you can buy a wooden spoon for 73 cents, a rubber spatula for 74 cents, a saucepan for $11 and a nice chef’s knife for $11. Unlike the inexpensive but flimsy doodads you might find at Target, these essentials will stand up to major wear and tear. While you won’t find any name brands or rose gold at a kitchen supply store, we’re pretty sure the sweet, sweet prices will make the trip worth it.