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Food & Drink

8 kitchen utensils you don’t actually need (and what to use instead)

Getting stocked up on kitchen stuff for uni? Don't waste your cash on these kitchen tools that have easy (and way cheaper!) alternatives...

woman with apron and kitchen appliances

Credit: ViDI Studio, PixelSquid3d, Valentin Valkov, ApoGapo, Vadym Zaitsev – Shutterstock

Figuring out what you will and won't need for the kitchen when moving into a new house can be a bit of a nightmare. This is particularly the case when you have no idea what your new flatmates will bring with them. You could end up with three of everything if you're not careful.

Whilst there's loads of guidance out there to help you work out what to bring to university, there's little warning about what not to waste your cash on.

We thought we'd take a bit of time to fill you in on the items we've found to be pretty useless over the years...

Unnecessary kitchen utensils

Here are some kitchen utensils to avoid buying, and what you can use instead:

  1. Colander

    Colanders are handy if you're particularly clumsy and tend to pour half your dinner down the sink every time you try to drain it. But for the majority of the population, these aren't essential.

    A simple alternative to the colander is just to buy a pot with a lid that has a steam hole instead. Just take your time pouring!

  2. Egg poacher

    We love a posh poached egg as much as the next guy, there's no denying these things just aren't worth the cash.

    You can create the exact same results using a mug and a microwave, anyway.

    Cover the brim of the mug with a sheet of clingfilm and crack the egg into the middle. Twist the film closed, fill the cup two-thirds with water and blast in the microwave for 35 seconds – bam!

  3. Pizza wheel

    As fun as a pizza wheel can be to use (and the designs can be pretty cute, too), unless you're working in a pizza kitchen, they're pretty useless.

    Try using scissors instead. They're arguably more effective at cutting all the way through.

  4. Knife set

    Rather than a full knife set, you only really need one good knife at uni.

    Buy one knife and a sharpener to keep it in good condition. It should last you a long time, and will save you a fair amount of money compared to buying a set.

  5. Garlic press

    If you're particularly lazy and not a fan of having garlicky fingers, we understand why you might feel the need to buy a garlic crusher.

    However, they're a nightmare to clean, and chopping your garlic cloves the old-fashioned way is just as effective.

  6. Food processor

    If you like soups and smoothies, splashing out on a food processor might seem like a good idea. But, in reality, they take up a lot of room in cupboards that you'll likely be sharing with a few others (and who knows what sort of bossy flatmates you might end up with!).

    The perfect alternative is to buy a hand blender. They cost a fraction of the price and can fit away neatly in your cutlery drawer.

  7. Tupperware

    Tupperware containers are crucial when you're a student. How else will you freeze leftovers and carry lunches to uni with you in one piece?

    However, don't bother wasting money buying a Tupperware set. You get them for free when you order a takeaway!

  8. Toaster

    This is a bit of a controversial one to add to the list. We know some students treasure their toasters.

    But, what if we told you you could basically do the same thing with your oven grill? Ideal.

Check out these great ways to get free food.


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