Packing Lists: Kitchen Edition
For those of you looking to come to Warwick in October, now is the time to start getting excited! While you have some time on your hands it’s also useful to begin to pack, or at least make a list of what you will need at university. When I came I ended up horrendously over packing. However, over the last few years I feel like I have worked out what I actually need and what I can leave behind. Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my packing advice, starting with my favourite place in a house … the kitchen!
All the accommodation is self-catered, which means you will need to bring your own utensils, pots, pans etc. Often you can buy packs of cutlery with at least four sets; I would recommend bringing two sets with you and leaving the rest at home. That way, you can simply replace any cutlery that goes mysteriously missing! You will also need a bowl and plate or two – again these are often sold in sets that you can split up. If you are a hot drink drinker, bringing your favourite mug is a nice way of making your accommodation a home away from home. To cook all those yummy meals, bring some pans (I had a big one for batch cooking and a smaller one to cook portions of rice or pasta) and a frying pan. Personally, I like having a wok too to make stir frys. Things like a chopping board, wooden spoon, big serving spoon and mixing bowl also come in handy. A sharp knife is absolutely invaluable. I had a smallish one, but really wish I had a larger one to make it easier to cut things like butternut squashes and melons. A tin opener, bottle opener and peeler are things that are easy to forget but are hard to do without! Some things you may be able to borrow from flatmates or could buy from Wilko when you get here, for example a jug, wine glass, cheese grater and colander.
Other items which are useful include sponges/a cloth, washing up liquid and tea towels. I liked having my own sponge and tea towels which I kept in my cupboard, though I know other people who shared these things.
You may want to bring some food with you when you move in. Alternatively, you can go to the Tesco on the edge of campus to stock up. A word of warning though, the Tesco becomes very busy on Arrivals Weekend! Tea bags, milk and biscuits are handy to bring so you can have a cup of tea as you unpack. Things that I like to stock up on at the start of the year include: pasta (choose your favourite shape!), rice, cous cous, tins of tomatoes (for a chilli, spaghetti bolognaise or vegetable pasta sauce), spaghetti hoops (for a quick lunch or dinner), fresh fruit and vegetables and fish fingers. Vegetables can be much cheaper than meat, so becoming a vegetarian at university is often a good way of saving money. Frozen fruit, veg and fish are also really good to have in you freezer.
In terms of bringing a recipe book, I would recommend bringing one student cookbook. I used mine regularly as the recipes were cheap, easy and fast. I also brought some recipes for my favourite home meals to remind myself of home. There are so many good recipes online though; my favourite is BBC Goodfood as you can filter recipes depending on cuisine, meal and ingredients. I have written a blog on some of my favourite easy recipes which you can read here.
Cooking for yourself may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience! Food doesn’t have to be fancy or time consuming to be tasty and healthy; in fact my favourite meals are often the simplest. Practice will make things easier and watching YouTube videos and picking up tips from flatmates will help you improve. Cooking is something I have come to really love, which is surprising considering my very first blog spoke about my new year’s resolution to eat fewer fish fingers and cook more meals!