You finally have the kitchen of your dreams – beautifully crafted cabinetry, shining, durable countertops and the appliances you’ve always wanted. But wait! You suddenly realize that all of your old kitchenware looks kind of dingy when stacked up against your gorgeous new space! However, you didn’t budget for new kitchen equipment, and that’s thousands of dollars, right? Not if you shop carefully, says New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman. In fact, he shares simple ways you can outfit your new kitchen for a slim $300.

According to Bittman, a kitchen can be nicely equipped for a mere $200, and beautifully equipped for $300, if you plan carefully and do the bulk of your shopping at restaurant supply stores. He cautions against buying sets of items from “big-box” stores, because that’s where prices – and non-essential gadgets – can creep in and blow your budget. He also indicates that often, people equate high-end brands with better quality. Not so – he believes you can find less-expensive items that work just as well and give you more bang for your buck. Here’s a list of what Bittman purchased with $300:

  • Eight-inch chef’s knife
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Three stainless-steel bowls
  • Tongs
  • Sheet pan
  • Plastic cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Japanese mandoline
  • Can opener
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Colander
  • Five cast-aluminum pots and pans, varying dimensions
  • Skimmer
  • Slotted spoon
  • Bread knife
  • Whisk
  • Food processor
  • Salad spinner
  • Grater
  • Coffee and spice grinder
  • Whetstone

Bittman goes on to say that there are many items that, while nice to own, are inessential for a well-equipped kitchen. He cautions against purchasing such items as bread machines, stand mixers, specialty knives, pressure cookers, and super-specialized pots like stock pots and woks. Finally, he indicates that good kitchen equipment need only be functional, not “prestigious, lavish or expensive.”

If you’ve created your dream kitchen, but haven’t budgeted for new equipment, don’t worry. Everything you need for a fully functional kitchen – for less – is as close as your nearest restaurant supply store. Of course, when you work with Fahy Kitchens & Baths on your dream kitchen, we can help you not only with your aesthetic needs, but we’ll help you create a workable budget, too. Please feel free to contact us at (315) 735-8181 or fax to (315) 735-2829. Fahy Kitchens & Baths is located at 1908 Oriskany Street West in Utica, N.Y. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are appreciated.