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Most everyone will have to set up his or her first home eventually. It's expensive and you do without a lot of things in the beginning. For most people, the kitchen is the heart of the home and setting up that first kitchen takes quite a bit.

Knowing what you need is one of the first challenges. There are so many kitchen gadgets and doodads that choosing can be a chore. It's best to start with the basics. We'll assume that your new home has a stove and refrigerator. Anyone can get started with just these few things:

+ Set of knives and a cutting board You'll want a paring knife, a boning knife, a bread knife and a chef's knife to begin with. Buy the best quality knives you can. You're less likely to cut yourself with a sharp knife than a dull one. When choosing a cutting board, try to get a wooden one. At one time, health experts were recommending acrylic thinking they were more sanitary but recent tests show that a wooden one is easier to sterilize than an acrylic one.
+ A set of basic cooking utensils This should include a large cooking spoon, a large slotted spoon, a meat fork, a pair of tongs, a set of rubber spatulas, a nylon spatula for non-stick cookware and a metal one for cast iron or other cookware. A set of dry measure cups and measuring spoons, a large glass liquid measure, a can opener, a vegetable peeler, potato masher, grater, set of wooden spoons and a corkscrew are also recommended.
+ A set of mixing bowls and a set of plastic food storage bowls will be necessary If you can, buy stainless steel mixing bowls, they will last much longer than plastic ones.
+ Buy the best set of cookware that you can You will want at least the basics; a five-quart Dutch oven (large pot with a lid), a two-quart saucepan with a lid, a one-quart saucepan, a frying pan and a large roasting pan if you plan to cook turkeys or hams. A set of cast iron skillets is also very nice to have.
+ You will want some basic bakeware This would include a 13x9 pan, 2 8x8 cake pans (either round or square), a loaf pan, a cookie sheet and a jellyroll pan, a pie plate, a cooling rack and a springform pan if you plan to make cheesecakes. A glass casserole dish with a cover would be handy, too.
+ You'll need a set of dishes Try to get a service for eight, even if you don't need to serve that many people. You'Æll be glad for the extra dishes.
+ A set of silverware is also a necessity. A service for 12 will be your best choice, as silverware gets used frequently throughout the day. Get a set of steak knives, too.
+ A set of glassware and coffee mugs will be welcome If you drink wine or liqueurs, you'll want a set of stemware as well.
+ You will want a few small appliances An electric mixer, a blender, a toaster and a coffeemaker will satisfy most in the beginning. If you can manage it, a small, inexpensive microwave oven will be welcome.
+ You will need a set of dishtowels, hot pads, dishcloths and a trivet A scrub brush for scrubbing dishes is handy, too. Add a garbage can, broom, dustpan, bucket and mop and you're set!

You will save a considerable amount of money if you can shop for these things over time. By taking advantage of dollar sales, clearance sales, sidewalk sales and white sales, you'll save about 40%-50% off the retail price of most of these items. The old hope chest idea was a good one.

Parents ought to consider starting such a chest for their older teens. Birthdays and other gift giving occasions are a great time to start tucking away some of the more expensive items on the list. They may not appreciate it at first, but when they move into that first apartment, they surely will.