Cheap and Easy Kitchen Upgrades That Get You Motivated to Cook

If you’re trying to get a little more motivated in the kitchen, you know this first hand. Cooking is hard! From planning meals (tips here!) to grocery shopping then actually cooking, moving into your first place can be a rude awakening that home-cooked meals don’t always come easily. Deciding to cook at home more often has huge benefits, from saving you major money to ensuring you’re eating healthy. If you’re trying to make a positive change and need a little motivation, check out some easy kitchen upgrades that will leave you feeling fancy, and give you some joy in the kitchen!

Upgrade Your Dishes

After slaving over the stove for a half-hour, take the extra 2 minutes to plate your dish and make it really look beautiful. A big key to an Instagramable meal is what it’s served on! If you’re still using paper plates or dingy hand-me-downs, consider a cheap (but fancy) upgrade. A¬†nice plate can cost just a few bucks at big-box stores.

Head to your local store and check out their selection. Many stores (Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and more) will have a section of the store dedicated to plate, bowl, and serving sets, so you can see the entire look together (even if you don’t buy it all at once!). Select a pattern that’s easy to match (for your other servingware!) and add to your set over time.

Here’s an easy example to coordinate new pieces with, from Walmart:

Once you have cute plates, you can coordinate a serving tray or two for when you have friends over, like these from Walmart too.

Pick up New Cooking Utensils 

Another cute and cheap kitchen upgrade is your cooking utensils! If you’re stuck with cracked and chipped old hand-me-downs, or utensils that are fading, consider purchasing new wooden or plastic utensils that will make cooking more fun!

Bamboo Utensil Set for under $10!

10-Piece Silicone Utensil Set for just under $20!

Read reviews, and only buy what you need… but these are cheap and easy upgrades to ensure you have the tools you need!

Get Fun Dish Towels

If you see a dishtowel that makes you smile or giggle, spend the $4 to bring it home! Whether it’s a nice saying or silly graphic, dishtowels that make you smile can absolutely improve your kitchen experience. Check out Etsy for tons of choices.

Be Inspired by New (Easy) Cookbooks

Depending on your eating preferences, invest in a few highly-reviewed cookbooks… and use them! I have a few favorites for our new vegan diet, but these will help you stay focused in the kitchen, and give you direction to eliminate stress! Select cookbooks that require a limited number of ingredients as well.

Thug Kitchen – $15

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook – $13

The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook – $15

The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook – $12


Now, get to cooking in your new fancy kitchen!

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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