You are moving into your first apartment and the rent is high. The dining hall isn’t an option anymore and it’s time to start learning how to feed your growing mind. Here are four cheap and easy ways to start cooking like the pros:

1. A Good Chef’s Knife


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From dicing an onion to carving a Thanksgiving turkey, you’re going to need one knife that can do it all. Buying a huge knife block may fill out the counter, and since your mom just bought you that nice, new Keurig to satisfy your coffee addiction, you’re strapped for space. No need for the ten other weapons of cooking destruction that will be a cause for confusion in a dangerous place. Pick one up and start learning how to chop and slice to impress your friends and feed your stomach.

2. Large Quantities of Cheap Vegetable Oil


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No matter what you’ve heard about how great extra virgin olive oil is for your body, it isn’t so good for your wallet. It’s nice to have a bottle on hand when throwing together a vinaigrette or topping off a plate of pasta, but your right hand man for food lube is going to be some type of vegetable oil. Have both on hand, but stick to the cheap stuff whenever you’re cooking up a bunch of protein for guests.

3. Oven Safe Pans and Pots

Pots and Pans

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Even though you’re trying to save money, you also want to be able to put together a banging meal. Pots and pans that can head straight into the oven save money and space. Most heavy pans conduct heat better, which will help your energy bills and save cooking time so you can focus on the six other things waiting to be prepared.

4. Chinese Food is Your Friend


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It’s the weekend and you’re tired. It’s okay to order that Chinese food to help your aching body because it will also give your kitchen a nice upgrade. Those convenient plastic containers that almost everything is packaged in are good for future storage and organization. Top level restaurants use these exact cylindrical devices to separate their preparation so they’re ready when it comes time to cook. Don’t throw away what’s left after your wonton soup is gone. Keep those around to avoid buying extra Tupperware and start cooking like the pros.