Living alone has taught me a lot about what it takes to survive in the big scary adult world...and even then, I was living in an apartment complex full of helpful friends that was an easy five minute walk from Publix. I moved in knowing little about the kitchen, and I wouldn't say I moved out knowing everything. What I can say, however, is that I know what I obnoxiously asked my neighbor for every time (until the last month of my living there) I was trying to open a bottle of wine and I know every ingredient I found my pantry to be frustratingly without in the middle of preparing dinner. There are most definitely essential things you need for your apartment, whether it be your first or your last.

1. Salt and Pepper

Tell me a recipe that does not require salt and pepper. It's the basis to all good cooking, as this iconic duo can take on any cooking misfortune, a.k.a turning bland chicken into the dinner of your dreams. 

2. Eggs

egg, Eggs, Fresh, carton, farmer's market
Caroline Ingalls

Eggs are a MUST HAVE item. You don't want to bang on your next door neighbor's door and ask for eggs – been there, done that. Not only are they a main ingredient in many recipes (from cookies to spaghetti carbonara), but they're also a delicious meal in themselves. Perfect for any time of the day, you can make them any which way.

#SpoonTip: If you're looking for an easy dinner, try scrambling some eggs and throwing it over a bed of rice and mixing in some ketchup. It's delicious.

3. Panko

sweet, cookie
Mackenzie Patel

Panko breadcrumbs are better than just your ordinary breadcrumb for a few reasons, but the most important is their flakiness. They add a light crisp to vegetables and/or chicken, which comes in handy when you're stuck eating the same meal three to five times a week. 

4. Butter

butter, cheese, dairy, dairy product, milk
Caroline Ingalls

Generally important fridge item, whether you want it as a sauce for pasta or as a spread on toast. Nothing helps crisp a grilled cheese quite like it, and it's also required for most baking and bread-based creations. 

5. Lettuce

spinach, cabbage, salad, pasture, lettuce, vegetable
Caroline Ingalls

The worst moment ever is when you're craving something healthy, in this case – a salad, and you look in your fridge to find that you've run out of lettuce. You're angry because your body was steering you in quite the positive direction and the world thought pizza rolls were the better choice. Don't make this mistake, it doesn't get easier to move on from. 

6. Seasonings

coffee, tea, pepper, beer
Lena Moriarty

I didn't want to mess with the world of seasonings; that whole aisle of the grocery store freaked me out. If you're as lost as I was, then you have to pick up these go-to seasonings and explore these. Another seasoning to look into is Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning – great for chicken, avocado toast, and many more options. 

7. Bottle Opener/Wine Screw

Melissa Miller

You're living on your own in an apartment, you need an assortment of alcohol-related tools. To host a tailgate or football game at your sweet new apartment, you need a bottle opener at your disposal. And then, on the other end, to host a Bachelor viewing party or game night, wine screw. It's the best of both worlds.

8. Snacks

tea, chocolate, sweet
Isabel Burton

Whether they be hidden in your freezer or your pantry, only to be accessed when the grumbling of your stomach gets too loud, it's distracting you from your life, snacks are an apartment must-have. I have found myself so desperate for food that I would (h)angrily blow $11 on a sandwich instead of enjoying inexpensive, more convenient foods. I live off of Trader Joe's Corn Dogs, and when they run out, I run out the grocery store to buy more. 

9. Flour

sweet, chocolate, bread, cake
Helena Lin

You never know when you need flour...because it's in almost everything. Flour is used as a thickening agent, thus why it's used when making sauces. It's also the main ingredient when making cookies, brownies, cakes, etc. 

#SpoonTip: Just because it's in the kitchen, doesn't mean its only use is food. Flour can be used as dry shampoo, a way of ridding your apartment of ants, and so much more.

10. Rice/Pasta

penne alla vodka, pasta, homemade, dorm, Easy
Tess Citron

Your classic starchy base. Chicken, yes, might be considered a meal, but chicken and rice is considered dinner. Or swap out the rice for pasta with sauce, and boom – another dinner complete. It's always a good idea to keep something of this sort in your pantry, or make in bulk and store it in your fridge for easy access!

11. Cooking Oil

oil, vinegar, alcohol, wine
Alex Frank

If you're trying to opt out of using butter, nothing works better to cook anything and everything than oil – olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc. You can also use olive oil to cook up some delicious bread dips and pasta sauces, just add a handful of seasonings. 

12. Sugar

tea, coffee
Katie Walsh

For the bakers, sugar is a good idea. And the coffee drinkers. And the tea drinkers. A little sweetness has never hurt anyone! And vanilla extract might be asking a little too much, but it's definitely not a bad idea to have around. 

13. Knives

vegetable, herb
Allan Mai

I cannot count the amount of times I invited my friend over to make dinner and he complained that my knives were not enough for him. Just save yourself the trouble and buy a set of knives. You're less likely to make a mistake chopping some veggies if you have the appropriate tool to do so.

14. Wood Cooking Utensil Set

I honestly didn't think about this until I tried to find a utensil to stir boiling noodles with. I was too late in that moment, but wood cooking utensils were immediately added to the shopping list. They were a life saver, definitely a thing you need for your apartment.

15. Limes/Lime Juice

ice, vodka, alcohol, cocktail, water, tonic, liquor
Kristine Mahan

You ALWAYS should be prepared with limes. Or if you're lazy (like me), lime juice. If you're planning on making some drinks (Moscow mules, margaritas, cosmopolitans, rum and cokes, etc.), you're going to need limes at your disposal. And lime juice is also a fantastic chaser, if you're desperate and too cheap to buy Sprite (also, like me).

16. Wine

alcohol, wine, rosé wine, rosé, glasses, cheers
Caroline Ingalls

Nothing screams class louder than a bottle of white wine in your fridge or red wine in your cupboard. If you're of age, a good bottle of wine can be an easy way to turn a regular ol' dinner into a fun girls' night.

#SpoonTip: Delicious does NOT mean expensive, and vice versa. Check out this article to find some cheap wines that'll have you buying seconds.

I definitely couldn't live without these kitchen apartment essentials, so hopefully your things you need for your apartment overlap with mine. And most of this stuff you only have to buy once at move in, making it very easy to get and stay prepared for whatever comes your way.