I realise this post may be a little late for some, but having a little sister who’s currently in the process of buying all the things she needs to take to uni, I thought I’d make a post to (hopefully) help any of you heading to uni soon! This list isn’t intended to be a list of things in general, but more specifically for baking purposes. I’m afraid I’ve ignored the things you’ll need for general cooking, but have included some tips and a list of things you may need if you want to bake at uni. Although this list is intended for students going to uni this year it may also be useful to any of you looking for cheap instruments that will help you to have a wide range of all the vital things you’ll need for baking. It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t need to panic if you don’t have all these things- this is just what I’ve found most useful to have- let me know if I’ve forgotten anything! I’ve tried to research this and find the best price for each item, but please comment and let me know if you’ve found anything cheaper, or if there are any special offers I’ve missed!
A Wooden Spoon (45p)- The cheapest one I found is in Sainsbury’s for 45p. It doesn’t need to be fancy to do the job, and you can use it to cook too.
A Spatula (60p)- Spatulas are great for getting those last pesky bits out of your mixing bowl (whether you want to add it to your mixture or eat it!). They aren’t necessary but I find them very useful. I recently bought a great one from Ikea for 60p which has a great pattern on it too (bonus!). http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/90225731/
A Mixing Bowl/Measuring Jug (35p)- In my house, we tend to use measuring jugs as mixing bowls. This may not be for everyone, but it does mean that you save on washing up and that you don’t have to buy both (so also save money!). If you do go for a measuring jug (mine was from Asda) then make sure that it’s wide enough to use a hand-held mixer in if you have one.
Measuring spoons (£1)- Again, these aren’t necessary if you know how many grams are in a teaspoon/ tablespoon, but are much quicker! The cheapest ones I’ve found are again from Asda, but I know you can get nice silicone ones on Amazon.
Scales (£4-6)- I have to confess that I got my kitchen scales as a present from my grandparents, so mine were slightly more expensive (£13.56 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salter-Design-Electronic-Platform-Kitchen/dp/B000ZNM51O/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen-appliances&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-1&keywords=baking+scales), but Sainsbury’s have 1/3 off loads of kitchen stuff at the minute, so you can get really cheap scales from there if you’re fast and can get them while they’re still in stock!
Hand Whisk (£6.49)- An electric hand mixer is great to have at uni- it’s SO much easier then hand mixing stuff! I went to uni thinking I wouldn’t need one, and then ended up buying one within the first term. Mine is from Argos and was £5.99, but Sainsbury’s have a great one on offer at the moment for £6.49 which is way better then mine, so I might be tempted by that one!
Muffin/ Cupcake Tin (£5)- Obviously a necessity if you’ve baking muffins or cupcakes! The cheapest ones are in Sainsbury’s or Asda, so grab one next time you’re shopping!
Brownie Tin (£5.25)- This is the brownie tin I have from Ikea. I’d recommend having a deeper tin like this for making any kind of traybakes (like my brownies in the last post!) as they’re so useful- it’d be a good idea to get some greaseproof paper too for lining it. http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/00133043/
Springform Tin (£9)- This is a great buy for anyone who loves making cheesecakes! It’s definitely not something you desperately need, but maybe you could be sneaky and ask for it as a Christmas present? They’re so great to use, especially if, like me, you’re really, really bad at getting cakes out of tins. You just unfasten the clip and voila, cake! Mine is from Ikea (the same range as the brownie tin) and was £9.50, but Sainsbury’s have some on offer for £9 too so take your pick!
Cupcake/Muffin Cases– I haven’t put a price on these as it depends what type you buy. Paper cases and much cheaper, but you have to buy more every time you make more cupcakes! You can buy them from most supermarkets. An alternative is buying silicone cupcakes cases, which although are more expensive, you can use again and again, for as long as you can be bothered to wash them up! Asda have silicone cupcakes for £2 which are pretty cute I think: http://groceries.asda.com/asda-webstore/landing/home.shtml#/product/910001128621.
Cake in a mug Mug (£7.99)- see my ‘Cake in a mug’ post! Perfect for a quick cake, a great design by Lakeland! Also, they now have a ‘Pudding in a mug’ mug!
Hot Chocolate Sachets (4 for £1)- There’s nothing like a hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold autumn evening (especially if you’re up north for uni!), or to cheer you up when you feel alone or a little lost. Options hot chocolate is my favourite- they have loads of great flavours (my favourites are the coconut, cherry and orange flavours). For added joy add mini marshmallows.
I think that brings me to the end of my list of what I have at uni, and therefore what any student bakers may need, although undoubtedly I’ll think of more ideas later on that I should have written. I’d say overall the best places to shop for these are Sainsbury’s and Ikea, as they seem to have the cheapest prices between them. I hope this is helpful for any of you, first years, third years or just general bakers looking for a good deal! May all these items help you to create some amazing bakes in your time at uni!
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