I'm giving you a list of the bare minimum items you need to have in your kitchen to be a well-rounded, efficient cook. When it comes to things like knives, food processors and wooden chopping boards, it really is worth scrimping, saving or borrowing money to get the best equipment you can afford. You'll be much better off with three good-quality knives—for example, a 12-inch chopping knife, a 12-inch serrated carving knife and a 6-inch paring knife—than you will be with a whole set of rubbish knives that won't last long at all and will make your chopping worse. When you're buying a knife, check that it's a good weight, the blade is nice and rigid and doesn't bend and the handle feels good in your hand. I personally like I.O. Shen knives, Victorinox, Henckels and Sabatiers.
When I'm buying frying pans for my home, I always go for really good-quality nonstick ones. When it comes to saucepans, as long as they've got sturdy, thick bottoms, I think they're all about the same. All the other stuff on the list you can spend as little, or as much, money on as you wish.
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