Basics:

Here's a Tip

A nonstick frying pan

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get these items. First, try asking parents or older friends if they have a spare spatula they'd be willing to give you. Thrift stores are also great places to look for pans. (Just make sure they're in good condition before buying... if too much of the cooking surface has worn off they won't work as well.)

Discount retailers like Ross and TJMaxx sell new items at a fraction of the retail price. These places are great when you're looking to "invest" in a new pot or pan. You can find quality cooking items, many under $15. And, of course, major retailers like Target and Walmart have a myriad of goods at reasonable prices.

Don't let cost limit your cooking creativity! There is always somewhere to find a bargain. And, when in doubt, borrow from your neighbors. It's time the two of you had more interaction than just your asking them to turn down their stereo in the middle of the night.

Ninjas have stars. Pirates have swords. You have... what?

So you're ready to take the leap into cooking your own food? Before you start, there are a few basic tools that you'll need/want. Even if you only have access to a microwave (or have only mastered the use of one...) the following things are helpful for most basic recipes:

If you have access to a stove or oven, you'll probably want the following:

If you get ambitious and decide to make a cake or brownies or something else that requires a baking dish, the easiest thing to do is to buy disposable pans from Walmart or a Dollar Store (because cheap is goooood. And, really, how often do you need a loaf pan?) These foil baking pans come in all shapes and sizes and are usually bundled in packs of two or three, so for a couple of bucks you're set for a while.