11 space-saving kitchen tools for students

Cook smarter in small spaces with these genius gadgets.

Cook smarter in small spaces with these genius gadgets

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Setting up a working kitchen in a small space means getting creative. That stand mixer your parents have likely won't be coming with you, ditto the giant coffee maker, but you can still create home-cooked meals, beverages and bakes without bulky equipment. This 'take this, leave that' list offers solutions for every student, keeping your kitchen streamlined and efficient. Cooking is always easier, more enjoyable and delicious when you have room to groove. 

Squish 5 qt. Collapsible Mixing Bowl in Grey, $22.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this

Collapsible mixing bowls 

Leave that

Regular mixing bowls  

Mixing bowls may take up precious kitchen real estate, but they are indispensable for salads, batters, doughs and much more. Luckily, mixing bowls that store flat or on their side work just as well as old school ones — and take up much less space in the kitchen.

Grayline Folding Stack Shelf in White, $8.99 - $13.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this 

Folding shelves

Leave that

Pantry trolly 

Instead of adding an extra item to an already-tight kitchen, build up with expandable racks. Add an extra shelf to cupboards for plates, store glasses in a way that makes sense and stack pantry items without worrying that they're going to topple over. This item makes one shelf into two.

AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker, $39.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this 


Leave that

Coffee maker

An Aeropress takes up no more room than a coffee mug, freeing up precious counter space a clunky coffee maker would normally take. Every morning, you can enjoy a hot, single-serving cup of coffee brewed to perfection. Bonus: you can take the Aeropress to go and make coffee on the run (just add ground beans and boiling water).  

Joseph Joseph Nest Storage Plastic Food Containers Set, $30.59, Amazon

Take this

Nesting food storage containers

Leave that

Regular food storage containers

Packing food to go and saving your leftovers helps you save money, eat healthy and reduce food waste. Invest in collapsible and/or nesting storage containers that won't fly all over your cupboards, but stay tidily together for easy grab-and-go use. 

Chef's Planet Clip & Drain Strainer, $18.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this 

Clip-on colander 

Leave that

Full size colander

Draining pasta just got more space-saving with this attachable colander. Regular colanders can eat up storage, but you'll barely notice a clip-on version. A pasta must-have. 

Microplane Professional Paddle Graters, $22.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this 

Paddle grater 

Leave that

Box grater 

Paddle graters, which come in various shapes and sizes, offer perfectly grated cheese, zest and vegetables in a convenient, hand-held package. Keep a couple of sizes on hand for your specific grating needs — they're flat and take up very little space. 

Joseph Joseph Nest Utensils, $34.39, Amazon

Take this 

Nesting cooking utensils 

Leave that

Loose cooking utensils

If you're noticing a nesting theme, you're not mistaken. Items that lie flat against each other are space-saving, leaving your drawers, cupboards and counters free for you to prep and cook on. 

OXO Good Grip Hand Held Spiralizer, $15.99, Amazon

Take this 

Handheld spiralizer

Leave that

Regular spiralizer

Spiralizing vegetables is a healthy way to enjoy 'noodles', adding a fun texture and appearance to a variety of dishes. If you can't live without this tool, skip the multi-part versions and turn to a handheld one instead — these do just as good of a job, but leave your cupboards room to breathe. 

Take this: 

Collapsible dish drainer

Leave that: 

Regular dish drainer 

While dishes may not be your favourite chore, they're a reality of cooking. And washing up means drying up, which you can leave to mother nature with this collapsible dish drainer. Fit it over your sink after the dishes are done and allow them to air dry. Then collapse the drainer and store it under the sink on its side. 

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Magnetic Knife Holder, $44.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this 

Magnetic knife holder 

Leave that 

Knife block 

Take back your countertop and install a magnetic knife holder for your cutting equipment. These holders securely keep paring, chef's and serrated knives in place until you're ready to use them.

OXO Good Grips® Can Opener with Bottle Opener, $19.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Take this 

Can opener with built-in bottle opener 

Leave that  

Can opener and bottle opener

A two-for-one multitasker, this kitchen tool can open both cans and bottles, freeing up excess clutter from your drawers.

Allison Day is the cookbook author of Modern Lunch. Find her online at hiallisonday.com and on Instagram @allisondaycooks


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