Ultimately I ended up buying a new set off of overstock.com. For $25 per pot/pan with a lid, the price was reasonable for the quality and durability of the set. Although this is more money than I had hoped on spending, they are items I will have long after I leave college.
Image courtesy of overtock.com
For everyone else who cannot beg your parents to buy new pots and pans for you I have a few suggestions:
- Watch craigslist and local used stores
- Do not be enticed by extremely cheap pans. They break easily, have carcinogenic materials in the non-stick surfaces, and will not be economically or environmentally worth the money you paid for them in the first place.
- Beg your relatives for their pots and pans. It's helpful if you can convince them that new ones might serve them better or that the one pot isn't being used anyways.
- Buy one large pot and one large pan to start. You can make most dishes with a single pot/pan.