Good Chef's Knife
If you can't afford a set of fancy knives, splurge on one good chef's knife. This Wusthof classic Ikon knife is made to retain it's edge and sharpness 30% longer than standard knives. Plus, because they are forged from sturdy, high carbon steel, they resist corrosion and rusting. This knife will do anything with ease, from mincing garlic to cutting a butternut squash. Retails at $165 plus.