Tiny kitchen? No big deal with these four tips!
For years my husband and I lived in a large home with a gigantic kitchen. Not only did our kitchen have an entire wall of cabinets and a big fridge, but we also had two large pantries and a second, smaller fridge for drinks. It was just the two of us living in the house, so we had all the space in the world to store stockpiles of groceries.
When we moved in to our RV for our cross country excursion, I knew it would be a big adjustment for multiple reasons. One of the biggest was that we would be downsizing our kitchen to a couple small cabinets for dishes, a mini fridge, and a small overhead cabinet that we affectionately called our “pantry.” We recently relocated again, this time to an apartment. While the kitchen is bigger than the RV, it’s still nowhere near as big as our house’s kitchen. I’ve had to create new habits around these smaller kitchen spaces. Whether you are moving in to a smaller home, or are just going a little nuts in your current home, I hope these tips can help you function better in a tiny kitchen.
1.) Plan Your Meals
No matter what size your kitchen, planning your meals is one of the best ways to keep your kitchen organized and free of clutter. When you’re in a smaller kitchen, it’s essential. In a larger kitchen you can stock up on staples when they go on sale, in the hopes that you will use them some day. If you have a tiny kitchen, you don’t have that luxury. Because there storage is at a premium, you need to make sure you use up items as quickly as you bring them in. The easiest way to do that is to plan your meals. If you have items in your cabinets, plan your meals around the items you want to clean out. Whether it’s boxed rice mixes, or cans of vegetables, search online recipes that can help you use those ingredients in a timely manner.
2.) Shop Twice a Week
While we were in the house, I would plan my meals once a week. On Sundays I would sit down, write out 7 meals for the week, make a list of ingredients we needed to make all those meals, and grocery shop one time a week. I’d also add items that were on super special to my list and stock up on those items when they were on sale. My pattern has changed slightly now that we have significantly less storage in our kitchen.
Instead of meal planning and shopping once a week, I now do it twice a week. By doing this, I only have 3 or 4 days of ingredients in my kitchen at a time. We still save money by eating most meals at home, but I break the week up in to two planning and shopping sessions. The added bonus to shopping twice a week is that I can occasionally take advantage of extra savings. When I shop on the weekends, I might see an unadvertised in-store sale happening that I can plan a meal around later in the week. When I return for my second shopping trip, I grab the sale items knowing that I now have room for them in my cupboards or fridge.