As we enter week two of our kitchen remodel (our before kitchen is pictured here) I realize how unprepared my meal planning really was before demo. Similar to when we had our first child and I completely ignored everyone’s advice to cook-ahead, freeze meals and stock up. We were so desperate for food those first weeks. This time around I should have listened to that same advice. I didn’t.
Making meals ahead of time and freezing them would have been awesome planning ahead. Really I’m not sure I could have done it. With everything families have going on every day it seems unrealistic to plan ahead two weeks of dinners. Not to mention where do you put them all?
Be realistic about how long you are going to be without a kitchen.
Demo- 1-2 days
Cabinet Install- 2-3 days depending on size of kitchen
Countertop Fabrication and Install- 7-10 days depending on size of kitchen
Appliance Install-1 day
Here is how we are surviving our kitchen remodel on a budget without eating out every day.
Microwave-I am usually completely opposed to using a microwave to cook meals. Desperate times.
Outdoor Grill-Weather permitting this is probably the best option for cooking without using the kitchen.
Toaster-Easy and doesn’t take up too much space. Awesome for bagels.
Toaster Oven-Mini pizzas and other sanwiches can be cooked easily.
Cooking Methods that Don’t Work
Rice Cooker-Intriguing to read about all the one pot dinners you can make in a rice cooker only really I’m not cleaning a rice cooker in the bathtub after dinner.
Slow Cooker-Same as rice cooker. Not washing dishes in the bathtub.
Waffle Iron or Griddle-No way to clean these easily without running water in the kitchen.
So what are we eating? Since it’s cold weather here this time of year we are forgoing the grill outside and sticking with what we can prepare easily inside.
No Kitchen Easy Meals
Soups-Our favorite are the Harry’s organic soups from Costco. They come in large containers that easily work for two meals. Serve with Costco dinner rolls or sourdough bread.
Nacho Bar-Make nachos in the microwave with organic tortilla chips and shredded cheese. Serve with beans, salsa and sour cream. Tomatoes and avocados on the side.
Quesadillas-Microwave corn or flour tortillas with shredded cheese and serve with salsa. Serve with pre-packaged guacamole and sour cream.
Baked Potato Bar-Cook potatoes in the microwave and serve with toppings like cheese, salsa, sour cream and beans.
Spaghetti-Spaghetti can be cooked in a microwaveable bowl. Toss with jar tomato sauce and cheese. Serve with bread and salad.
Salads-Salads are our easy option for dinner. Buying pre-made versions makes it even easier.
Deli Sandwiches at Home-Stock up on sourdough rolls, sliced bread, sliced cheese, lettuce and organic sliced ham. Easy lunch or dinner.
Unless you want to wash dishes in the bathroom make sure to stock up on paper products. Some products are recycled and more sustainable than others so shop around. We recommend compostable recycled plates, bowls, forks, knives and spoons. Along with dinnerware get glassware including cups and warm-beverage cups.
Set up food prep areas outside of the kitchen. We arranged all of our disposable dishware, bread and fruit on our kitchen table that we moved to the dining room during construction. Our coffee bar was relocated to a shelf in our bedroom where we arranged our Keurig coffee maker, coffee and cups.