Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Meals without a kitchen

We've been operating without a kitchen since Saturday, although yesterday we were able to get a stove top working.

We currently have the following cooking appliances, which we've been using:

  • Panini maker
  • Toaster oven (new, purchased for this situation)
  • Microwave
  • Stove top (recent addition, moved from actual kitchen to another location)
We don't have an oven or a dishwasher, a kitchen sink, a disposal, etc. The clean up has been at least as big of a challenge without a sink or dishwasher. We also don't have a regular bath tub, just a shower. Dishes are a real adventure. ;-)

Here's what we've had so far:


  • Breakfast sandwiches. I should have made & then frozen some, but fail. We picked some up at the grocery store, and have been heating them in the microwave. They are much more expensive than homemade, but also quite a bit less than feeding four people breakfast outside of our house. We serve with fruit. 
  • Toaster waffles (kids) & smoothies. I eliminated the smoothies, after trying to effectively clean up the blender in the shower. 

  • I've continued to have salads with protein from the freezer, which has worked well
  • Angus cheeseburgers (frozen) from Costco. Heated in the microwave
  • Chicken nuggets, pizza bites (kids)

  • Tacos, using prepped & frozen meat, reheated in the microwave
  • Taco salads
  • Kebabs & rice, also leftovers
  • Crockpot Thai chicken dish (tonight)

As you can see, it's been an real adventure, but we are getting through. I consider each & every meal an accomplishment, both frugally & health wise. I wish I could say we're eating as we  normally do, but like with the financial piece, I consider it more of a sliding scale. We're not eating quite as healthy as normal, but better than if we were surviving on takeout!

What about you? Have you ever been without a kitchen? Any tips or recipes to share?


  1. When you are making food without a kitchen, surviving is all you can do!

  2. I can imagine with a sink, it woudl be a whole lot less stressful. Wwhat about just a couple wash tubs large buckets instead of the shower itself?

    1. We tried a few options, and have gotten better with the dishwashing. It's still no fun, though! :-)

  3. Use the crockpot liners! We wouldn’t normally, but when we had our kitchen renovated 2 years or so ago, I prepared dozens of Crockpot meals for the freezer (But you and cooked them with the liners, wayyyyy easier to clean up. We also bought a two burner hit plate and an electric kettle to boil water for Mac and cheese, etc. we were able to resell the two burner on marketplace for almost full price (to another person doing their kitchen!)

    1. SO wish I had seen this earlier! I would never normally buy them, but wish I had. Great recommendation.

  4. I was going to warn you about cleaning up! I thought I was so smart when I used my crockpot the first day our kitchen was being remodeled (before crockpot liners!) and was then faced with the task of cleaning the crockpot in the bathtub...

    Do you have a grill? Ours has a burner on it, too.

    1. We do have a grill! We're also having construction done in the backyard, so getting the grill out & using it has been a bit of a challenge.

  5. Replies
    1. Two thoughts. 1) how are you doing? Is everything okay on your side? Because, I'm unclear why you would respond this way to my trivial post about how we're getting by right now.
      2) Of course it's a first world problem to get creative without a kitchen. It's my blog, where I talk about things impacting our lives. I make no commitment to make this about anything else. I generally post about our lives & saving money. Avoiding takeout is the latter.

      I hope you're well.

    2. I apologize, HP, it was wrong of me to suggest this. You're right, everyone has some struggle here and there. I am sorry and hope you can accept my apology.

    3. Apology accepted. Thanks for coming back to this.

  6. I've never had to do entirely without a working kitchen though the state of it is another story, but I try to plan ahead for it (disaster planning) by envisioning all the things we might have to do if we were camping. And of course I've never camped before so it's almost a purely academic exercise with little reality informing the process 😅

    It sounds like you're doing a decent job of making do though.

    1. There have been moments I've definitely felt like I was camping (and, I've been more than a few times). :-)

      It has made me realize how quickly things get challenging. Today we're without water, and it made me note that we have a really inadequate emergency supply that needs to be resolved.