Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 Ways in Which a Chaotic Kitchen Costs Us More

When I recently won something in a recipe contest, I had to laugh.   Because if you looked at my kitchen on an average day, you would wonder how I manage to cook anything at all.  Dishes are often covering every available surface; I often have to locate and wash things just prior to preparing a meal.

Our family would surely be better off if I got my chaotic kitchen under control.  Since my husband is finishing up graduate school, we're still very much concerned with how we can reign in our costs.  A recent spending check has revealed that we need to work a little harder at saving money in every way we can.  A tidier kitchen will help.

Here are some of our current extra costs that I aim to eliminate:

    1.  Frequent spills.  
    Limited counter space means I spill and waste more food and ingredients, especially if they are precariously balanced near the edge of the counter or shelf.                                 
    2.  Spoilage.   
      In the fridge or the fruit bowl, not consuming food in a timely manner means we have to throw away food that could have been eaten otherwise. 
      3.  Paper plates.   
        I think convenience items are a great plan B when life gets hectic or one is physically exhausted.  But a messy kitchen encourages me to resort to disposable tableware more often than I should.                                                                                                                  
        4.  Breakage and other damage.  
          Cluttered counters and a full sink also increase the odds that I will crack or knock over a plate or glass.  I have also melted many a plastic item on the stovetop or in the oven (my favorite place to stow messes quickly).                  
          5.  Eating out more.  
          Sometimes it's just logical not to cook on top of a mess, so we opt to eat out when we could have saved money by eating at home.  
          6.  Buying duplicate groceries.  
          Ever thought you were out of something, only to find that very item lurking in the cabinet or back of the fridge? 
          7.  Consuming more convenience foods.  
          I try to keep some quick food options on hand, like taquitos, frozen pizzas, etc. so that we're not forced to eat out as often.  However, when I don't have room to make food from scratch, we run through these more costly items very quickly. 
          8.  Less baking.  
          Though I enjoy baking, when the kitchen is a mess, I am prevented from making bread, muffins, and other treats from scratch.  As a result I have to buy baked goods and pay more. 
          9.  Unused ingredients.  
          Languishing in the recesses of the cupboards are numerous ingredients that have not been used in a very long time.  Incorporating them into our menu (instead of letting them sit and possibly expire) would result in spending less at the grocery store.
           10.   Emotional energy.
          While there's no shame in taking the easy road from time to time, walking into the kitchen should not be a continual source of discouragement for me and my husband.  Devoting more time to keeping the oft-used kitchen tidy would be one of the best ways for me to contribute to our happiness and well-being as a family.

          Top Ten {Tuesday}


              Tiffany said...

              Cleaning the kitchen is such a bummer. I love to cook and bake, but hate to clean. I'm thankful my husband enjoys my cooking and baking enough that he willingly cleans up after me and only occasionally teases me about using every single pan in the cupboard to make one meal.
              Good luck!
              Stopping by from Oh Amanda's.

              Delaney said...

              What an insightful list!

              AmyA said...

              So true . . . I'm sitting here at 6:10 p.m. still staring at the breakfast dishes. It's very discouraging! Glad I'm not the only one.

              Jaimie said...

              First of all, congratulations on winning a recipe contest! That's very inspiring, and you're making me want to enter one :).

              Secondly, you are totally right about the costs of a chaotic kitchen. I've starred your post in my feed reader to go back to.

              I'd even extend this to chaos in any part of the home or life. It always costs money to fix what were preventable problems, or to replace things we know we have but can't find, or whatever.

              Great post :).

              Michelle said...

              My husband sometimes calls me the Swedish Chef because he says I bork de bork de bork when I cook...you probably get the picture. Anyhow, you've made some great points here! I've been working really hard at keeping my kitchen cleaner and it makes a big difference. Good luck to you!