While planning for a remodel, many homeowners assume, “we’ll just do take out while the kitchen is being done.” Sounds pretty good in theory until you consider all the drawbacks. Leaving the house every time you want a cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack can be exhausting—and expensive! Some smart preparations will go a long way when trying to feed your family during the kitchen remodel. If you don’t, you’ll be spending a lot of money, not to mention the unhealthy aspect of eating take-out for every meal.
Here, we provide some thoughtful tips for meal preparation that you’ll want to put into action before the remodel starts. We've got advice on everything from your what’s in your makeshift kitchen, to the type of foods that work best, how to cook them, what to serve them on, and how clean it all up.
Review your temporary kitchen options
Your house or apartment likely already has one or more areas you can use to prepare and cook food until the kitchen installation ends. For example, dining rooms often make excellent temporary kitchens. A dining room already has a table you can use for food preparation, and electrical outlets for small cooking appliances, such as electric coffeemakers, griddles, sandwich presses and a microwave. Additionally, we’d like to mention, that outdoor barbecue grill is basically an oven. Most models even have a side burner so be sure to fill up that tank. A small cabinet or box can hold non-perishable foods, while a freezer or mini fridge can hold perishables. If you don’t have a dining room, a finished basement or outdoor patio will work as well.
Keep your health in mind when considering cleanup
People often lose sight of their health during kitchen renovations. Even if they don't eat out, many turn to junk food to fill their bellies because little clean-up is required after eating.Living off junk food should never be an option. There are a wide variety of healthy 10-20 minute hot and cold meal ideas you can find online that require nothing more than a microwave. Your neighborhood grocery store has bagged frozen vegetables that you can steam in the microwave in 5 minutes or less. Another healthy alternative is to consider a salad, fresh fruits and/or vegetables, that do not require cooking, as side dishes to your meals.
For those who elect to cook at home, many resort to washing their dishes in bathroom sinks. Ick! Bathroom dish washing can result in serious illness. Use a portable dishwasher or non-bathroom secondary sink, like the sink in the basement next to the washer. That basement sink, also known as a dump sink, really only needs a good bleach-rinse and you’re ready for business. If necessary, purchase two medium-sized plastic storage containers for dishwashing and rinsing. Another sanitary option is plastic utensils, plates and cups that can be disposed of after use.
Give it a test drive before hand
People also forget that when they first moved into their homes or apartments they had to get used to their kitchen spaces during a transitional period. The routine that makes it possible for you to quickly prepare and cook foods didn't happen overnight. When you create a temporary kitchen, it's like you’re starting over again. You might come up with some ingenious ideas that look like they’ll work well on paper, and then come to discover that they aren’t practical at all.
Setting up and using your makeshift kitchen before the remodel will really aid in the adjustment of not having a kitchen when the time comes. Start with small changes and adjust your plans as you go until you find your rhythm. This way, when installation begins there will be minimal impact on your life.