Ideas for Organizing a Small Kitchen

Are you struggling to cook in a small kitchen? Trust me, I get it. In my house the struggle is real. My kitchen measures a whopping 7 1/2 feet by 12 feet. For those of you who are good at math, that’s 90 square feet available for cooking. And the majority of that space is taken up by appliances. Most people’s bathrooms are larger than my kitchen.

In my small kitchen, I need to prepare three meals a day for five people. It is by far the busiest room in my home.

My house was built in 1904. It’s in the middle of “town” so, no farmhouse kitchen for me. It continues to baffle me that for a 700 Sq. ft. home, in 1904, when eating out was unheard of, only 90 square feet were devoted to the kitchen. Our home has been added onto since 1904 and has been upgraded to 1,100 square feet. But, alas, there was never a feasible way to increase the footprint of the small kitchen.

So, what’s a person with a small kitchen to do? Well, I figure if a woman of 1904 could manage to crank out meals that were far better than I could ever whip up, with far fewer appliances, despite having to cook in a small kitchen, so can I.

There are a few things I’ve learned from preparing thousands of meals in my small kitchen. The awesomeness that is Pinterest has taught me a few more.

12 Ways to Save Money When Eating Out at a Restaurant

While I am all about simple living, I still love eating out. However, the frugalista in me hates to pay the over-inflated restaurant bill. There’s just something about looking at that $8 plate of eggs that turns my stomach. Because I know I can make that same plate of eggs (even better) at home for pennies. For our family of 5, a typical meal in a restaurant complete with beverages, an appetizer, and entrees can easily top $100. And that’s without any dessert!

I know, I know, cooking at home will save me money. The problem is, I am not always at home. To add to the dilemma, sometimes I just want to eat out at a restaurant. To me, there’s nothing better than going on a date with my husband and not having to cook.

Did you know the majority of restaurants mark up the prices of their food by at least 3 times what they paid for it?  When you go out to eat, you are not only paying for the food and beverages you order, you are also paying for the cooks, wait staff, ambiance, rent for the building, advertising costs and more.

What does all of this mean for the frugal consumer? Do we have to stop eating out altogether? Is there a way we can still enjoy a meal at a restaurant without breaking the bank? The answer is, “yes”. All it takes is a little bit of planning.

10 Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Do you frequently find yourself spending way too much at the grocery store? Would you like to save money on groceries without wasting your time shopping at multiple stores or clipping unnecessary coupons?

We’ve all heard about coupon “queens”, and most of us realize their methods won’t work for us. After all, who wants to spend hours clipping coupons and bouncing between 20 different stores just to “score” 10 boxes of fruit snacks? Not me.

You don’t have to give in to overspending at the grocery store. Saving money on groceries doesn’t have to be a full-time job. I’ll show you 10 simple ways to save money on groceries that are quick, easy and painless.

How to Live in a Small House With a Family

Our family of 5 plus our 2 dogs, multiple fish and a crawdad all live (rather) harmoniously in a 1,100 sq. ft. home. Is it easy? Not always. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Why does our family choose to live in a small house when we could live in a much larger one? How do we deal with the challenges of being crammed into a small space for 12+ hours a day? Keep reading. I will share the pros and cons of living in a small house with a family. And, I’ll give you tips for staying sane while doing so.

Top 10 Books On Decluttering

Despite the fact that I’ve (mostly) decluttered my family’s living space, I still love to read books on decluttering. I have a passion for helping other’s declutter their space and I like to keep up on what everyone has to say about reducing clutter. Because I have read almost every decluttering book ever published, you don’t have to. I have narrowed down my favorites to the following top 10 books on decluttering. By reading just one of these books, you will be instantly motivated to declutter your space. I guarantee it.

Boy’s Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Today I decluttered my children’s closet and reduced their clothes down to the items they actually wear. I created a minimal boy’s winter capsule wardrobe for each of them. Check it out:

Declutter Before You Organize

Are you looking forward to getting more organized this year? Have you already begun stalking The Container Store and Ikea looking for the perfect bin, basket, or sleek storage system to organize your stuff once and for all? Do you find yourself spending hours on Pinterest drooling over hundreds of organizational wonders?

Stop right now.

Have you decluttered yet?

Put down that new catalog that promises to help you with all of your organizing needs. Stop yourself from putting that cute little wicker basket in your shopping cart. Just walk away.

Trying to organize before you declutter is like putting the cart before the horse. Instead, you need to declutter before you organize. Here are six good reasons why you should.

7 Things To Simplify in 2017

I love the start of a new year. There’s just something about coming to the end of a well-worn calendar, tossing it out, and opening up a new one. Out with the old, and in with the new. It’s the perfect time to look back at the previous year and reflect on the good and the bad; while at the same time, anticipating the possibilities a new year brings. For the sake of simplicity, I prefer to choose a one-word theme instead of a long list of resolutions. In addition to my one word (persistent), I’ve been thinking of ways to further simplify my life.  This year, I’ve compiled a list of 7 things to simplify in 2017.

How to Create a Budget on a Low Income

Did you know that if you are a family of (4) living in the United States making $47,200 per year (or less), your family is considered ‘low-income‘? Until recently, I didn’t. For the longest time, I thought our family was middle class. After the economic downturn of 2008, I realized we were far from it. It’s around this time that I ‘woke up’ in regards to our finances and realized our need for a budget. It quickly became clear to me that in order to stop living deep in debt and paycheck to paycheck, I not only needed to learn how to create a budget on a low income-I needed to stick to it.

I’m not going to lie. It took me years to figure out how to create a budget for our family’s low income, and (once I had it all on paper) even longer to learn to live within the boundaries of our budget. Hopefully, I can help you learn from my mistakes by showing you what I believe is the easiest way to create a budget on a low income. I say ‘easiest’ because the process of creating a budget is relatively easy (in theory). However, putting your budget into action and learning to live within your means is anything but easy. You will soon realize that living on a low income requires sacrifice and substitutions. It will mean less ‘wining and dining’ and more ‘whining and dining-in’.

My One Word Theme For 2017: Persistent

There is one thing I just don’t do: New Year’s Resolutions. I haven’t for a long time. There’s just something about setting myself up for failure that doesn’t appeal to me. Instead of a long list of resolutions that will be forgotten by February 1st, I’ve decided to go with a one-word theme for 2017. My focus this coming year is to be more persistent.

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