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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Decluttering the Kitchen

Frugal Kitchens 101

The very nature of anyone who loves to cook is they will invariably have a multitude of kitchen gadgets along with several small kitchen appliances and then some.  This is not a problem for those lucky enough to have a seemingly endless supply of kitchen storage space but let's face it most of us do not have the luxury of such space.  That means from time to time the kitchen gadgets and small appliances need to be culled to the point of keeping only what you really use.  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 focuses on decluttering the kitchen. 

My kitchen storage is actually spread between the kitchen, the pantry and the 4 floor to ceiling storage cupboards in the laundry room.  The problem is I could easily stuff all storage spaces to over flowing and yet I am not a true kitchen gadget junkie by any stretch of the imagination.  I have kitchen gadgets that do the job I want (eg. manual can opener, grater, cherry pitter, and etc.) but I don't have gadgets I wouldn't use (eg. egg separator) or don't need (eg. kitchen timer).  I do however have quite the stash of spices, seasonings, teas and coffee that need an annual culling.  Still a good spring decluttering is in order.

As part of my spring kitchen decluttering I remove/cull:

  • any gadget I am not using or haven't used over the past year - If the gadget is one that I may use only for canning then it goes to the pantry.  If it is a gadget simply not being used it goes into the donate box.
  • any appliance I'm not using or haven't used over the past year -  I don't tend to buy any small kitchen appliance that I won't use.  However, sometimes buying a new appliance ends up replace a couple of appliances.  This was the case with my KitchenAid stand mixer with attachments that replaced my breadmachine, handheld mixer and a dying food processor.  So one appliance in, three appliances out.
  • appliances or gadgets that need replacing - In most cases any culling here applies to a broken gadget (eg. broken cheese grater).  Occasionally a small kitchen appliance that can't be fix needs to be replaced but that really doesn't happen often.
  • plasticware - I have very little plasticware to begin with but it tends to mulitple somehow.  We can't recycle plastic food tubs so I save those  for use in the garden.  During the spring declutting all these containers are taken to the garage for easier garden access.  Any plasticware missing lids also goes to the garage for garden use. 
  • the silverware drawer - I have enough stainless steel cutlery to service 50 people.  Part is for daily use with the rest in a seperate cutlery tray for entertaining purposes.  What ends up happening is the entertaining cutlery tends to migrate to the main silverware drawer.  I don't have a kitchen junk drawer so little things like elastics and corks tend to accumulate in a small section of the silverware drawer divider so I move those to the appropriate drawers in the laundry room. 
  • spices/seasonings - I go through both spice and seasoning cupboards.  Some need replacing and others are at the end of their usefulness.  I like to organize the cupboard with large container spices and seasonings in alphabetal order.  As the small spice and seasoning cupboard is being  organized I do an updated inventory list of the contents.
Bon Appétit!

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