Smart kitchen ideas start with an organized clean kitchen for you to prepare healthy meals without wasting time, energy and money. Look around your kitchen and think about the stuff that you have and consider the last time you’ve used it.
I’ll wait here until you come back.
Kitchen downsizing has become a new trend for 2017 among our circle of friends because they are feeling the dollar crunch. They aren’t buying as much and they are selling what they have too much of, us included.
When looking to buy a new house your realtor may tell you to forget about the stuff the current owner has and imagine the room without it. Some homeowners hire a home staging company to help them downsize their belongings to make the home seem larger.
When you buy a house the idea of enjoying that large space can easily be chopped when you start filling it up with stuff. Not only do you lose space but you create an environment for more cleaning and dust. We know from experience.
We took a proactive approach the last month to tackle kitchen downsizing by letting go of possessions we thought we would need, but don’t. Getting rid of stuff in 2017 has been a huge weight off our shoulders because it was long-overdue. Our new motto is when we bring something in something goes out. No more excuses! “But I might need that”- Stop that!
I’m getting the look from Mrs. CBB right now from across the room as those are her famous last words.
When the price is right
Contemplating in your mind whether to make a purchase or not always boils down to 2 main reasons, price and whether we have it or not. I can count 8 ice-cream scoops right now on our counter-top in a bin because Mrs. CBB collect them. I know it might sound crazy BUT that’s her only kitchen happiness these days and we’ve been making lots of ice-cream too.
There are so many ways that we have stung ourselves in the wallet over the years and most often the kitchen takes top spot. You probably already know we are frugal-minded and enjoy shopping at second-hand shops which is what we normally do when we need to buy something.
If you’re an avid shopper at Value Village for instance you know they have a large selection of kitchen items you can purchase and for a good deal. The bagged deals are the best especially when you can find something in the bag that is well worth more than what the entire bag will cost you. Typically we would pay no more than $3-5 for a bag of mixed kitchen goodies.
The pots, pans, dishes, glasses and so on are also inexpensive if you consider purchasing them at full-price. Almost all of our Tupperware was purchased at Value Village which can cost a small fortune if you buy it brand new from a representative. Each time we go we scope out the kitchen department and sure enough it has plenty of vintage and new Tupperware for cheap.
That was our down-fall and in some ways still is depending on how well we work on being frugal and thinking minimalist at the same time. An example; “Yes it’s cheap but no I don’t need it” instead of “Yes it’s cheap and I need it”.
How to get rid of clutter in the kitchen
Kitchen downsizing is more than just chucking stuff that you don’t need. It’s about letting go of sentiment and telling yourself that you can live without it or compromise with another product you already have.
How many mixers do you really need? That’s what I said to Mrs. CBB of her two Kitchen-Aid mixers. One that has not been used in about 11 years but in mint condition. Before beginning the process of kitchen downsizing we sat down together and talked about it.
The entire kitchen downsizing event went down something like this;
- You make a kitchen essentials list
- You purge it
- You clean it (I hate giving dirty stuff away, selling and receiving it)
- Leave the memories behind but keep them in your heart.
- You donate it or sell it
Too much kitchen stuff means more to clean and less space
Mrs. CBB is the WORST for hanging on to items that have a memory attached to them. I get it but at the same time it’s important to pick and choose what you consider valuable. Keeping all of your grandmother’s kitchen sets including dining-room place settings may be a bit much if you don’t host dinner parties or holiday dinners. Even worse is if you don’t have a dining-room with storage for the stuff.
Getting carried away at garage sales is also waste of money especially if you don’t need it but you think it’s a cool kitchen gadget to have. You only have to look on the shelves at second-hand shops to see all that “As Seen On TV” kitchen gadgets that are available.
My only assumption is that they were gifts, free or the worst kitchen utensil investment someone could ever make. This is why they end up at second-hand shops. Nobody wants them! Slap Chop ring a bell? Ya, you can find enough for your entire family to Slap Chop the dinner prep.
The art of discarding anything is to let go of it. Stopping thinking that you will ‘need it some day’ because you may not and it will just end up in the stack of stuff or the junk drawer collecting dust.
Moving to a smaller house or apartment is also another reason you may want to start kitchen downsizing especially if your new kitchen is smaller.
What will you do with all the extra kitchen stuff if you bring it along? Get rid of it.
Kitchen Downsizing Strategies
Downsizing your house doesn’t mean you have to do it all at once. Going room by room not only eases the pain of this horrible chore but gives you time to think about what you really need and can do without.
Should I downsize to save money?
Yes! Believe it or not but the more stuff you have the more it will cost you. Kitchen downsizing is a great place to start your journey or even the bedroom where people tend to hang on to clothes for years and years. Guilty as Charged BUT we downsized that a few months back.
How often do you clean your kitchen?
You probably do basic cleaning at least once a day;
- sweep kitchen floors
- clean kitchen sinks
- clean kitchen counter-tops
- clean kitchen appliances
What we’ve noticed over the years is that the more stuff we accumulate the longer it takes us to clean. Time is money right? You could be doing something else valuable with your time such as trying to save money in other areas of your budget instead of wasting time cleaning.
Get rid of the bulk and cut your cleaning time in half.
Having a kitchen clean-out means that you start from one end and work to the other. You will get rid of food you don’t eat, expired products, clean everything including the refrigerator, dishwasher and cupboards inside and out. It also means getting rid of stuff you don’t use and probably never will. The worst habit we can have as humans is to collect stuff that is worthless and time-consuming to deal with.
The biggest kitchen space hogs in our kitchen were;
- Owning too many utensils; We had 6 bins on the counter full, 3 drawers full and a small stash in the basement.
- Too many kitchen vessels including glasses, dishes, pots, pans, baking sheets etc.
Creating a kitchen equipment list simply by getting a piece of paper and writing down your kitchen essentials will help you start the process. A minimalist kitchen doesn’t mean you will be toasting your bread with a fork over the hot-plate. It simply means getting rid of what clutter you no longer use.
Once you simplify the kitchen with your list you don’t have to hang on to it, get rid of it. Each time you plan to chop your kitchen-ware start a new list. Your needs may grow less as you age or your lifestyle changes so keep that in mind as you move forward. Just because you baked a cake a week when you were home on mat leave doesn’t mean you need to own every cake pan you find.
When you are a senior you may likely keep your meals simple so the need for mass amounts of kitchen items are not necessary. My in-laws are the worst for kitchen stuff. Their kitchen is massive with so much cupboard space and it’s ALL full of kitchen stuff. They are both retired and no kids live at home yet they have a kitchen filled for a family of 10. Get rid of stuff NOW if this describes you.
Hanging on to too much stuff also means that if you do pass away there is more work involved for those who are taking care of your property and possessions. Simplify their process and start kitchen downsizing as you go along.
Our kitchen essentials for the minimalist kitchen
Our minimalist lifestyle isn’t stringent but it’s certainly a mix of wanting more space and keeping the space tidy and clean. It makes maneuvering around easier and finding what we want in a flash a no-brainer.
Have you ever bought what you thought was something you needed only to come home and find out you already have 2 in the cupboard? We’ve talked about our pantry list and freezer inventory list in the past and if you don’t use one you know what I mean. From time to time it’s easy to slip up and have this happen even if you do have list filled out.
Related: Get our free lists and downloads so you can stay organized at home.
What we had
- One full set of pots and pans
- 2 Kitchen-Aid stand mixers with lots of accessories
- At least 4 dish sets
- Cupboard shelves filled with glasses, mugs, shot glasses that we never used
- Too many bowls to mention including big mixing bowls
- Two drawers of utensils
- 5 containers of kitchen utensils on the counter-top
- Coffee pot
- Toaster Oven
- Panini Press
- Waffle Maker
- Rice Cooker
- Bake-ware like you won’t believe even in the basement
- Two cupboards filled with plastic containers
- 2 Corning-ware Oven dishes
- Hand Mixer
- Stick Mixer
- Pampered Chef stoneware pizza dish and deep dish pizza
- Pampered Chef apple peeler
- 7 cutting boards including 2 huge solid wood one round one rectangle
- One knife set
- I’m looking back at our kitchen as I type this to bring back the
- Paper Towel holder
- 2 huge cabinets filled with baking ingredients and spices
- I large cupboard with food
- A million cookbooks
- 2 large glass Cake displays
- Too many salt and pepper shakers
- Bamboo steamers
- 4 strainers large size ( I know who has this many right? Us)
- Spice coffee grinder
- Biscotti Jar
What we got rid of
We donated to friends and anyone who wanted stuff for free. Almost everything free we listed online and the emails came pouring in. Hopefully not to clutter up their kitchen as it can become addicting when free stuff is given away whether needed or not.
Even though our list may still seem long we will rate it moving forward at least twice a year which is reasonable. It’s so nice to have extra space now instead of jamming things in spots only to forget about them or buying doubles.
What we currently have
- 6 dinner plates
- 4 dessert plates
- 6 coffee mugs
- 4 beer mugs
- 4 large glasses
- one drawer of utensils and 4 slimmed down utensil cans
- 2 Kitchen-Aid mixers although we are selling one
- Paper towel rack
- Tupperware only as we gave everything else plastic away
- Waffle maker
- Coffee maker
- Pampered Chef pizza stones
- Toaster oven
- 4 slice Toaster
- Panini Press
- Kitchen Knife Set
- 5 cutting boards instead of 7
- 10 cookbooks instead of approx 25
- 6 mixing bowls different sizes
- stick blender
- Baking pans we kept but got rid of old baking sheets that were warped.
- Rice Cooker
- 1 large strainer
- Cleaned kitchen cupboards and got rid of anything we don’t use or won’t use
- 2 Corning-ware oven dishes
- 1 salt shaker 1 pepper shaker
- Spice/coffee grinder
Benefits of Kitchen downsizing
Now that we’ve finished our kitchen downsizing we immediately seen and felt the effects of our hard work. Not only did we pocket some cash from selling kitchen stuff but we can now breathe in our kitchen.
- More space in cupboards
- More counter-space
- Less cleaning
- Less wasted time searching for items
- Looks neat and tidy
- Kitchen looks bigger
Kitchen Clutter Conclusion
Clutter in a kitchen may not be encouraging for some people to cook homemade meals and opt for convenience meals or eating out. Although, If you hate cooking that’s another story. Keep your kitchen space clean, organized and happy so you feel that get cooking motivation.
For now I can live with the Ice-cream scoop collection even if she adds to it now and then. Really now, how many ice-cream scoops are out there? Eeek!
Remember, If you don’t Use it-Get Rid of It!
Discussion Question: What kitchen gadgets have you gotten rid of lately that you just didn’t need?
June Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
Post your shop and you can be next.
Congratulations goes out to Ballot #3 Valerie our May winner!! Please email me to collect your gift card prize.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
May 2017 Blog Posts:
- 5 Simple Grocery Savings Tips For The Busy Shopper– Last Shop in April
- How To Tell If Your Grocery Expenses are Too High or Too Low– GGC 1 May
- Grocery Store Etiquette and How You Can Participate For Free– GGC 2 May
- Luxury Food Products that are Eating Into Your Budget– GGC May 3 &4
- The Ultimate Guide for Surviving a Kitchen Renovation– GGC June #5
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/mth
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 577,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
- Dare Breaktime chocolate chip cookies $0.99 our son won’t eat homemade
- 3 x Nabob Coffee bags Organic Medium Roast Sale $3.77-50% each $5.67
- PC Salsa Sale $1.99
- Minigo Strawberry Yogurt $4.99-50% $2.50
- 2 x Neislen Cream Sale $2.99 $5.98
- 2 x Neilsen Whipping cream 500ml Sale $2.99 each
- Amooza Twists Mozzarella They paid us to take it out of the store $0.15 no coupon required. Scanner mess up I guess? We’re not sure but noticed after we left. Looks like instead of $2.50 it came up $0.25 then minus 50% and then they gave us money. Odd.
- Maple Leaf Breakfast sausages $4.99-$50% $2.50
- Ground Pork $8.72-50% $4.36
- 2 x Organic ground Turkey mince $3.86 and $3.83 both minus 50% $1.93 and $1.92
- PC fresh Chorizo Pork Sausages $6.39 and $4.17 minus 50% $3.20 and $2.09
- Deli Pastrami $3.42-50% $1.71
- Ziggys x-lean deli chicken breast slices $5.18- 50% $2.59
- Sealtest Milk $4.27
- 2 x dozen eggs $1.97 each
- Bucket of PC Organics lettuce mix $5.99 – 50% $3.00
- 2 x cucumbers $0.99 each $1.98
- Green onions $0.89
- 2 x 1lb strawberries $3.97 each
4500 PC Plus Points earned 🙂
Total Out-of-pocket $
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $265
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $1
- Total in-store discounts this week: $36.47
- Total in-store discounts to date: $579.54
- Total spent this week: $65.43
- Total spent so far this month: $65.43
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: under
- Total left to spend for the month: $199.57
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $257.15 + June $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
Since we are going away in a couple of weeks we are keeping our grocery shops very light only buying essentials to get by on. As you can see we did fall into quite a bit 50% off items this week however they were too good to be true. The biggest sell for us is the meat department as it is so pricey so we get what we will use if it’s 50% only or we wait.
How was your shopping week?
Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of these links are broken please report them to me.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2017 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2017 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017!
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