Reader Poll: Kitchen Renovation Survival Tips

Turning to my readers because y’all never fail me!

We are excited (and a little nervous) to begin a kitchen renovation…next week. I definitely plan to share the plans and details, but in the meantime PLEASE give me ALL the easy meal ideas, tips and tricks for surviving a kitchen renovation without starving. We will be out of a kitchen for about 6-8 weeks…



  1. October 31, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    Oh gosh girl I don’t even know where to begin – we’re on our third and its a lot of toaster/microwave and eating out Its sort of our ‘thing’ now haha That’s super exciting though and I can’t wait to see the finished new kitchen!

  2. Nan
    October 31, 2018 / 12:45 pm

    Get an instant pot! I think they are good not great, but with no kitchen it can be used for hard boiled eggs and all kinds of dinners!

  3. Ann
    October 31, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    Sooo excited for you!!

  4. Amanda
    October 31, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    Don’t forget anything that can be grilled! We have a side burner on our grill and I’ve totally used it to boil pots of water to make pasta.

  5. Hollis
    October 31, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    I have an electric induction burner. I bet that would come in handy. And it doesn’t get hot because its induction.

  6. Sarah
    October 31, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    We used a large toaster oven, a slow cooker and a hot plate and made a ton of frozen meals in advance. We also used our grill a lot, with bagged salads and previously frozen sides like twice baked potatoes. The key was advance preparation of freezer meals. Get crackin’ now! We also used all paper plates and utensils and cups during this time because I just needed to make it as easy as possible.

  7. Leslie Kurz
    October 31, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    When my parents went through theirs they set-up a make-shift kitchen on their patio. They used their camping stove, BBQ, crockpot, and electric roaster to cook a lot of the meals. They had their coffee pot and other small appliances like the toaster set-up out there as well. They used a lot of plastic silverware, paper plates, and paper bowls to minimize dish washing. The dishes they did need to wash they set-up a dish washing station much like we do when we camp with plastic tubs. One with warm soapy water for washing and one with warm clean water for rinsing and then would towel dry. We just wipe the dishes as clean as possible with paper towels over the trash bin before washing them. Best of luck!

  8. Carey Clow
    October 31, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    We completely gutted and redid our kitchen when my oldest was only six months. We also created a temporary kitchen in the dining room. I rolled out our fridge and plugged it in the dining room, I then set up a buffet table with the crock pot, microwave and coffee pot. I also bleached and designated one bath for dishes, however we did mostly use plastic plates/utensils.
    Most all of our meals during this time were from the crock pot.

  9. Ginny
    October 31, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    It’s going to be AWFUL, but it will be worth it in the end! That’s really all there is to say- lol. I foolishly did one when I had an infant…my babysitter would take his bottles home in a bucket & wash them in her dishwasher for me.

  10. Stacey
    October 31, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    My husband makes a smoked pot roast that is really great (and feeds us for more days than I even want to eat it) – use a disposable roaster pan – minimal prep and not many dishes needed:
    Boston butt would also be great and would feed a family for a week (tacos, salads, pizza topping, with frozen or canned veggies). After pulling the pork, I portion into zip lock ‘logs’ and this thaws really well!
    if you don’t already have one, I’d get a big cast iron pan for the grill (good for weekend breakfast, making a ton of ground meat for the week, etc) – and when you can’t clean it – its just getting ‘seasoned’ 🙂

  11. Hannah
    October 31, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    Our meal plan was usually yogurt-based bowls for breakfast, pre-packaged salads or deli meat sandwiches for lunch, BirdsEye protein streamers or rotisserie chicken with microwave-steamed veggies for supper. I did use my Crockpot occasionally to prepare boneless ribs or a roast, but otherwise didn’t do much prep because of the hassle of washing prep dishes/utensils in the bathtub.

  12. Meredith Thompson
    October 31, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    My Father and I did my kitchen reno at my last home (put cabinets together, etc.) my #1 tip, WINE, WINE WINE lol (sorry not sorry) Good luck!!

  13. Katrina
    October 31, 2018 / 4:07 pm

    My dad is a builder and I grew up in CONSTANT renos! Including multi months of no kitchen! I also do some kitchen design (;
    Here’s the trick-use all the paper products you can and set up a “mock” kitchen in a different room (like the dining room) put ALL the paper dishes, your entire pantry of food, all the things, mini fridge, spices, etc so that you can straight up avoid the kitchen. Do your dishes with a hose and soapy water outside (your kiddos will love it). And utilize croc pot bags…:it’s going to be great!!
    Bonus points for using a garage fridge or mini fridge in your temp kitchen to avoid having to enter the regular kitchen!!

  14. Robbin
    October 31, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    Your grill is your new best friend! You can make SO many things with it!

  15. stephanie
    October 31, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    Grill and a hot plate (single burner, although we wish we would have bought a double burner). You can make mac n cheese, rice, even tacos! We did a lot of one pan meals. We were out of a kitchen for 4 weeks and only ordered out twice! You can also get a pizza stone for your grill and do make your own pizza night on the grill. Good luck!

  16. October 31, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    Lots of grilled and crock pot meals. I always kept microwaveable dishes on hand too in a pinch–random casseroles and lasagnas from the frozen food section. Just pop them into the microwave per the directions and yay dinner!

  17. Natalie
    November 1, 2018 / 6:41 am

    We did this last year and it was SO worth it. Here are my tips:

    1. Crock pot, crock pot and more crock pot. We ate from ours so much that I needed a break when it was over.
    2. Pre-make oven meals in small sizes and freeze. Heat them in a toaster oven.
    3. Move your full sized fridge outside so you still have it to use. Put a mini fridge inside for items that you want to be easily accessible.
    4. Frozen vegetables are your friends.
    5. There is such a thing as microwavable pasta – who knew?!

    Good luck! You won’t regret it.

  18. November 1, 2018 / 10:04 am

    Instant pot/crockpot and pre-frozen meals so all you do is take out of the freezer, pop into the pot, and cook.

    Also…although not environmentally savvy…disposable dishes are super helpful!

    Good luck. Let us know if you need us to send coffee, wine, or both!

  19. November 1, 2018 / 11:31 am

    Lots of paper plates! Make a make shift kitchen somewhere else – toaster oven, microwave, crock pot (with lots of liners!), coffee pot, and other essential appliances BEFORE reno starts. If you’re lucky and can move a fridge to your dining room for a while, do it!
    Losing the ability to clean up worse (for me) than not having a full kitchen. Disposable serving ware from the dollar store is great.

  20. Morgan
    November 1, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    no shame in frozen/microwaveable meals and paper plates and plastic utensils. I’ve never eaten more poorly then when I was 7 months pregnant doing a kitchen reno. Best wishes!

  21. Kate
    November 1, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    My best advice is to anticipate it being absolutely dreadful and taking up to twice as long as initially quoted (and 30% more expensive).

  22. Danielle
    November 2, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    We did this when I was 6 months pregnant haha. We spent $75 on a used fridge on craigslist and set it up in the garage (just off the kitchen). I used our dining room table as the pantry and put our microwave, toaster, and coffee maker in there. We ate a ton of cereal and sandwiches and killed half a forest with all of the disposable paper products we used.

  23. Ann
    November 6, 2018 / 11:07 am

    We’re in the midst of a whole-house reno and have been without an oven/stovetop since May (still have a full-sized fridge, thank goodness). After a few weeks I got a $30 electric griddle on Amazon and it’s made life SO much better (eggs, grilled cheese, quesadillas, breakfasts – I even made your sheet pan fajitas on it and my husband said it’s the best fajitas he’s ever had!). Good luck. It will be worth it!

  24. Anya
    November 7, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    I want all the crock pot recipes these readers used!

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