It is quite common for apartments to have kitchens that are on the smaller side, but this doesn't mean that you can't make the most of the space you have and cook delicious, healthy and comforting meals that will save you money and support a healthy lifestyle.
Multi Tasking Appliances
Kitchen appliances can take a lot of space, which is not ideal in a small kitchen, but some kitchen appliances are so convenient and useful that they may be considered essential. Try to assess appliances for versatility, usefulness and space before buying. Some popular and heavily used appliances include a pressure cooker (there are various brands available), a blender that has multiple settings and sized of blending containers, coffee makers and toasters/toaster ovens. If space is an issue, try to stay away from appliances that can only do one specific task, such as a panini maker or a waffle maker. But it truly is up to you depending on your cooking habits and food preferences.
Food Storage Solutions
Food storage is very important for maintaining a pantry and fridge full of healthy and fulfilling snacks that won’t leave you feeling deprived and looking for take out or fast food. Consider clear plastic containers of various sizes with secure lids for pantry items such as cereal, pasta, healthy chips or crackers, and dried fruit. For the fridge, go for glass or quality plastic containers that are stackable and can hold things such as pre-washed and cut veggies or fruits, dips, sauces or leftovers. Keeping the pantry and the fridge organized is key to finding what you need and keeping items fresh. Once a week, make quick effort to toss old or stale items and make room for fresh
Smart shopping really comes down to some basic meal planning, creating a list, and getting what you need and have space for. If you plan to eat out during the week, you can plan for less meals, but try to account for a dinner every day, and maybe a couple of breakfasts that you can alternate between throughout the week. If you plan to pack your lunches instead of eating out, try to account for possible leftovers along with fresh options you can pack. It can be a good idea to plan for a combination of some pre-made items along with some from scratch items that you like to make.
Food prep can really make the difference between coming home from a long day and putting together a healthy meal, versus giving up and ordering take out. Try to focus on a few strategic prep items such as washing and chopping veggies and fruits, making one or two make ahead breakfast items and maybe a dip or trail mix you can snack on throughout the week. Your food storage will come in handy for keeping your prepped items fresh and organized.
Now, get to work! Assess your kitchen for space and organization – consider getting rid of an appliance that is never used, tossing old pantry items and making space for some storage, clean up a bit and it will feel like a new kitchen. These tips can keep your small (albeit nice!) apartment kitchen running to its full potential and keep you on a healthy track.