The Ultimate Kitchen Tool

Eating well on a limited budget takes organization, and a commitment to preparation even when you don’t feel like it. I am not perfect about this by any means, and I realized that I’d stopped utilizing one of the two practices that keeps us eating well and still paying rent: the kitchen schedule.

I used to be really good about this, but for whatever reason I’ve just stopped. Sunday, while making our menu plan, I realized that there’s a lot more we could be doing to keep our food local, healthy, and inexpensive, but we’d just not been doing it. We often blame it on “lack of time,” and while that is somewhat true, it’s really more often a lack of preparation.  Seriously, it takes 30 seconds to put beans in the slow cooker, so “lack of time” is a pretty lame excuse. This is where the kitchen schedule comes in. Essentially, it’s a list of what needs to get done, and in many cases when it needs to get done, to maximize our time in the kitchen.

I’m expanding this to include a garden schedule, because the two things are so connected for us. I don’t want my lovely basil, tomatoes, or other ingredients that we’ve worked so hard to grow going to waste. I also needed to add some tasks that I’ve neglected, like sprouting, in. So, what does a kitchen schedule look like?

Kitchen & Garden Schedule



  • Wilt mustard leaves and freeze

  • thaw tofu

  • Make aphid spray

  • Spray off plants with hose, then aphid spray.


  • Crock pot 1 lb. black beans in water

  • Spray for aphids

  • Thaw chickpeas


  • Weed garden.

  • Make aphid spray

  • Spray off plants with hose, then aphid spray.

  • Make hummus

  • Boil eggs


  • Spray for aphids

  • Soak mung beans for sprouts

  • Crock pot chicken stock

  • Flip compost


  • Thaw mustard greens

  • Spray off plants with hose, then aphid spray.

  • Clean our refrigerator

  • Start sprouts


  • Make aphid spray

  • Spray for aphids


It’s so simple that it almost looks silly, but having it written down where we can see it makes a huge difference in how likely things are to get done. (And yeah, we’ve got an infestation of aphids–fortunately, the vegetable oil-dishsoap spray works brilliantly.)


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