Clothes Iron Meals, Coffee Pot Stews, and 6 Other Tips for Cooking Without a Kitchen

Woman chopping a carrot on a cutting board, making healthy lunch


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Woman chopping a carrot on a cutting board, making healthy lunch

No Kitchen? No Problem

If you live in a major city and aren’t rich, you’ve got two options: Either you share an apartment, or you settle for a cheap studio without a kitchen. The challenge with the latter option is that you’ll have to get creative with your meal. But whether you’re living in a closet-sized apartment, dorm, or hotel room, frugal Redditors have got your back, sharing their essential tips for stove-free living.

Pico De Gallo And Mango Salsa

Buy Convenience Foods

If your alternative to cooking at home is eating out — a cardinal sin for penny pinchers — then you shouldn’t worry about spending a few extra bucks on pre-prepared convenience foods. Buying things like shredded carrots, canned beans, and dip will make cooking (or assembling) your meals a lot easier.

Close-up image of of cooking pan of fried samosas, stuffed with spiced potato, peas and meat, removed from air fryer, besides ramekins of mint coriander dip and mango chutney, healthier alternative to frying pan cooking, elevated view, focus on foreground

Take Advantage of Kitchen Appliances

With the glut of kitchen gizmos these days, you hardly need a stove or an oven. Instead, buy an air fryer, an electric frying pan, an induction hot plate, a toaster oven, and/or a pressure cooker. It only takes one or two of these gadgets to start throwing together some tasty, home-cooked meals. And if you’re tight on cash, check your local thrift store.

She Loves Volunteering!

Ask to Use a Church Kitchen

While it may not be a long-term solution, one Redditor suggests asking local churches if you can use their kitchens. Another option is to simply ask friends and family if you can occasionally use their stove. Just be sure to share, or else you might not be invited back.

Related: What You Can and Can't Buy With SNAP Benefits

Woman using a microwave

Cook at Work

It’s a long shot, but if you’ve got a good relationship with your boss, you can ask to use the kitchen at your workplace. Negotiate by offering to cook during your break or after work.

Coffee pot with coffee dripping inside on gray concrete background and warm light. Copy space.
Vasin Hirunwiwatwong/istockphoto

Use Your Coffee Pot

You can cook a restaurant-quality, three-course meal using a drip coffee maker. Don't believe us? It’s already been done. If you think about it, a coffee maker is really just an all-in-one hot plate and water boiler, meaning that scrambled eggs, spaghetti, and soup are all on the table.

Related: Kitchen Gadgets That Are a Waste of Money

Close-up image of iron on tray of ironing board, silver ironing board cover, focus on foreground
Costco Rotisserie Chicken
Tim Y./Yelp
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Eat Salads

Instead of cooking your meals, you can assemble them. That means buying a bunch of fresh veggies, maybe some cheese, and throwing together the best salad you’ve ever made. Need a little extra protein? Add tinned fish, chickpeas, or pre-marinated tofu, and you’ve got a full meal.

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