35 Productive Things You Can Do in the Kitchen This Weekend Instead of Spending Money

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

When the weekend comes and we find ourselves with a minute or two of downtime, it’s easy to get tempted by online shopping, restaurants we’ve been dying to try, and recipes with laundry lists of ingredients that no one keeps on hand. What do all of these things have in common, though? They all cost money! And sometimes, we just don’t want to/can’t/shouldn’t spend even a single dollar.

That’s where this list comes in. We rounded up 35 things that are not only free, but are also productive. So you feel like you’re getting something for nothing! Whether you’re looking for something in the self-care realm, want to improve your kitchen, or want to work on your cooking techniques, this list should help you stay busy.

Do one or all 35 — just know that they’re listed in no particular order.

  1. Clean your floors.
  2. Pack a snack and go for a hike.
  3. Give your wooden cutting boards some TLC.
  4. Clean out your pantry.
  5. Check the fridge for rotting or expired food.
  6. Organize your freezer.
  7. Make a meal exclusively out of pantry ingredients.
  8. Volunteer at a local food bank.
  9. Organize your junk drawer.
  10. Make cookies for a friend or neighbor.
  11. Polish up your sink.
  12. Finally master your Instant Pot.
  13. Flip through a cookbook from cover to cover.
  14. Tend to your plants.
  15. Clean the dishwasher.
  16. Wipe down your counters, cabinets (inside and out), and other surfaces.
  17. Make some tea/coffee and slowly sip it from your favorite chair.
  18. Meal plan for the following week.
  19. Look through all your saved/pinned recipes.
  20. Check your food budget.
  21. Organize that jumbled cabinet of food storage containers.
  22. Wash and chop all the veggies in your fridge that you plan on eating this week.
  23. Refold and organize all your table linens.
  24. Clean your windows.
  25. Clean your oven.
  26. Wipe down appliance handles.
  27. Find at least 10 more people who will inspire you to cook more and follow them on Instagram.
  28. Descale the coffee maker.
  29. Rearrange everything on your bar cart.
  30. Put a piece of masking tape on every gadget in your kitchen (and then read why you did such a thing).
  31. Season your cast iron skillet.
  32. Read this inspirational story.
  33. Finally watch every episode of Salt Fat Acid Heat.
  34. Clean your oven racks.
  35. Open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving.

What are some other free and inexpensive things you like to do in the kitchen to stay productive? Add your ideas in the comments below!