The Best Way to Put Cheap Cutting Boards to Good Use

updated Sep 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You readers are so smart! Some of our best tips and ideas come from the questions, suggestions, or comments that you guys leave for us. Here’s one that’s proof of that.

Last year, we worked with the founders of The Financial Diet, an amazing site dedicated to money and everything it touches, to come up with the ultimate list of the best things to buy and the things to skip at IKEA. Because otherwise, let’s be honest, we’d end up spending all our money on all the things.

The post suggested skipping the LEGITIM cutting boards. Sure, you can get a two-pack for just $3.99, but they scratch easily and aren’t flexible enough to funnel ingredients into a pot. And “for something like a simple cutting board, you’re much better off going to a Marshalls or HomeGoods-type place and getting a much higher-quality board for the same price point.” Convincing points, right? They were — until they weren’t. One of our readers left a comment that had us running to our nearest IKEA.

Keep reading to steal her brilliant idea.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The idea was simple: “I’ll tell you what those plastic cutting boards are good for: I keep both my KitchenAid stand mixer and food processor on one in the corners of my counters. When I need one, I just pull it out, use it, and slide it back. No lifting from a lower cabinet or closet and no dealing with the rubber feet!”

How smart is that! Because without the cutting boards underneath, the rubber feet on the bottom of a small appliance cause the whole thing to skip along the counter when you want to pull it out for use or push it back for storage. With a board underneath, it can easily slide along a (wood, marble, granite, what have you!) counter.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Of course, it doesn’t have to be these IKEA cutting boards. You can use this hack with any cheapie plastic cutting board that wont stand up to your knives or is past its prime. Just put one board under each appliance and you’re good to go.

This way, you can keep the few appliances you use every day (your coffee makers and your toasters, if you will) and one or two heavier things (your stand mixers and your slow cookers) on your counter. And you can easily push them back — out of the way — when you don’t need them.

Just for fun, here’s one more good idea: “I buy the cheap cutting boards there, but not as cutting boards. I use them as craft work boards. When I make something that needs to be painted, or glued and will need to dry, I use these. I have several, and it lets me move the item off my work surface, and then to a drying area, and I just lay down another to start the next thing.”

More Ideas for an Organized Counter

Do you have any brilliant use for inexpensive cutting boards?