To Microwave or Not to Microwave

by Melody on April 19, 2012

Each week, I have been sharing different methods that our family uses to save money.  The purpose of this is to highlight the fact that there are so many ways to save that aren’t based around coupons or racing to the store to pick up the Next. Big. Deal.  While this week was no exception, I decided to focus this post on one eventful morning at our house and how it has accidentally saved us money and made us think through our “needs”.

Notice all that counter space in the picture above?  That’s where our microwave used to be.  One morning, I was melting chocolate for our Easter Bunny Bait and it made a strange popping sound and started flashing.  The individual chocolate squares had been wrapped in foil, so I thought maybe a small piece got in there and was sparking.  I checked the bowl, made the kids stand behind me and tried again.  Flashing, popping, crackling, a few choice words from Momma, the kids laughing hysterically at me jumping around the kitchen.  The microwave is history.  (Although I did make my husband try it, just to make sure I wasn’t crazy)

My husband was ready to pack up the family and head to the store to pick up a new one.  I convinced him to wait.  Something in me told me we should give our lives a try without one.  I had never intended on going without a microwave, but we had spent a lot of money the previous weekend on a few upgrades and repairs to our cars and house and I just didn’t feel like spending any more money at the moment.

One week later.

I’ve reheated coffee on the stove top, defrosted chicken in the oven, softened butter in the oven.  I reheat our leftovers in the oven and am checking out some easy breakfast options that don’t need to be warmed up for my husband (Overnight Steel Cut Oats, anyone?).  We don’t eat microwave popcorn, if we do want popcorn we have an air popper.  I just haven’t found one thing that is making me want to run out and buy a new microwave.  Every single thing I used it for in the past can be done using other methods, maybe not quite as convenient, but can be done none the less.

I never really cared for how the microwave heated our food anyway, it always seemed to suck every last ounce of moisture out and turn our food into bricks.  It was just SO CONVENIENT!  And EVERYONE has one!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Try to convince me to go buy a microwave.  What do you use it for that you don’t think you could live without?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather @ Queen Bee Coupons April 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Melody –

We got rid of our microwave exactly one year ago on Earth Day! I actually have a post scheduled for next week in honor of Earth Day about “waving goodbye to our microwave” . . . it was a big sacrifice for us, considering we had a 8 month old and a 3.5 yr old at the time – and even something like warming milk was a whole lot harder on the stove. But it’s been a full year and we still haven’t gone back. Melting butter on stove, popcorn on stove, reheating leftovers in the oven – and more. We do eat a lot less frozen prepared meals. We also eliminated microwave popcorn from our diet. We did buy a hot water dispenser – which is great for things like warming up left over noodles or making a hot cup of tea quickly.

It may be a bit more work and take a little more time (and dishes?) – but after reading some of the stuff that happens to proteins you put in the microwave, I’m grateful we’ve made the choice to get rid of it.

Good for you!

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Melody April 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Thanks Heather, it really was not as hard as I imagined it would be. We do have a tea kettle that I use a zillion times a day to make tea or hot water for anything else if I need it. It just hasn’t seemed necessary and LOVING the extra counter space!

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Angela April 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm

We got rid of our microwave about a year ago when we moved to TriCities. I wouldn’t go back. Everything can be done on the stove or in a toaster oven. I prefer to keep my nutrient in my food rather then zapped out by the microwave.

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Mary Emily April 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I have never had a microwave, and I’ve been raising my family for 17 years. We’ve just never had the space for one. And while I miss it once every 5 years or so, we’ve never felt the need to buy one, like we felt the need to buy a bread maker or a flat screen TV (both Xmas presents in the last few years). Why buy it if you don’t need it?

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Julie April 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Doesnt it require a lot more energy to heat up the entire oven just to reheat something?

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Melody April 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

That is possible, but we honestly rarely use it for that. I usually just warm things up on the stove top or my husband takes the leftovers to work. I’m still not sure it would be enough difference to make me want to buy one though.

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Julie K April 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

My husband and I went for a couple of years without a microwave while living in apartments. We didn’t even notice the difference. Now our house has a built-in one, but I rarely use it. The only reason I have started using it occasionally is for my daughters muffins and bread that I keep in the freezer. My husband also thinks taste better heated up in the oven (no sogginess) and the stove top always seems so easy! We also actually finally bought a toaster for the first time after being married over 4 years. In that case, we decided it would be less energy to toast bread that way instead of the oven.

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Aubrey April 20, 2012 at 7:09 am

My oven takes 1000 years to pre-heat! I would spend all day with the oven on just trying to get things warm. Maybe nice in the winter but in the summer that’s going to make the AC work harder. Hmmm…I wonder what takes more electricity? The microwave for 30 seconds or the oven for 30 minutes? Would be interesting to find out! One way to make it work (if that’s what you decide) would be to buy a K-Cup maker and make one cup of coffee at a time. That way you aren’t having to reheat leftovers later on. It will also instantly heat water for you if you just need hot water for something.

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Melody April 20, 2012 at 7:29 am

That’s a good suggestion. I actually don’t have to reheat coffee that often, just every once in awhile. I only drink it in the morning, so it’s usually when I’ve waited to long to workout, then I have to reheat a little afterwards. Not like I’m waiting for hours to reheat it. :) I’m not totally sold on the K-cups yet. My husband and I both get up super early and it’s so nice to have a full pot ready for both of us. I know people love them, but I’m pretty slow coming to the ballgame.

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Miss Jay April 20, 2012 at 9:00 am

I’ve had my microwave for nearly 20 years. I’ve been waiting for it to die for about the last 10 years. :D

My daughter is on a mostly liquid diet, and drinks warm milk 4 times a day. That would be the biggest hassle for us I think, having to warm it up on the stove and wash the pan every time.

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Dani April 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

so jealous!!!!!!!!!

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Addie April 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Our microwave broke about a year ago and it’s the kind that’s attached to the wall and for some reason the cabinets were built over it, making it a major hassle to replace. So now we put my daughter’s art over it. I don’t miss using it. Leftovers are so much yummier on the stove. And using a toaster oven to heat things helps too. Our toaster oven has a defrost setting too, so meat defrosts just as fast as in a microwave anyway. About the coffee, I usually drink a few cups of hot coffee in the morning immediately after it’s brewed and by the afternoon when it’s cooled, go for an iced coffee. Reheated coffee just doesn’t taste the same in my opinion, whether on the stove or microwaved.

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mom4me April 23, 2012 at 7:26 am

Have you used a toaster oven? I have heard it is a great replacement for both a toaster and a microwave. I am going to give it a try when my toaster/microwave breaks the next time.

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Melody April 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

We never have, but that’s a great suggestion. There is actually a great deal on one this week at Fred Meyer and I was intrigued. My husband would probably be happy. He’s worried about what’s going to happen if I go out of town. Cold sandwiches for him, I guess! :)

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Lisa April 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

Toaster ovens are the best! Our first was a 19.99 one we had for 3 years and our second is a more expensive mode (used debit card rewards to buy)! We love it!

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