Life Without a Microwave

Photo courtesy of ckelly


People thought we were crazy. Heck, I thought we were crazy! About five years ago we did the unthinkable, we gave away our microwave and decided to see what life was like without one! Guess what, life is pretty darn good.

We used our microwave fairly regularly, I would say we used it almost every day. Most often we used it to defrost frozen meat, warm up leftovers, cook foods like frozen meals and soup and to also heat water for tea. Occasionally we enjoyed a bag of microwavable popcorn. It was my husband’s idea to get rid of it, I was the hold out. Like many people, I wasn’t convinced I could survive without a microwave.

We had both recently become concerned with taking control of our own health and well-being. We were reading books on superfoods and the benefits that diet plays on a person’s health. Mike came across an article online that stated the act of microwaving destroys the nutritional content of the foods we eat. He came to me with a proposition, get rid of the microwave and see how we do without one. Get rid of the microwave, are you crazy, how will we defrost our food, warm up leftovers, heat water?!? What about popcorn!?!

Looking back I realize I was being a little irrational and over dramatic. People all over our planet live happy, comfortable lives without a microwave. Ultimately I agreed to get rid of the microwave and we gave it away to a friend as a thank you for house and dog sitting while we were on vacation. I still wasn’t convinced that we would last long without it, but I was at least willing to give it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that life wasn’t any more difficult once the microwave was gone. After a brief adjustment period neither of us even missed having one. We’ve learned to plan our meals ahead so we can defrost any needed frozen items. We use a small counter top hot water dispenser to make our tea and boil a small amount of water for oatmeal. We use our stove top or toaster oven to reheat leftovers. It may take a little longer but the overall quality is leaps and bounds better than using a microwave.

I still use a microwave at work to heat up my leftovers when needed. As a safer alternative to plastic I bring my food in glass containers. Often I pack items that don’t need a microwave, like sandwiches and salads, but I also enjoy eating warmer options like soups and pastas. I just try to be as healthy as I can but I’m no where near perfect!

While studies are still being conducted on whether microwaving is detrimental to the nutritional value of your food one thing is for certain. A microwave is not necessary for our family. We actually prefer not having one. We have more space in our kitchen, our food tastes better and we don’t have to concern ourselves with how using a microwave might affect the health of us or our children.

How many of you don’t own or use a microwave? What are your reasons?


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14 Responses to Life Without a Microwave

  1. Marcie says:

    Mom and dad don’t have one either. Their kitchen is so small, they don’t have room for one. lol

  2. Natalie says:

    We haven’t had a microwave for 8 years now, and I haven’t missed it! I rarely ever used it and it was taking up space in my tiny kitchen, so away it went. I enjoy making popcorn in a pot on the stove the way my dad did when I was a kid, and it’s easy to warm up almost any leftovers on the stove or in the oven. You do have to add in a little more thawing time when using frozen meat, but you get used to it. :)

  3. Jessica says:

    When we moved into our house, there was already a countertop-style microwave here or I likely wouldn’t have bothered buying one. It was on a wall shelf that I thought it was cumbersome, so it was quickly demoted to the top of my wine rack/table in the opposite corner of the kitchen. As a result of the move, it doesn’t get used much – mostly just to give a quick 5-second zap to butter when I forget to leave it out on the counter for baking! When it finally dies, I think I might replace it with an aquarium. :-)

  4. There was a microwave in our house when we bought is a year and a half ago and I just couldn’t get it clean. Gunk was actually stuck between the layers of the door. We took it out and stuck it in the basement “just in case” and haven’t used it since. I never realized how little we needed it until it was gone!

  5. teresa says:

    We stopped using our microwave oh, about 5-6 years ago. It was put in the basement. Never missed it. We donated it to our place of employment, no choice there. Our new home came with one and it sits out in the garage. You have to plan on what you are having for meals. Now, we are working on the TV…

  6. Angela says:

    I remember the day my dad brought home our first microwave around 1979(ish). It was all the rage (just as the vcr was the next year). Ever since, I guess I was just used to having one, everywhere I lived, I had one. Mainly to reheat something or melting butter. Until last fall. I forgot to add water to some pasta and well, the pasta caught fire. 2 minutes of dry pasta in the microwave and the house was filled with horrible grey smoke. Luckly the fire was contained to the microwave. The microwave still worked but it smelled to high heaven. I threw it away, and havent looked back. And, seriously have not missed it one bit. Both my parents and inlaws have offered to buy us one and then they give us looks like we have have just told them we are moving to Mars. Oh well, Im ok with that. Ps, I dont have a vcr either, we are just wackadoo….

  7. Jaime says:

    I just downsized to a studio apartment and have also been reading about how bad microwaves for nutritional content. There’s no counter space here, so the decision to give away the microwave was easy. I only ever used it to heat up rice and melt butter, anyway, both easily done on the stovetop.

    Life is better with less stuff and more value, I think.


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