Organize your kitchen with Pocket Change – Literally!

Repeat after me: My life isn’t chaos. It’s beautiful. 

During my journey to becoming debt free, I’v learned that if you are not at least these two things there is no way your wallet will feel full and your debt will disappear. Organized and financially savvy. Luckily, I’ve got the financially savvy down, but my organization needed some work. I needed to organize my kitchen and the rest of my home with pocket change since that’s all I had.

I may seem like I have it all together, but I don’t. One look at my kitchen cabinet, and you’ll see it’s true. My cabinet looks like it will explode any minute. I’ve got tea bags tossed in wherever I can find them, containers shoved into corners and a guaranteed avalanche guaranteed every time you open the cabinet.

I know that my finances will never be in order if my house isn’t in order so it was time to get to work. 

If your house isn’t in order, you finances will never be in order. Learn how to organzine your kitchen on a dime.
If your house isn’t in order, you finances will never be in order. Learn how to organzine your kitchen on a dime.

The Problem

Yes, we’ve identified that my mess of a kitchen was the problem. When I can’t find the things I need, I end up buying the same item twice which is a total waste of money. However, there was another problem. Reorganizing that cabinet on a budget. 

I’m a sucker for organization porn. You know what I’m talking about. Photos on pinterest with alphabetized jars, Color coded spices. Of course, all those fancy jars and pretty containers come at a price – a price I just can’t justify spending when I’m still elbow deep in student loan debt.

organization porn
Who can resist neat kitchens like this?




The Goal

I wish I could say I had a budget in mind for organizing my cabinet, but I really didn’t. I just knew I couldn’t justify spending $15 dollars on a Lazy Susan or 10.99 on a single pasta container. So I guess you could say the goal was to simply keep the price as reasonable as possible. In a perfect world I needed to organize my kitchen with pocket change. When cute acrylic containers and clear boxes are typically $10 – $15 a pop, I guess my main goal was to purchase pieces for $5 each or less.

The Solution

After WEEKS of countless visits to The Container Store, Target and more of not finding what I wanted at the price I wanted, I was starting to get discouraged. And then I made it to the Dollar Tree. In case you didn’t know, The Dollar Tree is where all your budget organization and craft dreams come true. Mine certainly came true.

Right there in the kitchen and craft aisle were baking pans and a bag of marbles ready to solve my kitchen problems. What do two baking pans and a bag of marbles have in common? Absolutely nothing until you put them together to create a knockoff lazy susan or turntable.

My pocket change purchase went from this:



and this

to this in a matter seconds:




My little baking pan experiment went so well that I had to get another one.

For just $6 I was able to create two lazy suzanne knockoffs that helped clear up so much space in my kitchen cabinet.

Next I had to tackle my son’t baby food. I scored these trays from the Dollar Tree for just $1!


Finally, I wanted to find a way to store my rice and pasta without cluttering my cabinets with cardboard boxes. And so remember, how long to cook the rice for, I just cut out the back panel of the box and tape it to the container.

After seeing how well it worked, I bought another one of these to store another package of dried goods. I will note that these are much smaller than typical containers like this so you might not be able to fit a whole box of cereal in this. But it’s perfect for smaller packages of dried goods like my rice. Buying two of the above container cost me $2.


The finished product. A kitchen organized with mostly dollar store products

No, it’s not exactly organization porn. It’s not the cutest, it’s not color coordinating and it doesn’t make me drool. But it’s organized and that’s all that matters. Not only does having an organized cabinet save me time, but it saves money. The best part is I only spent $15 in total.  I’m no longer going through cleaning supplies to wipe up products that spilled because it wasn’t stored properly and I’m not purchasing items I already have but can’t find. I only wish I took a before picture of my cabinet so you could truly see the difference.

What is your favorite kitchen organization hack? Are you house and finances in order?


Similar Posts


  1. Girl hmmmmmm. I am always looking on how to do nice things in my home on a show string budget. I also save glass jars that my coffee or spaghetti sauce comes in. And my dry beans go in those. I love dollar tree too girl!

    Nice tips

  2. I am drooling over those two came pans turned lazy susan. I love it. I have two old cake pans that I can repurpose for this same reason – organization. The dollar tree is very useful. I went in there to supply party bags for my daughter’s birthday. Cute items added up to way less than a trip to other craft stores.

  3. You raised some really good points here! My family recently moved house and a lot of things had RIDICULOUS prices- ESPECIALLY in the kitchen! Wish I had seen thid earlier!

  4. Good for you. That’s a smart way to get in order and a very clever way to use the everyday sale items at the dollar store to create calming order.

  5. I LOVE DOLLAR TREE! You can find amazing buys for only a dollar. You are correct if I’m not organized i buy more stuff to get organized. This help set a footprint for how to de-clutter other areas as well.

  6. $15 is not bad when you just needed to get the basics done of organizing. The Dollar Tree can be surprising to find ways to organize it just takes a bit of creativitiy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *