Frugal Idea #11

Got Pot? A Crock Pot that is. 

It is quite amazing what sun can do for someone. Daylight Savings/Spring Forward has arrived. As I scrolled thru my Facebook News Feed, I couldn’t help but notice the comments and #hashtags on sun & light. A miracle has happened!

“The sun is still out on my way home from work! #Blessed

“I am taking advantage of the sun #SunglassesOn

“The sun feels so good on my skin #FlipFlopsAndTanks

It went on and on. For those with a long commute (raises hand) and only hope that you get home before 6pm (again, raises hand) to see the sun, a Crock Pot is a must have. Living in Uptown Tenderloin, I am surrounded by scrumptious & affordable cheap eats. To my right, we have Little Saigon, where I can have Pho or even better, Bun Rieu. Or how about Lee’s Bun Mees. To my left, I can get a piping hot Indian plate of Saag Paneer & Lamb Curry from Lahore Karahi; and just at the bottom of my stairwell, I am forever tempted by Lil’ May’s Gumbo, Lobster Mac & Cheese, & Ribs served at her infamous and award winning Hyde Away BBQ. I remember when I fist moved here, I was dropping money literally at every corner (for food). Not very FrugalNev is you ask me.

To understand where your money is dispersed, you must pay attention to your spending habits. I was typically exhausted from work and the last thing I wanted to do was pull out a pot & pan to cook. Take out dinners became the norm. I had to change my habits. I became obsessed with the idea of the Crock Pot. I watched YouTube videos, searched recipes, inquired ideas from co-workers, and after I jotted down a few ideas, I purchased my Crock Pot at Target for $29.99. Believe it or not, that was 50% of what I spent in one take out dinner! I guess you can say my eyes were bigger than my stomach.

To master the Crock Pot, I needed to be realistic of what I would eat as leftovers and what veggies I would really want to eat stewed vs. steamed (my preference). Explore and practice. Find out what works for you. So far, my favorite has been buying a whole chicken on sale (I got one for $5 recently). I seasoned it well and turned on the Crock Pot before bed. In the morning as I brewed my homemade coffee, I pulled the chicken out and placed into tupperware. I now had lunch AND dinner ready. I am a dark meat kind of guy, so the white meat (which can be a bit dry) became soup in the next two days.

Of course, as a self-proclaimed Foodie, I still enjoy trying food outside of my home. However, I am focusing on limiting eating out for time with friends, birthdays, and family time. With all of the money saved, you can be rest assured that your meal at Gary Danko or any other Michelin rated restaurant is something you truly can afford …. and enjoy. While you are at it, go ahead and ask for that dessert menu. Who is with me? (raises hand).

Picture: Crock Pot cooking beef stew, potatoes, and carrotsImage

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