Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Instapot Bandwagon

I finally jumped on the Instapot bandwagon!

It's been recommended to me in the past, but I wasn't ready to hear about it. Then I heard about it on my friend's podcast, Friendlier. Then I was bombarded with articles, posts, and messages about it on Facebook from friends over the holidays.

In my 20s, I had an unhealthy obsession with appliances. I finally pared it down to the essentials (our relatively small kitchen forced us to!), so I am always wary about buying something new. 

Before I bought it, I wanted to make sure we would really use it. I went on Pinterest and pinned a bunch of recipes I would make. That's when I got incredibly excited about the possibilities. It seems to fit really well into our life. From my research, it seems like I can prep a bunch of things on the weekend (mainly chopping vegetables), throw it in when I get home from work, go off and do something else, and then dinner will be ready.

From the recipes I found, it seems like the Instapot will help us work more vegetables into our diet as well. 

The thing that pushed me over the edge was my sheer excitement about cooking with an Instapot. For those of you who have been around the past year, you know it's a struggle to feed my gluten-free, vegetarian family. And I already hate cooking! (For those of you who are wondering why I cook instead of my husband--he does the morning routine with the boys every single day, as well as all the laundry and yard work). 

I decided that we would get rid of our crockpot and use the Instapot instead (our crockpot was missing a handle anyway!). 

I can't wait to try it! 

Here's the one we got. I didn't spend too much time researching it, but I decided on the more expensive one because it seemed like the safety features were even more explicit. I purchased it before the new year started, so I deluded myself into thinking that it wasn't going to impact our new year budget. The truth is it's getting added to our credit card debt that we are working to bring down, but I really, really thought this would help us have a better 2018. 

Now that January is here, we are back on the budget bandwagon as well! If we are friends in real life, please text me every once in a while and ask me if I'm religiously updating Mint.com like I'm supposed to. Thank you!

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram


JOIN US!: Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, started yesterday! Register now! There's still time for you to join us!

Share |


Sarah said...

I also got an Instant Pot to replace our crockpot, and we are vegetarian as well (but not GF). I'm still getting used to it, but really like it so far. I'd love some more recipe ideas, if you're willing to share ones that have worked well for your family. Thanks and happy new year!

Shawn said...

I'd also love to hear about the recipes that end up working well. Keep us posted - I might have to get on the bandwagon, too!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Sarah! And Shawn!

I picked the most difficult recipe first to get it over with!


It was good! Next time, I would simplify it a ton! I would leave out the asparagus and the leeks.

It's crazy that this machine can cook risotto in 7 minutes. I also love that you can saute in it. And the clean-up is so easy in the one pot!

Nora said...

Do you find it quite different than a pressure cooker? We use (and love) our normal pressure cooker, so would be curious to see what is different.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Nora! I've never used a pressure cooker before, so I can't say.

Tonight's meal was pretty bad! It was supposed to be fried rice but it turned out a lot more like mush :-( I might have to go out and get some fries.

ErinDoesLife said...

Hey Sara! I love the blog and will be interested in hearing more about your Instant Pot adventures. We have one too and our best successes thusfar have been dried beans (economical and delicious.)

About budgeting, kudos to you for taking the effort to figure out a tool that works for your situation. We too used Mint.com for awhile, but I found it was a better tracking tool than actually budgeting. How has it been going for you? For me, the time delay on Mint between posting transactions and reconciling actual expenses versus the budget was not timely enough to make informed purchase decisions (“does $X groceries fit in our budget?”) on the fly. Helpful for gauging spending habits to create a budget but not great for actually keeping a budget. I’m curious - how are you approaching this?

We’ve had success with You Need a Budget, which also provides an easy platform for reconciling accounts against the budget, if that makes sense. If I was going to put time into budgeting, I wanted a tool that would let us make timely, informed decisions! Anyway we’ve been consistently budgeting and reconciling our accounts regularly for over a year, which is easily the longest we’ve ever done so, in part because it’s a powerful, flexible tool but also easy to use. YNAB also has free webinar workshops with live people and small class sizes on budgeting topics so that you can easily interact directly with the presenter. We got a lot out of that feature.

Anyway, not paid to promote it or anything. I just wanted to mention it because we struggled with budgeting too for so long and sank so much time into trying different systems and different combinations of systems to track expenses and reconcile against a budget (manual spreadsheets, Mint.com, cash only, an “envelope” platform, a platform that did cashflow forecasting, etc. etc.) before we found one that actually helps us to keep a budget. And also to empathize that budgeting in general is hard and can be so time-intensive.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, ErinDoesLife! Thank you so much for sharing about your experiences!

I haven't had a problem with the lag time in Mint.com. We only buy things like groceries once a week, so by the time we are ready to buy them again, the transaction has been posted and categorized and the budget has been updated.

I've heard great things about YNAB. When I was first making the choice between YNAB and Mint.com, you had to put your own expenses into YNAB. Checking the coding of each expense was enough work for us in Mint.com. There was no way I wanted to input each expense! (That would have left us way more prone to forgetting things.).

I've heard that YNAB automatically puts in expenses now, but we are completely settled into Mint.com. We just need to hold ourselves accountable for looking at it several times a week to check the coding of our expenses!

But thanks for sharing your positive experiences with YNAB for others who are trying to make a decision.

Related Posts with Thumbnails