One of the easiest ways to save money is to eat out less. When I was a kid, eating out was something middle-class people, at least middle-class people like my parents, did for special occasions like birthdays and get-togethers with old friends. Now it’s something people do a few times a week or even more often. It’s always more expensive and often not as good.
But, it’s convenient. I’m tired. I worked hard all day. I don’t have the energy to make dinner. It’s so much easier to go out to eat, pick up some take-out, or order something delivered.
Which means: Paying someone else to make my dinner.
If that happens too often, you’re never going to be able to accumulate wealth. Too much of your money is going to pay people to do something you can do yourself.
The answer is Slow-Cooker Pot Roast.
The great thing about a slow cooker (such as a Crock-Pot) is that it cooks all day while you’re busy doing something else. You do most of the preparation work in the morning. The slow cooker cooks all day. At the end of the day, you come home to a home-cooked meal.
My basic method is to take a piece of chuck roast and quickly brown the sides in a bit of oil in a hot skillet, a few minutes on each side. While the meat is browning, place large clean pieces of carrots, potatoes, onion, and celery in your slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. Season with some salt, pepper, and a bouillon cube. (Of course, there are lots of variations with other ingredients. Search for pot roast recipes on the internet.) Cover and cook on your slow cooker’s low setting for at least 8 hours.
When you come home, ladle a cup or two of the liquid into sauce pan. Bring to a slow boil on the stove and stir in some cornstarch or flour. Stir quickly until it thickens. Return this mixture to the slow cooker and stir to blend it into the remaining liquid. This can cook on low for another hour or you can serve the pot roast as soon as the gravy is smooth.
Remove the meat from the cooker and cut it into serving-sized pieces. Serve on plates or bowls along with the vegetables and gravy and enjoy.
Chuck roast (or similar cuts of beef such as shoulder steak, rump roast, bottom round, or brisket) cooked pot-roast style is truly my favorite beef dish — I think it tastes better than steak. Not only do I love it, there’s an important extra bonus: chuck roast costs about 1/3 the cost of average steak (and even a smaller fraction of the cost of the best steak).
But to get the most out of it, chuck roast needs to be cooked for a long time, at a low temperature, surrounded by lots of moisture. (This is the opposite of the method used to cook steak.) Thus, the slow cooker is ideal for cooking pot roast.
Treat yourself to a real home cooked meal, a DIY meal, and you’ll be better fed, better satisfied, and have a better balance in your checking account.
Final note: If you don’t have time to start a slow-cooker pot roast in the morning, you can easily make a pot roast in your pressure cooker.