This is a ‘review’ of my go-to home kitchen item when it comes to meal preparation. A bit of a different take on my usual posts!
Financial independence to me is about balance, and I always see the argument thrown against the principle of FIRE that people cut out too many enjoyments from their day-to-day living and this negatively affects people ‘living in the present’. Whilst I do agree with that, extreme frugality for some could come across as quite limiting, I still enjoy meal outs for special occasions and set myself a budget each month to blow on things I enjoy.
I used to spend close to £10 per day on lunch when I was working at the office. From sandwiches, to pub meals, to that ‘new food outlet’ down the street, I was spending far too much money on simply ‘food’ (which wasn’t healthy for me) per day. With roughly 20 days per week per month, this would add up to close to £200 per month, or £2,400 per year.
If I had put that £200 into a global index fund per month, expecting 7% yearly returns, after 10 years that £200 per month would turn into around £34,000 in savings.
This cost was simply on buying ‘food’ for lunches, even in combination with my regular weekly shopping for dinners / breakfasts!
Compared to now-a-days, I now buy shopping weekly (around £40 – £60 per week) and prepare lunches / dinners in the Fast Slow Cooker Pro (priced at around £150) meaning I do a lot of weekly preparation in the slow cooker.
Of course, COVID and home working has made this a lot easier, but many in software development / digital marketing are now finding themselves working from home full-time, which will naturally lead to some cost savings as well.
Why the Fast Slow Cooker Pro?
Surely it’s just another slow cooker and plenty of cheaper options? Yes, there are lots of cheaper options available. But it’s the functionality and combined functions that leads to additional convienience, that I put my own personal stamp of approval on it.
Fast Slow Cooker Pro Functionalities
For example – it has the ability to:
- Pressure Cooking
- Slow Cooking
- Searing Meat
If you’re anything like me, you might remember your nan using pressure-cooking to create those homemade tasty stews and dinners. There’s just a certain taste you get from pressure-cooking of flavours permeating just about everything in the pot – not only of course does it save a huge amount of time (typically around two to ten times faster) but the moment you open it up those soft textures in essentially whatever you put in there has just about absorbed all the flavours possible in the pot. You could practically put a bone in there, and it’ll turn floppy by the end of it (of course, I jest this won’t actually happen).
I think pressure-cooking has had a bit of bad press just with the ‘traditional types’ of pressure-cookers and their failures. I don’t get that insatiable fear with the Fast Slow Pro as it guides you from step to step on how to set it up for pressure cooking.
There are multiple sensors contained within the machine itself which monitors ingredients for more accurate temperatures and pressure control, whilst the steam extracts from this little ‘knobbly’ bit from the top all automatically to ensure it keeps within a pressure range built for the dinner you put together.
There are a mixture of options you can select on the slow cooking section of the machine. Just like lower cost alternatives, you get the typical ‘high and low’ settings, but with the Sage Fast Slow Pro you also get the ability to set a timer.
No longer do you have to worry about your slow cook meal accidentally turning to soup after leaving it on for 3 days straight. Instead, the machine once the timer expires has a ‘keep warm’ function, to keep the food inside the pot warm until you’re ready to eat it. I believe after a period of a few hours, it will automatically shut off from the ‘keep warm’ function.
You know when you’ve slow cooked something and some meat just is better suited to be seared or oven cooked? Well take sausages, for example – do you like the look of anaemic sausages after they’ve been in for 4-6 hours? Probably not (I certainly don’t) and this is typically what you get when you slow cook sausages – they come out white, mushy, fleshy (imagine a smooth ‘Golems skin’).
This is where though prior to slow cooking, you can set the machine to ‘sear’ which essentially turns the pot into a frying pan on high heat, allowing you to create that crispy / seared meat texture and flavour. Therefore, after 4-6 hours of slow cooking, the meat still has some consistency and texture of a sausage, but with those extra / delicious flavours that slow cooking brings.
Steaming and Sauté
I don’t really use these functions a bunch. Essentially, there are a few accessories included in the pack which allow you to also steam a small pot’s worth inside the ‘larger’ pot. We’re all different and have different ways of cooking – Steaming I rarely use (think I have done a few pieces of fish in there with the various gadgets / implements but that was about it).
Why The Fast Slow Pro?
I set up this blog to essentially document the journey to financial freedom and since I started in January 2019, I’ve mainly been posting about my financials and savings, which I imagine can get a little dull for some readers!
So over the course of 2022, I plan to feature some products that I’ve purchased over the years which have actually saved me money. I wouldn’t recommend products if they didn’t do this and given that this blog is all about my journey in tucking away more of my income into savings, these products have allowed me to edge that bit closer to becoming financially free.
The savings to me has been around £200 per month – even today as I write this blog post, I have a beef chilli slowly simmering away in it for lunch. (nom nom).
Hope this helps folks!