Well, I finally did it. I bought a crock pot. I do like my food wet and mushy. It seems that a crock pot is involved in a lot of cheap recipes these days, and I want to keep cooking at home as much as possible. It seems that a crock pot is an essential frugal cooking device.
Actually, the whole thing was precipitated by me wanting some bbq pork. Boyfriend and I had been to Uno's Chicago Grill a few weeks ago and I had their pork sticks, which are pork shanks that have been stripped to look like Flintstone-esque drumsticks, and I assume they used a pressure cooker or something. So I had a hankering for these things, but I really didn't want to spend the money since with all the expenses (and new bank accounts) this month I had about $100 in checking. I think to myself, I should try to make these things at home! It can't be that damn hard. We go to Target and I check out the crockpots. I was going to cheap out and get the $20 one, but then it occurred to me that I am going to have this crockpot for a long time and I'd better not get one that will crap out after a few uses or something. So I ended up with a $35 one, which is more than I wanted to spend but less than I could have, and still about the price of dinner for two at Uno's Chicago Grill. I bought $5 of meat and used about $5 of ingredients in the sauce, and ended up with four very nicely squishy and bbq-ey country cut pork ribs, which I naturally separated into four small containers and stacked in the fridge. Man, that stuff is good. I just ate the second rib. Bones came out using TONGS. (And by the look of one bone, that pig had some deformities. But he was tasty.)
The next thing on my list to make is going to be some spaghetti sauce, which Boyfriend noted is very good made in a crockpot. (Boyfriend makes 4 quarts at a time and it takes several hours of stirring. So it should at least be easier in a crockpot.) He also wanted to make some chili. I found a recipe for a crock pot dish that seems very similar to a favorite dish at a restaurant at home, so I might try that next.. but I don't think you should crock pot tofu.
Hopefully this will save me some money by helping me cook stuff that we might otherwise go to a restaurant for! That would be nice as our dining out bill really should be lower.