Delayed gratification is my middle name. Actually, it’s not. It’s Keenan, but delayed gratification could also be my middle name. According to family folklore, my mom read about how to test a child’s tendency for delayed gratification and used me as a guinea pig.
Here is how the story goes: My mom got two marshmallows and placed them on a plate and put it on the kitchen table. She called me into the kitchen and told me to sit at the table. I sat down and came face-to-face with a plate of marshmallows. She proceeded to tell me if I could wait three minutes without eating the marshmallows I’d get a third one. If I ate the marshmallows, then I would only get the two. My mom then left the room.
According to the myth, I spent about five seconds looking at the marshmallows before getting up and going to play with my toys. A few years later, when the same test was performed on my little sister she spent the three minutes popping the marshmallows into her mouth and spitting them back out.
(Further research shows people love tormenting small children! Also, I don’t really like marshmallows…)
If you think this story is mean, you clearly haven’t seen babies eating lemons.
I tell you this story to explain my relationship to presents. When I receive presents I turned delayed gratification into an art form. As wonderful as presents are, I hate opening them because then it’ll all be over and there isn’t anything to look forward to anymore. I consider being told what a present is before opening it a cardinal sin.
Enter Peach. Peach is a wonderful man in many regards, but the he can’t keep a surprise from me to save his life. About a month before my 23rd birthday (so April of 2012) he gave me a call and started talking all about the financial literacy seminar he’d just left. Our college required graduating seniors to take a two hour seminar about dealing with debt and budgeting. One of the speakers talked about cheap meals and mentioned buying a crock-pot for making food in bulk. SMASH CUT to Peach saying, “So I think I’m going to get you one for your birthday.” “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” I screamed into the phone. “DON’T TELL ME!!!”
(This started an obsession with kitchen gadgets. Up to a blender, rice cooker, milk steamer and food processor.)
Needless to say, I did end up receiving the Crock-Pot and it has been one of the best gifts ever. I’m not a particularly domestic person by nature. It took a lot of trial-and-error for me to become the half-decent chef I am today. There is a whole story about chocolate chip cookies and a tablespoon of baking soda instead of a teaspoon, but that’s for another post.
Crock-Pots may seem like a silly frugal find because they are about $25 for the cheaper models. Long run though, cooking in bulk can save a lot of money. Plus, a Crock-Pot (or slow cooker if you want to get technical) are so easy to use. Just throw a bunch of things in, crank up the heat and walk away. You can make a wide variety of almost fool-proof meals at a decent price. And if you’re cooking for one, like me, you get a week’s worth of food.
(Peach also gave me a handwritten cookbook. This is my favorite recipe, but I use fresh tomatoes and green chilies.)
If you have a frugal find you’d like to share please tweet, comment, email or send it by carrier pigeon.
Other awesome posts this week include:
- Happily Squished: Learning to Live in 270 Sq. Ft. written by Cat from Budget Blonde on Budgets Are $exy.
- The Cost of Addiction – In Dollars by Jacob of Cash Cow Couple
- Pay Off Debt or Save For Retirement by (Erin #2) Red Debted Stepchild
- Why are people still paying full-retail price for things? by Johnny Moneyseed
- The Gift of Financial Literacy another epic twofor written by Shannon from The Heavy Purse on Frugal Rules