Frugal favorites: Simple saucepan

photo40A saucepan is kitchen magic and really holds so much potential. What I love most is it’s simplicity and also how many things it can cook.

For many years I was a major kitchen gadget and gizmo collector. At one time I even owned 3 rice cookers…3!! I still love kitchen gadgets and own several but I’ve been trying to pare down over the years and keep only the ones I use regularly. I am an aspiring minimalist and am drawn to things that help make life simpler, easier and less expensive while still doing a great job.

I especially love tools that can multitask rather than single use items. This saucepan is definitely a master multitasker and I use it pretty much every day. It’s made from stainless steel and is “middle of the road” quality which is what I tend to go for with most things. What I mean is that it’s not super cheapo where it’s poor quality and will fall apart or breakdown quickly (ie. the coating chips off) but it’s not from a cooking speciality store where the pan is more expensive than it really needs to be. I spent about $30 on it new and it’s holding up really well, but if you can find one second hand for less that’s great.

This pan is a fantastic money saver and helps me easily make healthy food. Check this out: I bought a one pound bag of brown rice for 89 cents. I can usually make rice three times from one bag (1 cup rice to 2 cups water). My little household usually eats one whole saucepan of rice with our dinner. That means the rice for our dinner, for both of us, is only about 30 cents, or 15 cents a person! That’s frugal heaven right there!

I also use the saucepan to boil potatoes, boil broccoli, noodles, steam carrots, make hard boiled eggs, lentil soup, chicken soup and more. This pan is seriously wonderful and helps to us to eat cheaply and healthfully.

If you have a large family or prefer to make large batches of food having a larger saucepan, such as a 6 quart size, makes sense, but the same ideas still apply. We also have a large stock pot but we don’t use it on a daily basis as much. More like every few weeks or month 🙂