6 Ways an Instant Pot Can Pay for Itself

Instant Pot
Stephanie Frey / Shutterstock.com

Pressure cookers used to have a bad reputation. Everyone had a story about how Cousin Agnes had one and she somehow blew up her kitchen with it.

Old-style pressure cookers were intimidating appliances, especially for those of us raised on the ease and safety of microwaves. But then came the Instant Pot.

The new appliance combined pressure cooking, slow cooking, sauteing and — depending on the model — other techniques such as yogurt-making and cake-baking. Suddenly, pressure cooking felt safe — and hip — again.

There’s no question that the Instant Pot has captured the hearts and kitchens of many. Just try reading through some of the glowing reviews on Amazon, or joining one or more of the Facebook groups devoted to the appliance.

Gluten-free groups love it. Those who’ve gone paleo or vegetarian sing its praises. Dieters and those with allergies have all found it an aid. Call it the equal-opportunity appliance.

If an Instant Pot is in your plans — or maybe on your shelf — the following are several ways it can save you enough money to quickly pay for itself.

1. Replace other appliances

kazoka / Shutterstock.com

First, the obvious: If you don’t already own a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker or even yogurt-maker, buying an Instant Pot saves you the expense of purchasing them.

And making more room in your kitchen is worth something too, right? Many Instant Pot buyers find themselves sending their old Crock-Pot or rice cooker to Goodwill, thus freeing up space in already-crowded cupboards or on countertops.

2. Throw away the takeout menus

Liz Van Steenburgh / Shutterstock.com

It’s tough to pass up those quick takeout meals — orange chicken from Panda Express, butter chicken from your favorite Indian restaurant or Mongolian beef from the Asian restaurant down the street.

But just do a web search for your favorite takeout dish and add the phrase “Instant Pot.” You’ll find simple and quick recipes for all of them.

Better yet, search for the recipe you want along with the name of your Instant Pot model. Mine’s a Duo 60 Plus, and some recipes written for earlier models had me hunting for the “manual” button when mine had renamed it “pressure cook.”

3. Save on office lunches

A young man leaves home with a backpack and lunch
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

The Instant Pot comes in a range of sizes. I own a 6-quart. Of course, it depends on the recipe, but so far, I’ve always ended up with leftovers.

The butter chicken recipe I mentioned even spells out how to make extra sauce — with the idea being that it’s so scrumptious you’ll want to have more on hand.

Make an Instant Pot recipe. Then, a day or so later, you can bring those boxed-up leftovers to work with you. The bagel or pizza shop in the office food court can do without your money for a day or two.

4. Find meaty deals

MSPhotographic / Shutterstock.com

The wonder of a pressure cooker is that it can take even the toughest — and thus cheapest — cuts of meat and use its pressurizing to turn them into tender treats.

Haven’t had pot roast since Grandma’s Sunday dinners back in the 1970s? It’s an Instant Pot favorite, with the pressure-cooked beef falling apart on your fork.

5. Buy in bulk and freeze ingredients

BravissimoS / Shutterstock.com

Who doesn’t love the thrill of getting a great deal at Costco or other bulk-grocery stores? But now that you’ve brought those 10 pounds of frozen chicken breasts home, you need to actually use them — or the money is wasted.

One of the many miracles of the Instant Pot is you can cook with frozen meats. It’s best to do a web search for the specifics of your particular recipe and cut of meat. But the time change from fresh to frozen is usually negligible.

For example, frozen chicken pieces cooked in a single layer might need 15 minutes of pressure cooking as opposed to 10 minutes if they’re already thawed. That extra 5-minute wait is well worth the freedom to “forget” to thaw your meat out before heading to the office for the day.

6. Replace your store-bought staples with homemade ones

Josep Suria / Shutterstock.com

Once you’ve delved into some of the Instant Pot Facebook groups and blogs, you’ll soon find that the appliance has as many fans for making kitchen staples as it does for meal recipes.

Save on buying that delicious Greek yogurt, for example, by simply buying a gallon of milk and a small container of yogurt to use as a starter, then making it yourself.

Vanilla extract, rotisserie chickens, bone broth and cheesecakes all can be made in an Instant Pot, too.

Sometimes the items you make in it serve double duty. I’ve whipped up a batch of Greek yogurt, drained it, saved the whey and used that to bake a crisp sourdough-style bread. Talk about saving bread while making some.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home
9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home

These creative products on Amazon will hide unsightly clutter while saving space.

3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts
3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts

Protecting a nest egg is tough enough. Don’t make the situation far worse.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer
15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer

Study these strategies to make your golden years gleam.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.