3 Ways an Instant Pot Saves Your Life as a Working Student

I don’t know about you, but sometimes—more like all the time—being a single mom, working a full-time job, and going to grad school is exhausting. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. So, when it comes to food, convenience tends to win out. That means a lot of takeout, or quick and easy meals to make with ingredients I have on hand.

While I’ve always been a fan of slow cookers, ever since Jack died on “This is Us,” I get a little nervous leaving my newer slow cooker on all day while I’m not home. Add to that a mischievous dog who gets into anything left on the counter, and you’re looking at a recipe for disaster. Enter, my lifesaver (and yours!), the Instant Pot.

Instant Pots were a hot gift this past holiday season and now that I know more about them, I understand why! Despite my best attempt to meal plan and prep, I often end up at the grocery store on my lunch, or popping in quick after work on my way to daycare, desperately trying to remember what I need to pick up to complete the meal I’m throwing together. The Instant Pot has turned my constant state of frazzled into a state of “yes I can!” Seriously, getting everything done, and in a somewhat nutritious manner, makes me feel like a super mom. I like to plan my meals throughout the week, and looking at my day from start to finish means I don’t have to worry or scramble after a long day.

Mornings Made Easy

Mornings in my house can only be described as chaos. Sometimes I’m running on little to no sleep from being up writing a paper, or responding to discussion posts. To get my daughter to daycare and myself to work on time, it requires getting up at 5:15 a.m.  and rushing to leave by 6:15 a.m. I have whittled out every possible thing I can in the mornings, and still I’m grabbing a banana for her and stopping for a second coffee and a muffin or bagel for myself as we rush around town. Certainly, these are not the best choices I could make; there are healthier options, but I’m so go-go-go that I can’t think about them. And I’d much rather spend some time in the morning on goal setting for the day and making my plan of attack than thinking about what I’m going to eat – or cooking! An easy and much healthier breakfast is Greek yogurt. Although it doesn’t seem like a hard thing to have cups of Greek yogurt in the refrigerator to grab and go, I never seem to have it in my house or pick it up at the grocery store. But, with an Instant Pot, I can make a huge batch of yogurt that will last a week from just one container of Greek yogurt and a gallon of milk. It needs to incubate nine hours, so it’s a perfect thing to make overnight. Might as well put my sleeping hours to use!

Lunch—Bring Not Buy

Lunches are my downfall. As a busy, working mom trying to fit schoolwork into my day, it never fails that I end up getting takeout for lunch. The problem is, my lunch hour is also a time that I typically devote to schoolwork, reading a chapter, or getting discussion posts done, and taking the 20 minutes to go get something to eat really cuts into that time. I’m a soup girl. I love soups for lunch, but making a healthy soup at home takes hours. Instant Pot is my lifesaver here, too. I can make just about any delicious soup from start to finish in 45 minutes in an Instant Pot, and use only one pan. That cuts down on my dishes and time spent in the kitchen. If I start the soup right after dinner in the half hour when my daughter plays before her bedtime routine, I’m done for the week. All that’s left to do is just place the soup in bowls to transport and go.

Dinner Time—Instant Means Instant

If you’re an adult trying to fit school in your life, especially if you’re a parent, dinner might be the last thing you’re thinking about on a daily basis. After work, evenings are spent running kids to activities and sports, helping with homework, and packing for the next day. You don’t have the time to make anything other than a simple meal, and you’re probably not even home for the hour or two it would take to make a traditional pot roast or meatloaf or pork chops. Here’s another way Instant Pots save the day: Instant Pots allow you bring weekend meals into the work week. Want to make baked potatoes to go with your dinner but don’t have an hour to cook them? In an Instant Pot, it’s 15 minutes.

Time Spent Elsewhere

To me, it’s not just about saving time and being healthier. What the Instant Pot means to me is not taking away from the amount of time I have with my daughter. It’s saving dishes and using one pot, so I don’t have to spend half an hour after my little girl is sleeping doing dishes and that time could be spent on schoolwork. It means I can still get my homework done and get to sleep at a reasonable hour. It’s my lifesaver.

Do you have an Instant Pot? Is it as life-changing for you as it is for me? Share your favorite Instant Pot recipes and the ways it’s helping you get your schoolwork done on our Facebook page!