My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

Economic Downsizing; Now It's Personal

  • Comments 4

I like to cook, but I love to grill. 

I must say that I have a reputation around the neighborhood of being pretty good at it as well. I prefer cooking over charcoal. 

To me, grilling is more than just cooking - it's an event. 

Part of that event is starting and tending a fire, and then cooking over the coals. 

Tpizel1My grill and I have spent a lot of time together creating some great food. It has over 1000 square inches of cooking surface area, enough to handle cooking for a large group of friends.

In January, my mother-in-law purchased a small table top charcoal grill at a silent auction. She promptly gave it to me. I thanked her, but then wondered what exactly I was going to do with it. I already have a grill, and its way bigger and better than this thing.

Then I started thinking. When I'm cooking a few burgers or steaks for just my own family, lighting up my grill is sort of like driving a monster truck the ½ block down the road to go get the mail. Obtaining the searing temperature I like to cook my steaks at takes at least half a bag of charcoal.

Travis2So, I decided to assemble the little grill and take a good look at it.

In this economy, everything is getting downsized, even my grill. 

Meet Junior, my 144 square inch tabletop charcoal grill. I can count the charcoal briquettes needed to fuel this grill with my fingers, and I will get dual purpose use out of it by bringing it along to my son's baseball games this summer.

In addition to downsizing to a smaller grill for everyday use, here are a few more tips that I use to help keep down the costs of my favorite summer year round hobby:

  • Store brand charcoal:  Right now, I can pick up a twin 15 lb. bag shrink-wrapped package of Sam's Choice charcoal at Wal-Mart for $6.50.  That's 30 lbs. of charcoal!  This is significantly lower than name brands, and quite frankly, it's better.  The briquettes are bigger, and they burn longer.  I'm definitely stocking up!
  • Travis3Chimney lighter:  Regular charcoal is much cheaper than the "match light" kind.  So how do you light it?   Although it is extremely fun to squirt lighter fluid at a live fire while yelling, "Fire, Fire!" (Circa Beavis and Butthead), you defeat the cost savings by needing to buy lighter fluid.  Instead, buy a charcoal chimney. Put scraps of junk mail in the bottom, charcoal in the top, and light the paper. Ten minutes later, you're ready to go.

Did downsizing my everyday grill take away from my overall grilling experience or make me feel like less of a man? On Junior's maiden voyage I grilled bone in, center cut pork chops.

I'd say downsizing looks pretty good.Ec What do you think?

Related Links:

 Grillin up Some Savings

The Debt Diva's Weekly Reading: May 28th 2010

Life Simplification

Travis PizelTravis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share
  • What a perfect idea Travis! When you're not grilling for a crowd it would make much more sense to use your little tabletop grill. I'll bet the discounted charcoal will last quite awhile grilling on that little guy! ;-)

  • So True, Jenny - the stockpile of charcoal that I have is going to last for quite a big chunk of the summer!

  • Thanks for the great post, Travis (just got to it from DebtDiva's tweet). Personally, I'm sick of paying $30 to replace propane tanks that run out after using them for a month. I grill for a family of four as well, so next payday I'm getting a junior myself along with some WalMart briquets! Thanks again!

  • I'm so glad that you found your way to my post and that you identified with it.  I use my table top often, and cannot believe how much longer my charcoal lasts.  I'm also on Twitter (@DebtChronicles) as well!

Page 1 of 1 (4 items)
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share