I Didn’t Buy It

Dutch Oven

I have been wanting to buy a Dutch Oven for a long time, but have never gotten around to it. I envision making delicious pot roasts with carrots and potatoes inside of it. Even though truthfully I don’t really like pot roast. But maybe if I had a dutch oven I would. Yes, that is just how my mind works.

In fact, when I was shopping for Christmas I picked up a Le Crueset one at TJ Maxx and put it in my cart, but my son made me put it back because it was made in China. Kids, sheesh, always paying attention to what you say.

Wise blog readers then told me it was an imitation anyway since the real ones are made in France.

So when I saw this one at IKEA on Saturday, I ran over to it. Yes, ran, maybe even shoving small children out of the way.

“I need this!” I said. I carried it back to the cart. Looked it over. It was so heavy and sturdy. I sighed deeply. The color green was so pretty. I caressed it. Then carried it back to the shelf and left it there.

$99 and I didn’t buy it.

64 Responses to “I Didn’t Buy It”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    TJ Maxx and IKEA are almost worse than Target! Good job holding true to your goal. Have you thought about keeping a running total of all the money you have “saved” by not making the purchase? Good Luck over the next 51 weeks!

  2. curiositykilledthecat Says:

    My husband thinks that since you are not really buying things you will just add up a ton of things and say you wouldn’t bought it if… How are you going to stop yourself from doing that?

    Chris says: I am not sure what you mean? Like pretend I would have bought it just so I can say I didn’t buy it?

  3. ShackelMom Says:

    Good for you! Admirable self control! Ikea is worse than Target for me… sigh. I like their stuff!

  4. Christy Says:

    Ouch. That one even hurt me.

  5. Shelly Says:

    Yeah for you Chris!

  6. Alissa Says:

    i drool over this very same pot on every trip to ikea… and sadly, i don’t NEED it either… now, at $25, I might NEED it.

  7. Johnna Says:

    I think going to IKEA right now would be like an alcoholic going to a bar to hang out but planning not to drink. Unless you’re just testing yourself…

  8. Maine Mom Says:

    Good for you! I bet it was painful to leave it on the shelf, though.

  9. crockpot lady Says:

    psst. that’s what crockpots are for. ;-)

  10. Deputy's Wife Says:

    Good for you!

    You know, if you use a regular 9 x13 casserole with an oven bag (you can pick up a pack of two for three bucks or so) you can get the same results.

  11. Kathy from NJ Says:

    I just made a wonderful beef stew (which I consider the same as pot roast) - started the meat in a regular frying pan then switched to a 10 qt Farberwear pot (purchased in 1978). I always add cloves to my pot roast and beef stew, it really gives it a wonderful flavor. Start with just a few to see if you like it, I use 12-15.

  12. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, NO - a crockpot would never be the same as a dutch oven. Crockpot meals always taste exactly the same - no matter what is cooked. JMO ;P

    I have wanted a dutch oven forever too - but figure it’ll happen when its supposed to. In the meantime - I just never make those delicious meals that I would WITH a dutch oven - yep, that’s my rationale. :D

    Gee Chris, tomorrow - why not THINK about buying, I don’t know - a Jaguar, BUT don’t do it, and let us know what you saved. CURIOSITYKILLED THE CAT needs to get a life!

  13. Jennie Says:

    Girl, what are you even doing at IKEA during your year off? That’s like fighting a gambling habit with a vacation to Vegas!

  14. Someone Being Me Says:

    I’m impressed by your willpower. Although I do my roasts in the crock pot anyways. Works great.

  15. Ellen Says:

    Good job! I too yearn for a dutch oven to bake the No-Knead Bread in. But my cheapo one is working fine… but… but ….
    Hang in there. You rock.

  16. andrea from the fishbowl Says:

    oh mah lor’ - IKEA!?!? It is very hard to go to Ikea and not spend any money. My trick: I stay away from anywhere I might need to use my wallet. So far it’s workin’ fine. :)

  17. Mary Says:

    Oh….I hear you on this one. Another way to get around the “need”…imagine picking one of these up while it’s full of food. I could barely pick up a Le Creuset when empty…it would kill me to try to lift it when it’s full of food. Weak wrists…they can be useful.

  18. Susan Says:

    I have a Dutch oven (not that pretty one, of course, but a big sturdy Dutch oven) and I hate it. It weighs a million pounds and is a bitch to clean. We have never once made a roast in it.

    There! Feel better now? You’re welcome!

  19. slynnro Says:

    I’ve never been to an Ikea. I should probably keep it that way.

  20. Cheryl M. Says:

    Chris, you have much willpower! Your Dutch oven pic has been calling me for the past couple hours….c h e r y l c h e r y l c h e r y l….It’s a good thing we don’t have an IKEA anywhere near me. :))

  21. Lazy Organizer Says:

    Oh but the green!!!

  22. Kim Says:

    “curiositykilledthecat”’s husband has, obviously, never been in IKEA! We make an annual pilgrimage and when we get home, seriously, as I’m looking through what I bought - half of it is because it’s so darn cheap, more is because it’s about 125 miles away, so we don’t get there that often so I better buy it while I have the opportunity, and the rest is what I actually planned on buying!!!

    I think you should start posting pictures of like a BMW and saying, ooh, I was going to buy two of these, since we all can’t fit into one, but I didn’t! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    I’m shopping vicariously with you! Keep up the awesome blog….


  23. Lyn Says:

    Another way to get one is watch your local craig’s list or freecycle. someone is always giving away things like that. For a family your size - a dutch oven is a nice piece of equipement to have. Roast in the crockpot are wonderful, but in the over, they are even better

  24. dynamitt Says:

    Thank you for showing me what a Dutch Oven really is! I know, silly me, I could have done a google search. I imagine a Dutch oven being a small oven, sort of like a mini microwave or something. Oh and what is the difference between what this dutch oven can do and a slow cooker?

  25. Liz Says:

    Good for you! Although…omg Le Crueset for $99???? I would be crying.

  26. t in hd Says:

    I think I understand Curiosity’s question, Chris, because I was asking myself this same thing last night–not regarding your own list but regarding mine. For example, dh came home last night and said he was invited out by his workmates to get a yufka for lunch. He as about to accept, as he always does, once or twice a week, but he thought about what we’d been talking about and said, no thanks. A yufka is 3,50 Euro and he figures he buys about 10 or so a month. That’s tuition for one of our kids’ music lessons, which we can so ill afford! We talked about keeping a list of everything we didn’t buy, as you are doing, and that is just the sort of purchase he could write down. Today he didn’t spend 3,50 Euro on a yufka. Similarly, we will be visiting friends in a couple of weeks and would normally drive up. However, dh has job ticket for the train into work which allows the whole family to ride the trains free on weekends. It is a 2 hour trip by train, a 1 hour trip by car, but it’s free by train where as petrol for the trip would cost us around 40 Euro. So, on Saturday, when we take the train up, we will log in our booklet the 40 Euro in petrol which we saved. Fairly clear cut.

    The problem comes when I’m flipping through a catalogue or surfing ebay and find a cute pair of trousers or top, etc. which I or the kids don’t need, and I feel tempting to buy/bid. I have to make sure I don’t just write down in our “savings” book every single thing I saw which was tempting but didn’t buy because, in reality, while we buy too much and need to cut back, I’ve never been able to buy anything that catches my eye and mightn’t have bought that item even if I wasn’t recording all my “non-purchases” if that makes any sense. Your non-purchase of that pot is a good example. You put it in your trolley with the intention of buying it, but then put it back on the shelf. You saved yourself $99. But what if you’d walked past it, admired it and remembered you’d wanted one, but then kept going? Log that savings or not? However you decide is really your business ;-) but I’m trying to figure out how I’d log or not log such a savings so that it is realistic to me.

    Anyway, just details. The important thing about all this is to curb unnecessary spending to whatever degree we choose. How we do it is of much less importance. I am enjoying reading about your progress and using it to my advantage–tailoring your ideas to fit my own needs, goals, etc.
    Anyway, just details.

  27. t in hd Says:

    Yikes! Sorry for that long comment. I hadn’t realized it was so bl**dy long.

  28. peepnroosmom Says:

    Ooh! IKEA! Now that place gets me every time. I really do “need” most of the wonderful stuff they have there. They have the best stuff.
    Good for you for not buying that though.

  29. Juhli Says:

    I’m confused a bit about why you are continuing to go to stores like Ikea if you have committed to not shopping? I realize that one could truly need something that Ikea sells but it seems that would be rare.

  30. susannah Says:

    you are such an inspiration. really. thanks.

  31. Ladybug Crossing Says:

    Good for you!! I went to Staples yesterday to get mailers for CDs. I was tempted to purchase the large package, but only got the one I needed. I saved $7.00!! I thought of you as I mulled the decision of the large package or the singleton.

    Keep up the good work!!

  32. Lisa Says:

    I’m really excited about this new blog you’re writing, Chris! My husband and I are on a journey to get out of debt, so impulse shopping has ceased for the time being. I’m glad we don’t live near an Ikea!

  33. radmama Says:

    That’s expensive, anyway. My MIL bought us one at Christmas by StarFrit and I’m sure it was less than 99 canadian.

    Good luck with your mission! I’m working hard on reducing our stuff and consumption, too. but I have used my new dutch oven almost every day! :-)

  34. hollygee Says:

    I, too, covet that Dutch oven. My old black Crueset is chipped and pitted, but still does the job. I love using it, but pot roast also tastes just as good from my cast iron skillet or the stainless soup pot (from IKEA!). It isn’t the utensil that makes the food.

  35. Debra Says:

    Hi Chris, yay for you.

    Check out The Story of Stuff if you haven’t seen it already - it is a very clever, funny and powerful anticonsumerism 20 min message. And it is fabulous for kids

  36. Elizabeth Says:

    Chris, (long time reader, rare commenter) I totally share your dutch oven jones for this exact lime green La Crueset. I also used to think to myself, well, I don’t like pot roast, but if I had a dutch oven, I would love it! Well, I lived with someone who actually had a dutch oven — a nice one, and so I made pot roast. I still don’t like it. And now that I know I like the idea of pot roast more than pot roast I STILL jones for the lime green dutch oven. Sigh.

    I think that the whole issue of “how can she tell if she really would have bought it or is just faking it so she can tell us how much she didn’t spend” would make more of a difference if she was trying to save money and was putting the difference in a savings account or something. But she’s not, so it’s not like she’s “cheating” or anything, she’s just sharing her resisted impulses with us (which I really enjoy reading about). t in hd has a different situation because they are actually logging how much money they save.

  37. Tammy H Says:

    Who knew that trying to stop petty spending would become so controversial? You have really made me take a look at my spending. I love to run to Target after I drop the kids off at school, but because of your blog - I haven’t. Oh, and my husband thanks you.

  38. The Simple Family Says:

    My husband hands out dutch ovens for free every day.

  39. Amanda Says:

    So it won’t be quite the pretty green color, but have you tried the thrift store? I love buying stuff like that there since it’s (1) cheap, (2) not requiring resources to make a new one (energy, iron, fuel to truck it from the factory [or China or Sweden] to the store…), and (3) if I don’t use it there’s no guilt in re-donating it. If I use it a lot I might ask for a nicer one for Christmas…..

    Way to stop yourself, though!

  40. She Likes Purple Says:

    I’m just so impressed. Keep the inspiration coming. I’m not eating out or shopping (for clothes, shoes, accessories… still grocery shopping or a rough month it would be) for the next 30 days and all I can think about is eating a Wendy’s burger before shopping the Banana Republic sales.

  41. embee Says:

    I was thinking the same thing, Simple Family!!

    (I’ll never forget explaining to my mother what a dutch oven was…. I’ve never seen her so mortified!)

  42. Lori Says:

    I wanted a Le Creuset too, but was surprised and annoyed by the price. I found out I can use my regular (All-Clad) stainless steel pot for a Dutch oven. It works great! (Just have to make sure you use potholders getting it out of the oven.

  43. Briana Says:

    I’ve always dreamed of a dutch oven myself. But unless someone actually GIVES me one, I’m afraid the price will just continue to detour my desires. If I had a tried-and-true recipe that I knew I could make in it, I would probably cave in.

  44. MelissaS Says:

    I am loving this journey you are on and it is inspiring me to scrutinize my spending, too! When I was a SAHM with my infant (now I’m back at work), we would go to Target just to have something to do. Without fail, i would come home with bags of things we really didn’t need. I would cruise the store looking for the siren Clearance signs and stop dead in my tracks when i spotted one! Now, though, the only time I have to go to Target is on the weekend, and it’s far too crowded, thank goodness.

    But check this out: A new Target in NH (Bedford) has a STARBUCKS in it! Good thing I don’t live close to that one!! Target shopping on a caffeine high - can you imagine the damage?????

    Thanks for sharing your journey, and keep putting those THINGS back on the shelf :)

  45. Penelope Anne Says:

    Good for you. I have been wanting one of thse also, and just could never afford it. You are an inspiration.

  46. carrie Says:

    When’s your birthday? Can you ask for one as a gift? Mother’s Day?

    Hope that’s not breaking the rules!

  47. Anna Says:

    I got a red Le Crueset dutch oven for Christmas…and I love it more than all my other dishes put together…you have more will power than I will ever possess. And I love that lime green…maybe you have a birthday coming up? ;-)

  48. t in hd Says:

    Elizabeth–I really like your idea of “putting the difference in a savings account”. :-)

  49. Mishel Says:

    I stumbled upon your site from another site, Simple Family I believe it was, and I’m glad I did. I try to only go to the store and get things I really need like groceries. Most times I look at the things I want and I refuse to pay what they’re asking for b/c I can spend that money on groceries or my son and not me. I don’t know if that works like how y’all are going but it’s a start for me:) I think so at least:)

  50. craftythriftymama Says:

    I applaud your goals in trying to stop buying non-essentials. I, too, am thinning out our closets and boxes and not replacing them with new things. We made a goal to simplify 2 years go and so far so good. It’s very freeing and I find that I love my life so much more when I’m not burdened down with stuff. But, I do have to agree with Curiosity (if I’m understanding her correctly), why focus on what you didn’t buy? Why burden yourself with knowing that you are “going without” rather than focusing on other more meaningful things instead. If you truly want to make the change I suggest you stop going to stores like Ikea in the first place and start using that time to go on a nature walk with your kids or go to the park and take a walk just by yourself if you are sans kids. Our society feels like we need to go shopping daily. What would we fill our time with if we weren’t shopping? But there are much more wonderful things to do. Why don’t you start doing a weekly shopping trip to the GROCERY store (a local market is even better, less impulse buying I find) and just leave it at that. Just my suggestions. I’m not trying to start anything, just telling you what I found works for me. Good luck!

  51. Susana Says:

    Are you guys keeping track of how much you are saving every time you put something back? That would be very interesting insight…and you may be able to spin your tale into a fancy book deal…

    I write book reviews and recently read A Year Without Made in China. The concept is interesting, but what I was sickened by was the constant trips to the mall, or shopping as a hobby. The book had no soul, it’s not as if she took up gardening vs hitting the mall. Wishing you a fun and enriching journey!

  52. Motherhood Uncensored Says:

    My husband gives me a dutch oven on a weekly basis.

    Totally free.


    Chris says: I had to go look up dutch oven, because I am old and out of the slang loop. And here I HAD a dutch oven all along and had NO IDEA!

  53. Alissa Says:

    from craftythriftymama:
    why focus on what you didn’t buy? Why burden yourself with knowing that you are “going without”

    if chris feels anything like i do, it’s not a burden! it’s freeing! it’s liberating for me to know that I’m making the conscious decision to NOT buy all the extra crap to clutter my home. it feels GOOD to put that stuff back on the shelf.

    Yesterday, I bought some clearance clothes from Target (which my kids will need but don’t at this second) and I still feel incredibly guilty. For me, shopping is an addiction, which I am going to break, damnit.

  54. Stephanie Says:

    When I’m done leaving this comment, I am TOTALLY looking up dutch oven, because I don’t have any idea what it means (in the slang loop) but am sooo looking forward to the knowledge.

    A REAL Dutch oven is a good investment, I have to tell you. But as others have said, you can get a good one used. I found a real-life Le Cruset (from France!) on eBay circa, 1970 for $24. It’s Orange and a little pitted, but I gave it a nice good cleaning and it is awesome for stew and chili, and of course, roast. We use it weekly. I know we’re not supposed to talk about these things, but I wanted to share this with you, in case it turned into a need. ;-) I mean, you do have a really big family, and it could serve you well. I’m just saying.

  55. Stephanie Says:

    Oh man! I get that at my house too. I thought it was going to be something way more fun than that.

  56. Nicole Says:

    I am new to reading your blog and a lot of the things you say resonate with me. Specifically how your son held you accountable to the fact that the dutch oven at T.J. Maxx was made in China; therefore should be left on the shelf. Last September I decided not to buy anything made in China and I’ve been a total natzi about it. I mean literally nothing. Now, my concience is just letting up a little and every single freakin thing I put in my cart at Target, my four year old asks me where it was made. When I respond “China” she dutufully puts one hand on her hip and extends the other outward in a “gimme that you hypocrit” sort of way. No words are spoken after that, I just hand over the merchindise and we move on down the isle in akward silence.

  57. Kristi Says:

    Oh boy! I have been wanting a Le Crueset Dutch oven for YEARS. The $300 price tag has stopped me. I know I could buy another brand for less money, but you know, Le Crueset is the bomb. Whatever. It is to ME. So, then I saw that at Macy’s online the other day, they had a non-Le Creuset one on sale for $60. I was tempted, but this was just after Christmas and I had sworn off buying ANYTHING OTHER THAN GROCERIES for the next 30 days, even though the price was AWESOME, I stuck to my guns. I mentioned this deal to my SIL who was visiting. Guess what? She surprised me with it as a gift for taking care of her dog during the holidays. That weight is now off my shoulders. I’ve got my dutch oven and even though it is not LE CRUESET BITE ME, I’ve got what I’ve been needing? for years to make those delicious roasts (I DO LOVE pot roasts!). (And then I got a notice that it is on backorder until the end of Feb. Hrmph!)

    This whole not buying thing has got me pumped up to REALLY TRY to extend my promise beyond the thirty days. Good for you for sticking to your guns!

  58. xenia kathryn Says:

    If I’d have known my kitchen appliances better when I got married three years ago, I would have totally asked for a good dutch oven. Now I’m kicking myself in the head for all the numerous cheap things I registered for that are starting to fall apart.

    Couldn’t you classify the dutch oven as a grocery item and just skip the cereal and eggs this week? :) It’s all about reallocating the expenses… spoken by a true accountant’s wife. No, I take that back. Spoken by a true stuff-o-holic who’s always finding loopholes for needless spending. “Remember that check your grandma gave us for Christmas two years ago? Well, I decided to spend that money today on a…”

    :) I am determined to have a d.o. one day….!!!!

  59. Mom101 Says:

    Damn, Motherhood Uncensored stole my comment.

    Are we the only 14 year old boys on this blog, or what?

  60. KTHunter Says:

    There are some alternatives to the Le Crueset that you might want to look at…
    We just bought a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven at Christmas. It was in the 50 dollar range. It’s made in the USA (in fact, not too far away from where I live). We have made several dishes in it, both on the grill and on the stove/oven. We absolutely love it. It came pre-seasoned. The deal is, you have to take care of it properly and be careful to wash with only hot water (soap is forbidden on cast iron!), but if you keep it seasoned, it’s pretty much non-stick.

    I also have a Pampered Chef stoneware pan and lid set that makes a great “covered” cooker — and the stoneware is also “made in the USA”, if I recall correctly.

  61. Amy Says:

    Isn’t that actually a French Oven? The French Ovens are enameled, and the Dutch Ovens are just plain cast iron. My husband surprised me with a French Oven about a year ago. It cost $120.00 but I’ve never, ever regretted it. I use it ALL THE TIME and it is the most wonderful thing for cooking soups, stews and slow cooking meat. If you do get one someday, get a really good one - it will last for the rest of your life and then some :)

  62. Visitor Says:

    I found a Le Creuset for $35 at Bed Bath & Beyond. The Caribbean Blue color was discontinued and the box was beat up. Keep lookin! The Le Creuset is guaranteed forever; my sister will pick up damaged ones at yard sales and send them to Le Creuset to be replaced with new. I trash-picked a Le Creuset teapot and mailed it in and they sent me a new one. F.R.E.E.

  63. cristen Says:

    yay for you. good job. but it sure was pretty. but yay for you!

  64. Debbie Says:

    I totally understand about IKEA, although I do love to go and set things from there I must admit. I did buy one there only mine was much cheaper and orange. I wasn’t crazy about the color but I really use it a lot!

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