Think your slow cooker is only good for the winters and for saving time? Wrong! Slow cookers can also save you money on your meal-planning budget.
Possibly the only thing better than coming home to a delicious-smelling, fully-prepared meal is keeping some extra money in your wallet.
So how can your Crock-Pot help you save some cash? Check out these tips from slow cooker masters!
1. Buy Cheaper Cuts Of Meat
When cooking with a slow cooker, using less expensive meat actually works better! The slow, low heat of the cooker breaks down tougher cuts of meat, and tougher cuts mean lower grocery bills! What are the best meat cuts for your slow cooker? Try chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulders, lamb shanks, chicken thighs or drumsticks.
2. Turn One Recipe Into Multiple Meals To Stretch Your Meal Budget
Cook once, eat two, even three times! That’s what a slow cooker can do for you. Yes, it’s a time savings, but this tip also saves you money. Buying a full roaster chicken or large roast of any kind is normally cheaper by the pound, overall. This saves on buying multiple packages of meat and other ingredients for meals. One full chicken can be used for chicken and rice one night. The next day, how about some shredded barbecue chicken? You can even use the broth and bones to make a yummy chicken soup!
3. Save Money With Meal Planning
When using a slow cooker, you need to plan out your meals a little more carefully. You need to have the proper ingredients on hand to make those delicious meals. Meal planning helps save money at the grocery store. By having a plan when you walk into the store, this helps you avoid impulse purchases while at the store. Also, by planning your meals and grocery list ahead of time, you won’t have to make multiple trips to the store. It’s hard to avoid those impulse buys if you’re shopping multiple times a week.
4. Avoid The Dining-Out Trap
Going out to eat is fun, and a great escape from the daily grind. However, the bills add up over time. As a time saver, your crock pot can have dinner ready for you when you get home so you can avoid the “What am I going to make for dinner?” dilemma. With the right ingredients and planning, slow cooker meals can cost as little as $5 to make. Enjoy a night at home with your ready-to-eat meal and stream a great show for your entertainment and you’ll certainly save some money!
5. Slow Cookers Save On Energy Costs
Slow cookers not only save on the grocery bill. These little cooking machines use less energy than an electric oven. On average, slow cookers use only about 200 watts of energy to run for eight hours. An electric oven could use up to 2,700 watts. This translates to a slow cooker only costing about 10 to 25 cents for a full-day’s use.
Also, slow cookers do not warm up the house the way using an oven can during the summer. This could save you some money in cooling your house during the hottest months of the year too.