Save Money By Using Your Crockpot

With the way the economy is right now, we are all looking for ways to cut back and save money in different areas of our lives. The prices are up and rising on everything it seems. One of the things that gets very expensive is grocery shopping. Planning out what you should have for dinner throughout the week can see like such a huge task. But...have no fear, you can save money! You don't need to cook a different meal every single night.

You can cook a big pot of beans, stew, or a casserole and eat it for a few days. You can stock up your freezer with homemade broth, stock, and cream of chicken or cream of mushroom. One of my favorite things to do with our crock pot is to take a hunk of frozen meat and plop it in the crock pot, cover it with a bottle of your favorite sauce. Cook it on low all day and when you get home, wahlah it's done!!

Concerned about the amount of energy consumed by using a crockpot?? The average monthly cost of using a crock pot is $1.17 Below I have put together some money-saving crock-pot ideas for you.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Rich in chicken flavor, this traditional broth is lightly seasoned with herbs. Besides making wonderful chicken soups, it can be used in casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes that call for chicken broth.

*Makes 6 servings

* Prep: 10 min. Cook: 2-1/2 hours + chilling

Ingredients:

    * 2-1/2 pounds bony chicken pieces
    * 2 celery ribs with leaves, cut into chunks
    * 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
    * 2 medium onions, quartered
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    * 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
    * 2 quarts cold water

Directions:

* Place all ingredients in a soup kettle or Dutch oven. Slowly bring to a boil; reduce heat. Skim foam. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
* Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones. Discard bones; save meat for another use. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and seasonings. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Skim fat from surface.

Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken

This recipe is so easy and tastes so good!!

*Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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Directions:
Place chicken in the slow cooker. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Add more lemon juice if needed.

Healthy Crockpot Chili

The aroma of this crock-pot chili cooking throughout the day will make you excited for dinnertime! Serve with a slice of soft cornbread for a hearty and filling meal.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes

Serves: 6


Ingredients:

    * 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
    * 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
    * 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (1 medium)
    * 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
    * 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
    * 1 15 oz. can red beans, drained
    * 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
    * 1 14.5 oz. can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
    * 1 Tbsp ground chili powder
    * 1 tsp ground cumin

Preparation:

1. Brown the ground beef along with the garlic, onion, and red bell pepper in a non-stick skillet until the beef is no longer pink.

2. Combine the beef mixture with the remaining ingredients in a 4-qt. (or larger) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.

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