- Food and Cooking
How to Save Money by Using a Crock Pot - 3 Steps Save You Time and Money
I’m convinced you can save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a year by starting one new habit: use your crock pot! Not only can you save money on the grocery bill by buying cheaper cuts of meat (which cook up tender and delicious in the crock pot) but you’ll also save all that money you would have blown at the drive through. A little planning goes a long way with crock pot cooking. Once you get the hang of it you’ll start using the crock pot every chance you get.
Step 1: Collect Crock Pot Recipes
We’ve come a long way since the crock pot recipes of the seventies. No longer are crock pots used only for thick stews and unidentified cuts of meat slathered in cream-of-something soup. Today’s crock pot recipes can be healthy or calorie-filled comfort foods. It’s your choice. Some of my favorite recipes to make in a crock pot are soups. Click here for some wonderful taco soup recipes you can make in a crock pot.
I also love this pork chop recipe for the crock pot. It turns really cheap chops (bought on clearance, of course!) into a down home family meal that takes only 15 minutes to prepare and greets you with warmth at the end of a long day!
Something else I like to simmer all day in the crock pot is spaghetti sauce. Make your favorite recipe, and once you have it assembled, toss it into the pot for several hours. So good! And then of course there’s your basic pot roast.
Step 2: Plan Your Menu
I’m not going to lie to you, using the crock pot requires a little planning. But it pays off big time! In order to be organized enough to get a recipe going in the crock pot in the morning to eat that night, it’s almost imperative that you have a menu planned for the week. Menu planning and shopping with a list make things a whole lot easier anyway. Try planning your menus with one or two days a week that you cook with the crock pot. I’m telling you it’s almost as good as having someone deliver dinner to your door! (Of course it’s also much less expensive and most likely healthier.)
Step 3: Shop Wisely, From Your Own Freezer
Some people who are much more sophisticated at menu planning and coupon clipping than I am advocate that you should aim to plan your weekly menu around what’s on sale that particular week. I think these people have way too much time on their hands. And maybe they don’t have a freezer, I don’t know. What I do is a lot easier. I buy discounted meat whenever I can and toss it straight into the freezer. You can sometimes get 50% off meat!
Although you might have to take the hit one week, it saves you money over time if you can take advantage of sales. Start to put back a little money each week that you can use to buy meat at sale prices. What happens over time is that you build up a little inventory so that you always have chicken, beef, pork or whatever on hand. Then when you make your menu plan for the week, you use the meat you purchased on sale previously.
I hope you’ll dust off your crock pot and give these steps a try. My current model is about five years old and literally falling apart because I use it so much! Happy crocking!
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