I am excited to share with you How to Use a Slow Cooker to Save Money! This little kitchen appliance truly is a life saver, and it makes meal planning so much easier. If you haven’t invested in a slow cooker yet, now is the time!
How to Use a Slow Cooker to Save Money
We are all about saving money in the grocery budget, and using a slow cooker is a great solution. If you are new to saving money in your budget, make sure to check out our Extreme Couponing 101 series for all of the best tips.
Use it for a weekly meal plan
I’ve talked about this before, but it is worth repeating. Creating a weekly meal plan is one of the best ways to save money in your grocery budget. There are literally thousands of slow cooker meal plans out there on blogs to choose from if you want something already made. Otherwise, create a list of recipes that your family loves and that cook easily in the slow cooker. Use that list as a base for your weekly meal plan.
Start with our list of 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals if you haven’t cooked with a slow cooker in the past. This list is easy to assemble in a couple of hours and is under $120. That allows you to spend 2-3 hours on a weekend, and have 20 evening meals that are easy to thaw and pop into the slow cooker!
Check out our list of 10 Frugal Moms Every Mom Should Cook for inspiration!
Batch cook foods for easy meals
One of my go-to answers, when someone asks me how to use a slow cooker to save money, is to tell them to batch cook. This little secret is one I picked up a few years ago. A friend had purchased turkey breast for cheap and mentioned doing this. Instead of cooking each day, she was able to make meals fast throughout the month with pre-cooked meats.
I love the concept of this for meal planning. If you find a deal on chicken breasts, you can place several in your slow cooker. Add a bit of basic seasoning and broth, then cook. When they are ready, you can shred them easily, and bag into 1-2 cup portions. Label and freeze, then pull out the night before they are needed to thaw in the fridge. This is a great way to add protein to wraps, soups, and sandwiches in minutes!
Cook more food from scratch
Hands down, my number one answer for how to use a slow cooker to save money is to use it for homemade replacements. One of our most popular recipes here is the Crock-Pot Pasta Sauce Recipe. This super easy recipe is an ideal replacement for costly jars of pasta sauce. You can easily make a batch that will work for 3-4 meals for the cost of one jar of ready-made sauce.
Some of my favorite items to cook from scratch in a slow cooker:
- Dry beans
- Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable Broth
- Pasta Sauce
- Baked beans
- Pumpkin and Apple Butters
- Soups of all kinds
Check out these 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make in a Crock-Pot!
Popular Slow Cooker Recipes
As you can see, there are some great ways that you can answer how to use a slow cooker to save money. Included are just enjoying some frugal recipes that keep you in a budget. Make sure to check out our most popular slow cooker recipes linked below!