Making ‘Cents’ of It: Your Best Friend

If you want to save money in your budget, then you should meet your new best friend: the slow cooker.  You may think that you don’t have the money for one or the place to store it, but if you somehow missed out on getting a crock pot as a wedding present, then you need to rush out and get one.  Seriously.  This little beauty will save you so much time and money that the upfront investment is more than worth it.

The first reason I love my slow cooker is that it can turn the toughest, cheapest piece of meat into tender mush.  Meat prices are typically depended on the tenderness of the cut.  The more tender the cut, the more expensive it is per pound.  Nobody wants to eat a tough piece of meat, so spending the extra money may seem worth it.  But meat’s expensive.  It adds up quickly.  If you want to save a huge chunk of your grocery budget, buy the cheapest piece of meat that’s on sale, and stick it in your crock pot.  At the end of the day you’ll have enough good meat to use for several meals.  Extra slow cooked meat is great for tacos, sandwiches, and almost anything that calls for cooked meat.  You’ll save a bundle!

Second, my crock pot keeps my eating out costs down.  If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day, with no energy to cook, then you’re probably tempted to get pizza or eat out pretty often.  But what if you come home and there’s a nice warm meal all ready to eat just sitting in your slow cooker?  When I put the effort in at the beginning of the day to throw something in the crockpot, then I’m always rewarded by a good meal without much cost.  The best part is most crockpot meals can be made quickly, or even ahead. 

The other day I found a nice chuck roast on sale at the grocery store.  I cut up whatever vegetables I had…potatoes, carrots, celery, even squash…whatever I had on hand.  I threw the vegetables in the bottom and then laid the roast right on top of them.  Then I combined beef stock (or water with beef bouillon), thyme, salt and pepper and poured it over the roast.  Then I set the crockpot to low until the beef was warm and tender.  It took about 8 hours for the roast to be done, and when I got home I had a nice delicious meal waiting for me.

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Experiment with ingredients and flavors.  Almost anything can be made in a crock pot. 

Don’t have a slow cooker?  Buy one today…it will be well worth it.

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