Save money with your slow cooker

November 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Shopping 

I’m spending the day out of the kitchen, utilizing many of my slow cookers and making meals not only for the rest of the week but for the freezer/pantry, too.  If you haven’t hopped on to the slow cooker bandwagon, let me tell you all the ways it helps you SAVE MONEY!

  1. Spend less on electricity.  Energy consumption of a countertop appliance is a lot cheaper than turning on your oven. Most slow cookers use about 75 – 100 watts of electricity which is a LOT less than your oven.
  2. Spend less money on food. Cheaper, less tender cuts of meat turn into tender, fall-off-the-bone delicacies when prepared in a slow cooker
  3. Less money spent on fast food.  By throwing a bunch of stuff in the slow cooker before you head out the door in the morning, you’ll be able to resist the urge to do the “easy” thing and stop for fast food on a hectic night.  You’re also saving TIME because you didn’t drive to McD’s.
  4. Save your health. I can’t recall ever having to add oil or grease to a slow cooker to get it to work meaning the meals can be a healthier version of one you might make on the stove or in the oven.

Most people who are familiar with slow cookers (also called Crock Pots but that is actually a trademark name like Jell-O) think that you can only make pot roasts in them.  Or that your dinner has to contain those “cream of” soups.  But you couldn’t be more wrong.  There are so many great slow cooker cookbooks out there with a variety of recipes.  I learned how to bake potatoes, sweet potatoes and cook corn on the cob in a slow cooker, I’ve made oatmeal and granolas.  I have actually made an entire Thanksgiving Dinner (minus the actual bird) in slow cookers. I can’t say enough about them, obviously!

Here are a couple of my favorite cookbooks:

Of course, you can always check out our Pinterest board on Slow Cooker Favorites, too!

Print a Reynolds Slow Cooker liner coupon here ($.75/1) if you want to save on your clean-up.  You should be able to print the coupon twice.

Do you use your slow cooker?  What is your favorite recipe?

Quick, Cheap and Easy Dinner: Pulled Pork

June 12, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Dining, News 

No, this is not becoming a cooking site but wanted to share another quick and inexpensive recipe.  Because some times it’s not just about getting the stuff cheap, it’s what you do with it that matters, too.

I like to buy those big honkin’ pork loins when they are $1.99/lb. Then I cut the 10 lb+ loin into three pieces and freeze them. Today I pulled one  section out and am making a quick, cheap and easy dinner: Pulled Pork.  Here’s the easiest version of the recipe:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 2 1/2 lb pork roast
1 16 oz bottle barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ)
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
8 buns

Place pork in Slow cooker; cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or low 10-12. Remove and discard cooking liquid. Shred with two forks. Return to cooker, add barbecue sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and onion. Cover and cook on low 2 hours or high for one hour. Serve on buns.

This is one of several different pulled pork recipes I like to use and comes from the Rival Crock Pot: 3 Books in 1: Slow Cooker Favorites/Winning Slow Cooker Recipes/Slow Cooker Recipes for All Occasions.

I made Suddenly Salad Classic pasta and added chunked mozzarella (bought when they were $.98 for 8oz), sliced black olives and pepperoni slices as a side dish.

Minimal effort and a yummy dinner tonight after an afternoon at our church picnic!

Slow Cooker Tuesday: Sweet Potatoes

May 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Dining 
I’ve mentioned before how you can really save money with your Slow Cooker.  Many people don’t realize the multitude of things you can make in a slow cooker, either.  I love my pot roast with root vegetables but you can do amazing things like baked sweet potatoes, too.  Since I normally make a Slow Cooker meal on Tuesdays because of my schedule, I thought I’d share this easy and economical way to prepare your sweets.  This “recipe” will also work well with regular potatoes if you want to “bake” them.

Here’s how you prepare sweet potatoes for a medium or large round or oval crock pot:

5 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed and left dripping wet. (4-10 regular potatoes)

Prick each potato.  Pile into slow cooker; do not add water.  Cover and cook on low until tender, 4-6 hours (6-9 for regular), depending upon the size of the potato.  The more potatoes in the cooker, the longer it will take to cook.

How easy is that?

I got this and many recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook. It’s the original in what is now a series of books that take slow cooking to a new level. I learned how to make granola, corn on the cob (halved) and a host of other recipes that do not contain a chuck roast!

Need a Slow Cooker? Check ShopKo in Ashwaubenon

April 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

I’ve mentioned my love of slow cookers.  I have several different sizes, from the 1-quart size for dips up to the massive 7-quart Kenmore and every size inbetween.

I was at ShopKo in Ashwaubenon this week and saw they had about ten of the 6-quart Designer Series of Crock Pot brand crocks on clearance for $29.99.  ShopKo’s MSRP was $59.99 so I had to come home and find out if it truly was a good deal and not just a case where ShopKo had higher-than-normal prices and marked it down to a price I could find anywhere else (which has been my experience with many things there).  The best I can tell from online research is that the MSRP is $49.99 in most places.

For a 6-quart slow cooker, $29.99 is a good price. There are other 6-quarts out there that are available at a similar price but are also pretty basic.  For a really cool looking slow cooker that would make a great college graduation or wedding gift, or if you just want one for yourself, this is a great price.

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