By now you know I have a strange obsession with my crock pot. The good news is, not only is a crock pot a time saver, it’s also a money saver! Today, Frugal Sally will tell us 6 areas in which crock pots save money and time…because that’s how we roll.
Let me start this by saying “I love my crockpot”. There are so many reasons why I cannot do without this item in my kitchen. For starters, it is the easiest way you will ever cook. That is a fact! But the best reason is that it saves you money big time. It also saves you time and as far as I’m concerned, time IS money!
6 Ways Crock Pots Save Time and Money
1. Did you know that you can save a lot of energy and money using your crock pot instead of the conventional oven or stove? It will even save you more than a toaster oven. It doesn’t heat up the house like it would using your oven either. The fact is that if you were to use your crockpot/slow cooker for 8 hours once a week that by the end of the month it would only make a $.20 difference in your power bill? Crock pots only use about 100 watts of electricity. Compared to the gas or electricity you would use cooking with conventional ovens or stoves you save hand over fist.
2. You can also purchase the tougher and less expensive cuts of meat. By slow cooking these tough cuts it makes them so tender they all but fall apart. I love to buy bone-in chicken thighs (because they are so cheap), cook them in the slow cooker and by the time they are done the meat falls right off the bone. I didn’t have to pay the higher price for boneless and you seem to get a better taste when the bones simmer with the meat all day. The same holds true for bone-in beef and pork roasts. They are cheaper and when cooked all day in the crockpot the bone can easily be pulled right out. I love doing pork roasts this way for my pulled pork sandwiches. All I do is rub a pork roast with some salt and pepper, throw it in the crockpot. Pour in a can of root beer and cook for 8 hours on low. Drain it, shred it and put it on a bun!! Can’t get any easier then that. Yummy too!
3. You can also cook dry beans which cost so much less then the ones in the cans. They are also some of the healthiest foods you can eat. There seems to be much less waste in slow cooking too. Less waste also helps you save money.
4. You save so much time with a slow cooker! I can throw everything in the crockpot in the morning before I leave for work and it is done when I get home. I also like to make double the amount, or have two crookpots going so I can have one for dinner that night and freeze the rest for dinners later in the weeks to come. Cooking in bulk also saves a good chunk of change too. Last week I purchased an 8 pound pork roast for less than $2 per pound. It made enough pulled pork for at least 5 meals for my family.
5. Cooking more than one meal at a time will also save you in the long run because you won’t have to go out to eat when there isn’t anything at home, or you don’t have time to cook a meal from start to finish. It will just be a matter of heat and eat.
6. Crock pot/slow cooker cooking can be healthier too. You use much less grease or oil than in traditional cooking so there are less calories. You get to choose the amounts of salt and there are less preservatives than popping a pre-made store-bought meal into the oven. Healthier meals will save you money in health care costs as time goes by.
You can find free recipes all over the web for crockpot cooking. Some of my favorite sites are www.recipelion.com and www.about.com. Just Google “crock pot recipes” and there are literally a million out there. I tend to look for ones with the least amount of prep work or ingredients. That makes it easier and cheaper.
So don’t leave that crockpot in the box. Start using it! I just don’t know what I would do without it. The savings alone are worth it. The saving of my sanity makes using a crockpot worth more than money, but knowing the savings I am getting is a win/win for me!