Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cooking With Coupons: Slow Cooker Savings

Cooking With Coupons:
Slow Cooker Savings

Set it and forget it! There's nothing better than coming home to the satisfying aroma of a homemade meal wafting through the house, with no additional prep time needed! Using a slow cooker is an easy way to enjoy the great taste of homemade meals! Whether it's ingredients, electricity or your sanity, you can save money, time and headaches using a slow cooker for a variety of meal preparations.

Save Electricity:
Forget about leaving your stove on for hours, heating up the house and running up your bill to cook your family dinner! “A Crock-Pot® slow cooker, only uses approximately 75 watts of electricity on LOW and approximately 150 watts on HIGH. It cooks all day for only a few cents” according to

Save Money:
Buying cheaper-priced cuts of chuck roasts or steaks still gives great flavor without high prices. Often these cuts may be tougher, but long, slow cooking methods easily overcome this dilemma and result in tender, moist and flavor-rich food. Slow-cooker cooking also allows excess broths and fat content to render naturally. You can often replace broth with water in your recipes and do without the addition cost of canned products. If you want to lower the fat content of your meal, remove the skin before cooking. Pre-searing meats also adds roasting flavor to your pot and makes a more attractive presentation.

Waste not, want not is the perfect description for your slow cooker. When vegetables are nearing the end of freshness combine them with leftover roast or chicken broths and meats to create soups and stews. Eliminate food waste by making your meals the endless pot of leftovers revamped!

Shop your pantry. Your cupboards and storage rooms should be your own personal store - stocked with essential ingredients purchased at rock-bottom sale prices! Many slow-cooker meals can easily be created by opening the cupboard and throwing in a few basic ingredients. Start collecting free slow-cooker recipes online or from friends that work with your family's taste and budget. Here's one of my favorite pantry recipes:

Amy's Chicken Chowder - (Fills a 5-quart slow cooker)
4 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
3 1/2 soup cans milk
2 cans corn (drained)
3 cans diced or sliced potatoes (drained)
2 10 oz cans chunk chicken
2 Tbsp Lawry's Perfect Blend Chicken Seasoning (Found at Sam's Club)
1/3 C crumbled bacon
Mix together in slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours until heated through. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese. Serve in Rhodes bread bowls if desired.

Save Time/Sanity:
* Most slow cooker recipes require minimal prep time. “What's for dinner” can be one of the worst phrases in the English language when you've had a busy day. If you're on the go, a slower cooker is your best resource for dinner. Combine all your ingredients at breakfast and have them ready by dinner. It's a no-brainer! Just throw in some frozen chicken breasts and barbeque sauce for a last-minute meal idea that anyone will love, especially you because it cooks itself! Add a green salad or other fresh veggies to your dinner table and voila! - satisfaction!

And remember, slow cookers aren't just for dinner. Use it for breakfast, lunch, and wonderful desserts!

Decadent Chocolate Cake - Adapted from CrockPot Slow Cooker Recipes
1 pkg. Devils Food chocolate cake mix
8 oz sour cream
1  up semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. water
4 eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate fudge pudding & pie filling mix.

Coat slow cooker with no-stick spray. Combine all ingredients and add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until middle of cake is set (doesn't jiggle). Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.


  1. Do you know if the chicken recipe works on the 8 hour setting?? I work full time, so I have to put it in before I go to work.

  2. Amanda - Yes, the chicken will work on Low for 8 Hours...just make sure it's plenty moist...such as with Campbell's baking soups, or chicken broth, etc :)


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