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8 Ways the Slow Cooker Helps Me Save Money - Kitchn Slow Cooker

8 Ways the Slow Cooker Helps Me Save Money - Kitchn Slow Cooker
From The Kitchn - September 27, 2017

I recently got married. As we have joined our finances and embraced the sexy task of co-budgeting, I have been shockedshocked!by our combined food bill, which has at times spiked above $1000 a month.

So I have recommitted to cooking as a way to save money, rather than squander it. And one of the most reliable tools I have to do that is my slow cooker. Here are eight ways it helps me save money.

1. I do not eat at restaurants as often.

When I have a slow cooker meal ready to eat at the end of the workday, it's far less tempting (or necessary) to go out to eat.

Of course, this requires some forethought, but not much. As long as you have some basic ingredients on handprotein, vegetables, spicesyou can toss them in the slow cooker in the morning, cover with liquid, and have a hot meal waiting for you by five o'clock.

Average savings: $25

2. I make organic, no-salt-added beans.

Canned beans ca not be beat for convenience, but why shell out $2 a can when you can make three times the amount for the same price?

I like to make a big batch of dried beans in the slow cooker, then freeze them into ready-to-use portions.

It could not be easier. At night, pour a pound of dried beans into the slow cooker and add water to cover by two inches. In the morning, add more water, then turn the slow cooker on low for six to eight hours.

Get the recipe: How To Cook Beans in the Slow Cooker

Average savings: $.34/cup

3. I make chicken stock, rather than buying pricey boxes.

My husband recently discovered the art of grilling butterflied chickens, which means I now end up with a chicken carcass each week. These I will freeze until I have enough to make chicken stock.

Pop the chicken bones into the slow cooker, along with onion, carrots, celery, and peppercorns. Cover with water and cook on high for four hours.

Cool, strain, and freeze for high-quality, ready-to-go chicken stock, without resorting to those $3 boxes.

Average savings: $12

4. I make inexpensive soups and stews.

5. I save time (and time is money).

6. I save in doctors' bills.

7.I make fancy coffee drinks.

8. I use up what's left in my fridge.

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