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There are a lot of benefits of using a slow cooker – find out 5 reasons to use your slow cooker every week and TONS of recipe ideas!
5 Benefits to Using A Slow Cooker
🍴 Menu Plan Note: MANY of these delicious recipes can also be found in our Slow Cooker Menu Plan Box – the perfect recipes to have when using your slow cooker!
I was just dumping dinner in Mrs. Potts (I love her . . . ) and was reminded once again of all of the benefits of using a slow cooker. It's quick, it's easy, and it completely limits your options to go over your budget.
Here are our 5 favorite reasons to use your slow cooker:
1. It's easy.
Most slow cooker recipes require only 5 – 10 minutes of prep work, so you can get dinner started early in the day with just a few minutes of planning. I rarely (ever?) pre-cook my meat ahead of time, and it always turns out well!
(However, I sometimes cook ground beef ahead of time, unless I remember to use this ground beef recipe the day before to cook the meat. It just depends on how much of a hurry I'm in!)
2. It's cheap.
Most slow cooker recipes use inexpensive meats, and because you're cooking them over the course of a day they have plenty of time to tenderize. Chuck roasts, Chicken Thighs, and Root Vegetables all tenderize SO nicely in a crock pot. These cuts of meat tend to take a long time to cook, but with slow cooker meals they're already cooking all day.
My slow cooker recipes cost so much less than just about anything else I make, and we eat better than if we headed out to a restaurant.
3. It forces me to plan ahead.
Slow cooking once a week for dinner forces me to plan my meals ahead so that I know what to dump in Mrs. Potts at least once a week. Because we have 3 or 4 favorite slow cooker recipes that require 5 or fewer ingredients, I always have the ingredient list for those items tucked away in my head and can easily run into the store and grab them. (In case I don't already have them on hand in my kitchen . . . usually I try to keep those recipes stocked though!)
4. It ensures that we skip the drive thru.
This is probably my absolute favorite reason to use the slow cooker, and I can't stress to you the importance of this one enough.
Most meals take less than 30 minutes to prepare, and the cooking time can most of the time go a bit longer so you don't have to worry so much about what time you get off work.
And then when 6 o'clock rolls around and my family is all begging for dinner, having a meal already cooking in Mrs. Potts easily keeps my budget in tact.
If dinnertime comes and I don't have anything planned, the temptation to eat dinner out (or eat PB & J sandwiches for dinner . . . again . . . ) often takes over. But if my kitchen smells yummy and dinner's already done, eating at home just becomes the easy choice because the whole cooking process is already done.
5. It's forgiving.
Probably more than any other method of cooking, slow cooker recipes are just forgiving. If I'm out of a certain seasoning or spice I can usually swap it out with something else or skip it entirely, and no one will ever know the difference.
UPDATE: Reason #6 🙂 It makes your home smell good, which makes you feel good too.
I love this. 🙂 Coming home to my home smelling yummy and KNOWING I don't have to wonder what to cook makes me feel ahead of the game. In so many other areas I'm so not on top of things, that it just feels good to know I have it together in one small area of my life (and my family appreciates it too.)
Need more delicious recipes? Here are some of our family favorites!
- Chicken & Dumplings
- French Dip Sliders
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Creamy Italian Chicken
- Ranch House Pork Chops
- Chicken & Dressing
- Perfect Pot Roast
- Ranch Chicken Tacos
- Cheeseburger Soup
- White Chicken Chili
- Taco Meat
If you're looking for a new slow cooker to get started (or just upgrading an older one), here is a list of my favorite slow cookers. They've all been tested by either myself or my team!
Looking for more yummy meals? Grab our slow cooker menu plans, with 60 AMAZING recipes (and 12 desserts too)!
These are the BEST MENU PLANS on the planet (and, the only menu plan that ship all the grocery lists, menu plans and recipe cards right out to you ~ no downloading or hunting down recipes on your phone at dinnertime ever again!) Go HERE to learn more. I know you're going to love these!