If you love all things slow-cooker, you're going to LOVE my Slow Cooker Menu Plan and Recipe Tin! Find out more about it HERE 🙂
I was just dumping dinner in Mrs. Potts (I love her . . . ) and was reminded once again of all the reasons I love slow cooking. It's quick, it's easy, and it completely limits your options to go over your budget.
Of course, because it seems like everything online has to start with a list these days (I'll never understand why, but since it works I'm sticking with it. . .), here are my top 5 reasons to use my slow cooker every single week. (And why you should too!)
1. It's easy.
Most slow cooker recipes require 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!
(Um, that may not be true. I sometimes cook ground beef ahead of time, unless I remember to use this slow cooker 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. 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.
Using my slow cooker once a week 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. 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.
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 dinner being done just 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.)
Curious what our family's favorite slow cooker recipes are? Here you go:
- Slow Cooked Italian Beef Sliders
- Slow Cooked Chicken & Dumplings
- Slow Cooked Italian Beef
- Slow Cooked French Dip Sliders
- Slow Cooked Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooked Creamy Italian Chicken
- Ranch House Slow Cooked Pork Chops
- Slow Cooked Chicken & Dressing
- Rotisserie Style Chicken
- Open Faced Sirloin Sandwich
- Perfect Slow Cooked Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker Chicken Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker
- JUST ADDED: 6 Can 21 Day Fix Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
And in case you're wondering what slow cooker I use, I have this one (which honestly I wouldn't recommend – it cooks very quickly and there are better prices on higher quality slow cookers out there.) Here are a few great slow cookers though that are priced reasonably right now:
- Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Slow Cooker $24.99 (regularly $49)
- Crock Pot Stainless Steel Manual Slow Cooker $18.89 (regularly $24.99)
- Cuisinart 3 1/2 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker $50.99 (regularly $119)
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