Save Money By Using Your CrockPot Slow Cooker

I am pretty naturally frugal --- and I love a great bargain.

One of the most wonderful things about embracing the slow cooker is how we have saved a TON on groceries and by not ordering take out.

Here is a bunch of info on how you, too, can save your hard-earned moolah!!

25 + ways to save money by using your crockpot slow cooker in the kitchen and around the house

The economy is all whacked out right now and it's scary. I'm not watching the news.

I get an email almost every day asking if I am saving money by using my CrockPot daily.

No. What I am doing is not normal. Most people do not try to do what I'm doing in the crockpot.

We are pretty much breaking even on the grocery bills, thanks to the ads on the site.

I am grocery shopping more than I ever have before, and am cooking way too much food.

I am also buying ingredients that cost more than I would normally spend because I'm trying so many new things.

But you can save money.

You don't need to cook a different something every single day.

You can cook a big pot of beans, stew, or a casserole and eat it for a few days in a row.

You can stock your freezer with homemade broth, stock, and cream of something soup.

You can freeze your own cooked beans. You can make yogurt. You can make baby food.

You can cook a whole chicken and pick off the meat for future meals.

You can even make playdough, crayons, or use the crockpot as a footbath (not really. this one is just for fun.)

When I was first married, I stunk at cooking.

I still kind of do, but at least the crockpot allows me a bunch of wiggle-room.

I would make Taco Soup every other week, and Adam and I would stretch the food to last for days by making burritos, or adding it on top of rice.

If you have never "Freezer Mealed" Before -- my Dump and Go Freezer Meal Cookbook and Meal Plan Kit will have your freezer stocked and ready to go with 30 different recipes, ready to plop into the crockpot when you are ready!


Imagine how wonderful it would feel to always know you've got a healthy and nutritious meal in the freezer that you can cook whenever you'd like!

Purchase Here -- $24.95 for 30 Recipes and Meal Cards you can use Over and Over again!

I've put together a round-up of money-saving CrockPot ideas for you. I will continue to add more posts when I come up with them.

Having a party?

Stretch your wine by turning it into mulled wine

Extra food?

Make fried rice in the crockpot!

You can make applesauce or apple butter, or homemade granola.

And my favorite way to use my crockpot: the lazy way.

Plop in a hunk of frozen meat---it really doesn't matter what kind---and cover it with a bottle or jar of your favorite sauce. Cook on low all day, and serve the shredded meat over rice or pasta.

I've used spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, A-1, salad dressing, and bottled marinades.

If you are concerned about the amount of energy consumed by using a crockpot (which is a very valid concern!) here is a pamphlet put out by First Energy Corp., in Ohio (link no longer available) .

The chart on page 5 says that a 17" crockpot uses $0.02 power per hour.

Here's another energy usage list put out by the Northeast Utilities System (link no longer available), that says the monthly cost of using a slow cooker is $1.17.

Also -- we really no longer order Take Out. I have found a way to "recreate" all of our family favorites in the crockpot!

No extra grease, oil, or gluten needed! :-)

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at January 22, 2024

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What they say about this article

  1. stupid question, but what's the difference between broth and stock?

    I use those cans of what i thought was chicken stock, and thought that I was going to be making the same thing tomorrow...but now I see you called it broth. It's the same thing, right?

  2. I have to politely disagree with the notion that you stink at cooking in any way, shape or degree :)

    And I appreciate SO MUCH the fact that you are crocking the way you are - experimentally and with great bloggy attentiveness - so that others (like me, for instance) are already saving money - and cutting down on wasted food - by crocking more frequently than ever before.

  3. Hi Melissa, it's not a stupid question, and I don't really know the answer. I think you're right, and in this case, that's how I use it. here's a lengthy discussion if you are interested: differences between broth, stock, and boullion.

    aw, thanks Quinn!

  4. I just found your blog and I am very excited! I am a fellow Celiac of about 3 years. I am always looking for new recipes. Thanks so much and I will be checking daily!

  5. Okay, excellent ideas! But my comment is about the fact that you actually have $10 and $20 bills for that photo op!!??? I'm more impressed by that mere fact than the blog itself! ROFLMBO! As always, love the blog!

  6. What a great round-up!

  7. Thanks for these awesome recipes!! I have been thinking of trying to make my own stock, cream soups, beans, etc. and freeze them to save money, but just haven't had the chance to figure out how. With a one year old and another one on the way, the crockpot is a painless way to make these things without a lot of effort and save some $$!

  8. Okay, you're already cool to be fulfilling a New Year's Resolution that is a blessing to other people. But then to compile all the money saving recipes in one post? You're just freakin' amazing.

    Thank you!

    PS Putting in one more plug for Baked Oatmeal before you finish this and we all miss you terribly.

  9. Just fyi using recipies you have here has helped us save on our grocery bill bc I can usually dig through and find something that uses up a bunch of stuff from the pantry and bc my dh and I tend to really like the stuff from the crockpot and so we save it and eat it for lunch the next few days. I've also made an incredible amount of apple butter.

  10. I am such a terrible cook. I have always found cooking so boring and tedious. Thanks to you, I have gained some interest. Crockpotting is so easy and not scary at all!
    Thanks a bunch!

    ~ A once scardy pants cook

  11. Thanks so much for taking the time to post all of that. You are such a great resource!


  12. Anonymous10/27/2008

    Okay Steph, YOU asked for it! You said your favorite way is the lazy way. Here's a lazy one that I'm not sure I've come across on your blog, but I admit, I didn't do a complete and thorough search of every post. Here it is. And. It. Is. So. Super. Easy. Chicken much or little fresh or frozen chicken breasts as you want. Place in crockpot. Dump as much or as little Pace Picante salsa or your own homemade salsa or whatever kind of salsa you like or have on hand over the top of the chicken. Cook on low all day. Shred the chicken with kitchen scissors. Serve with flour tortillas and cheese. DONE! Enjoy. Everyone I've ever served this to has asked for the recipe, which is kind of a joke by now! Thanks for inspiring me to step out of my own comfort zone and try some fabulous meals. Yummo! You're the best!

  13. GREAT post! Thanks so much!

  14. Your blog is wonderful! I have two crockbpots that I almost never use. I'll be looking through your blog for ideas on how to change that. Thanks!

  15. This is both timely and EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you!

  16. I tried searching your site for a crockpot stuffing recipe. My sister in law tried it and she said it came out great. I just thought with the holiday around the corner it would be something good to try out. I saw your alphabetical list, you need a search bar on your site too (unless I'm a dork and can't find it)! Today I'm making pulled bbq chicken and acorn squash. I hope to try out TONS of recipes. Thanks for keeping this going every day. I know it's a lot of work. Kudos to you!

  17. I have to politely disagree with the notion that you stink at cooking in any way, shape or degree :)

    I second that!

    You have helped me make so many delicious and nutritious meals in my crock pot and I am definitely saving money because crock pot leftovers taste great the next day.

  18. Can I ask what exactly is BlogHerAds and how has it helped you save money? I clicked on the link to the site and really didn't get what exactly the point of it was. Could you simplify? Thanks!!!

  19. Thanks so much for the cheap dinner ideas and recipes :D Carm

  20. I don't have to stop at McDonald's because I have frozen, leftover soup I made in the crock pot a month ago, and nuking soup is nearly as fast as a trip to McD's---plus it is full of carrots.

    I'm finally using those pecans we bought and got sick of and that have been taking up space in the cabinet, because we're making pecan payday candy in the crockpot.

    So, yeah, if the candy works out I only have to buy "store candy" for the neighborhood kids, this week, and my own kids can chomp on homemade stuff from ingredients I already had in the house. Yeah.

    How's THAT for "saving money with the crock pot?"?

    Thanks again for the blog.

  21. Woo-hoo! Awesome post!
    ~thank you~

  22. Anonymous10/29/2008

    Save money? Those of us with gluten intolerance that was undiscovered for years, pay later in medical bills. I feel so much better with a diet to stick with that removes all the annoying symptoms but it cannot cure the osteoporosis or anemia from not being diagnosed for 20 years. It is worth it if you can prevent first. - Margaret

  23. I am an avid cook. I love it, and honestly I had a crockpot that I wasn't really using much. Boy oh Boy have you changed that! I now read your blog every single day....Today while at work I cooked 2 lbs of black beans and now a few of them are happily simmering in a pot of your taco soup. I always cooked, but now I can do housework and read books too.

  24. I don't know if I save money (although we might), but I cook from scratch more with the crockpot, and that's definitely healthier.

  25. Awesome! Just what I was looking for! You are the Crock Pot Goddess! I have a lot of new family favourites since I first started visiting here. Thanks for all the time and money you have saved me!

  26. OH my! I think I just died and went to crockpot HEAVEN! Where has your blog been all my life!? I'm in love! (and now very hungry...)

  27. Thanks for putting your money saving ideas together in one post.

    I've only been reading your blog for about a month (Love it, BTW!)and had missed the play dough recipe. I tried it this morning and it turned out great. It only took 1/2 hour for me. I think my crockpot runs pretty hot.

    Somthing you might want to think of for the future, is to have some kind of frugal theme. I know you're not going to do as much crockpot blogging after this year, but maybe you could do something like "Money Saving Monday".

    Just an idea.

  28. Anonymous1/05/2009

    Finally I found out your website!! What a gift this is for all of us especially since all my 3 girls and I are celiacs! I have been faithful to my slow cooker for the last 3 years and now that I have all these exellent recipies I am truly happy! Thank you!
    Sophie T.

  29. This comment is for Melissa asked the question what is the difference between stock and broth?...well the answer is, stock is made with the bones and meat, and the broth is made strictly with just the meat and no bones. I learned that in culinary school =)

  30. Any way to save money is good for me. Still, if I'd had the money in the house with me, I'm not sure I could resist the temptation and not spend it..

  31. I should do more crock pot cooking! Two Christmas's ago I bought my mother-in-law a 5 ingredient or less cookbook for crockpots, and I probably should've gotten one for myself!

  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. My mom bought a large Crock Pot one thanksgiving. She wanted one big enough that it would fit over her head, and that is how she sized them up in the store lol. We definitely do not have the time to use the Crock Pot every night, but it's great for making big batches on the weekends. We usually make three large dishes and freeze the leftovers. Making larger portions of food makes it more worth it to try new recipes.

  34. Not sure where to post this...But, I found an outstanding recipe, made it today and LOVE it so I had to share. Easy and inexpensive

    Chicken Tostadas:

    4 chicken breasts
    2 cans enchilada sauce (red or green)Not sure if they make a gluten free one???
    1 packet of taco or enchilada seasoning (again, not sure about gluten free)
    Put it all in, cook on low!

    Serve on tostada or burrito.

  35. I was super interested to read both those articles about the amount of energy slow cooking consumers, but neither of your links work!

  36. This is a great idea. I am going to get a crockpot today.

  37. We have a "shrinking family" as our kids are grown and growing, or in any case less likely to be here and eating dinner. We are saving money with the Crockpot by using it in combination with freezer cooking, so that we cook just enough food (maybe a little left over for lunch), and don't have to deal with mega-leftovers. This saves prep time and cleanup, and also allows better use of canned ingredients (instead of having half a can of beans left in the fridge).