Using a crockpot for a year could save you a ton of money. But even if you used it just a few days each week, it could still save you more money than you ever imagined. We’ll show you how this works and give you some other tips too.
This is the third of a 5-part Kitchen Tools series that will empower you to save thousands of dollars on your food budget.
What’s at stake when it comes to feeding a family?
When it comes to feeding a family, there is a lot of money at stake. The average family is spending $200 per person each month on groceries. That means that a family of four will spend nearly $10,000 on food this year!
The Savings from a Year of Crockpot Cooking no Crock!
You probably own one of these, but perhaps you haven’t ever calculated how much time and money a slow cooker could really save you. So in this article, we’ll walk you through some simple calculations and total up the savings.
Now, we aren’t crazy enough to think that anyone should cook every meal for the next year with a crockpot. That’s ridiculous.
But we are going to encourage you to consider making this a focused year of crockpot cooking – where you try to use your crockpot a couple of times each week. You’ll be amazed at the savings that you’ll see as a result.
How Much Can A Busy Mom Save with a Crockpot?
The humble a slow cooker can be a busy mom’s best friend. If the average family of four eats out at a restaurant (fast food or sit down) two times each week, spending $10.00 per person each time, that’s $80.00 per week, times 50 week …. keep reading to see the math.
One Year of Restaurant Meals Twice per Week
Let’s do some easy math. This is based on an average family of four people:
- If they eat out at a restaurant (fast food or sit down) two times each week.
- If they spend $10.00 per person each time
- They’ll spend $80.00 per week
Multiply $80 per week times 50 weeks (give them two weeks off for vacation), and they will have spent $4000 in one year!
The Savings for Using a Slow Cooker For One Year
Let’s say you don’t want to spend $4000 eating at restaurants this year.
You decide to invest $20 and buy a new crockpot (or $10 when they’re on sale during Black Friday). And then use your slow cooker instead of going out to eat 2 times each week – you’re gonna see the savings add up quickly.
How would you feel if you knew dinner would be ready and waiting for you tonight?
If you put a meal in the slow cooker in the morning (meals like BBQ chicken, sweet & sour pork chops, soup or beef stew are all easy options); you’d have dinner waiting for you when you got home. Wow, talk about stress reduction and money-savings! Get some crazy Crockpot meal ideas here.
Crockpot Cooking Ideas
The slow-cooker or Crock–Pot is a great tool for making dinner time easy — all year round. In the winter it fills the house with its wonderful aroma and in the summer it fills the whole outdoors as we let it slow cook on the patio — this keeps the house cooler.
Whether you have a large family or are single the crockpot is for you. Singles can load up a smaller slow cooker with a batch of meat and when it’s done, freeze it in single-serving containers for future meals. For example, cook up four to six pork chops in a yummy barbecue sauce.
The first night you eat one chop. The remaining chops are put on the menu once a week for the following month. For a complete meal, you can combine the meat with a variety of side dishes.
As we write this article, a steamy baked potato (microwaved) and some green beans (steamed) sound particularly appealing.
This same plan, on a larger scale works for our family too. So don’t be shy about giving your crockpot a try.
Here’s a list of simple meat and sauce combinations. Remember to stock up on different sauces when they’re on sale.
Pork or Chicken
- BBQ Sauce
- Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Orange Marmalade
- Garlic, Onion, Salt and Pepper
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Onion Soup mix with Yellow Mustard
- Red wine and Teriyaki sauce
- Garlic, Onion, Salt and Pepper
Some people are hesitant to leave a crockpot unattended. We suggest testing your crockpot a couple times while you are home. Since they are lower wattage devices, using between 70 and 300 watts, fire danger is quite remote.
Once you’re sure your cooker works okay, place it on a heat-proof surface, plug it in, head out and let your meal cook.
If you don’t own a crockpot, check for them at thrift stores, Amazon or at the official Crock-Pot website.
How much more would you have in the bank at the end of the year?
Savings with a Year of Crockpotting!
Here’s some more easy math. This is still based on a family of four people:
- Ingredients for a Slo-Cooker meal costs about $6,
- Two meals each week would cost you $12 per week.
- If you did this consistently for 50 weeks, those 100 dinners would cost you about $600.
- Plus, you’d probably have some leftover from each meal to take to work with you the next day (more savings)
RELATED ARTICLE: What Could you $ave Taking Lunch to Work?
Using a Crockpot for a Year vs Dining Out
Dinners Out: $4000 per year
Slo-Cookin’ at home: $600 per year
Savings in the Bank of $3400.00 each year.
Give Yourself a little Leeway
Even if you decided to eat out once a month (which is a great idea – especially if you use a Local Deals from Groupon or an Entertainment Book coupon) you’d still save close to $3000. What kind of family vacation could you take just because you were Slo-Cookin’ at home?
- Read about how we used a crockpot on vacation – it’s a wild idea, but the savings are huge!
- Dessert Bonus in a crockpot. This Chocolate Lava Cake is to DIE FOR. You’ve got to try it. Simple and Delicious!
Get a Slow Cooker and Start Building Savings Fast!
Here’s a list of Amazon’s 20 Best Selling Slow Cookers which range in price from about $16 to $60—super affordable.
Watch for the next blog where we’ll talk about a sharp little tool that could save you $550 in the next 12 months.
Check out the other posts in this series: