5 Ways Your Slow Cooker Can Save You Money
Slow cookers provide a fun and easy way to make some of your favorite recipes, but these kitchen staples can save you much more than just time - knowing how to properly use your slow cooker can end up saving you hundreds of dollars each year in utilities, grocery bills and food expenses. As you start whipping up some of your favorite fall recipes, consider the following five ways your slow cooker can save you some serious cash during the next season, keeping both your stomach and your wallet happy.
1. No More Dining Out
At the end of a long work day, few temptations are as alluring as the call of your local Chinese take-out restaurant. It's incredibly relaxing to come home to enjoy a meal that's already been prepared for you, but those take-out bills can drastically add up over time. Instead of relying on delivery, set up your slow cooker before you jet off to work. While you spend your 9-to-5 grind at the office, your slow cooker will be conducting work on its own, ensuring your favorite dishes are ready to go by the time you return home. Your take-out menus can return to their respective drawers as you enjoy the healthy and tasty homemade meal from the comfort of your couch.
2. Energy Savings
Slow cookers can cut energy costs at many different corners. Not only can the appliances be unplugged when they're not in use, which ensures homeowners aren't paying for electricity they're not using, but they require less energy to power than other cooking appliances. Slow cookers gradually heat meals over the course of several hours - a process that ensures your dishes are thoroughly and evenly warmed while only using a small amount of electricity. According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, slow cookers run with a much lower energy wattage than electric- or gas-powered ovens.
3. Less Expensive Groceries
Tired of spending the better part of your paycheck at the grocery store? A slow cooker may be able to help you save hundreds on annual food costs, as the appliance affords chefs the opportunity to use fewer and less expensive ingredients in their concoctions. For example, if you're interested in spending less money on meats, consider buying cheaper cuts - such as thighs or those that still have the bone - and allowing them to simmer in the pot until they're cut-with-a-spoon tender. By separating the meat from the bone yourself, with the assistance of your slow cooker, you can forego those fancy cuts for cheaper yet equally delicious ingredients. Eating Well reported that by switching to less expensive cuts, homeowners can nearly $100 a year on meat alone.
4. Living on Leftovers
Dishes prepared in the slow cooker lend themselves well to being reheated. Instead of buying your lunch at the office every day, bring along last night's meal. Not only can dishes be easily moved to portable food storage containers, but many appliances come with dishware that can be transported directly from the cooker to the fridge. Since your slow cooker allows you to prepare large portions, you have the option to live on your leftovers for several days, providing you with lunches and dinners throughout the week.
5. Time Savings
It goes without saying that your slow cooker can save you a significant amount of time - allowing your dishes to simmer during the day, as opposed to slaving in the kitchen for hours after work. This gives you the opportunity to put that time toward whatever use you desire. Since you're spending less time actually cooking your meals, you can put those working or spending quality time with family and friends.