Tag Archives: cheap

TO SLOW COOKER, OR NOT TO SLOW COOKER?

Pretty sure the dream is to ‘set it and forget it’ just like whatever infomercial that comes from says. The slow cooker, around for as long as I can remember, does just that. Only I have only JUST started using it in my life after experiencing some Facebook jealousy from a mother of 4 who repeatedly posts her delicious looking slow cooker recipes/results.

I get almost all of my recipes just from browsing around the internet, and I’ve found 5 that have really stuck with me and have become household favorites. Sharing them with you today! Don’t forget that slow cookers are not only easy meals, but can be extremely low cost + frozen for later use.

1) 15 Bean Soup [http://www.theyummylife.com/Slow_Cooker_15_Bean_Soup]

The Yummy Life absolutely crushes it with this soup. It can be tweaked to be vegetarian OR vegan, and no matter how you make this, I always feel healthy having it as a meal. Reheats perfectly as leftovers or even frozen. Just a small bowl keeps you full! Check out the nutritional facts they’ve provided:

Nutritional Information. The beans and veggies in this soup make it a meal that is loaded with nutrients. It is high in fiber, manganese, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, vitamin C, & iron. It is very high in vitamin A with 100% of the daily requirement in a single serving. Here’s the nutritional breakdown for 1 cup of this hearty soup:

  • With ham and chicken broth. 175 calories, 2g fat, 381mg sodium, 27.4g carbs, 6.8g fiber, 3.8g sugars, 11.8g protein. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4.
  • Without ham and using vegetable broth. 160 calories, 2g fat, 331mg sodium, 30.3g carbs, 7.6g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 8.9g protein. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4.
    15_bean_soup

    15 Bean Soup [theyummylife.com]

2) Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Chili [http://www.chow.com/recipes/30669-spicy-slow-cooker-beef-chili]

Chow.com provides an absolutely delicious recipe for beef chili – a staple in our household and the ultimate comfort food. It’s low cost using dried beans and can be made healthier using a ground turkey (I’ve even done a crumbled tofu!) and keeps you filled up and satisfied. Another great recipe to freeze or reheat!

spicy_beef_chili

Spicy Beef Chili [chow.com]

3) Macaroni and Cheese (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/crockpot-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe.html)

Trisha Yearwood with Food Network provides the ULTIMATE comfort food made with a slow cooker with this one. It’s so easy to make a quick box of macaroni and cheese, or even bake one in a casserole dish, but I can promise you that this is worth the wait! I’m not even going to pretend this is a healthy recipe, but what I can tell you is that it’s absolutely delicious and a sure win crowd pleaser.

macaroni_and_cheese

Macaroni and Cheese [http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/crockpot-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe.html]

4) Bolognese Sauce [http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooked-bolognese-sauce-recipes-from-the-kitchn-69968]

The Kitchn is a go-to for recipes in my life. Bolognese sauce is a really easy recipe – ground beef + tomato sauce = that’s it. The Kitchn boasts that there is really something special that comes of an all-day, slow cooked sauce; causing the beef to become incredibly tender and all the flavors infusing into one glorious sauce. After trying this one, I can’t disagree – it’s incredible. Throw it on some pasta, or, a healthier option – add it to spaghetti squash and bake (amazing!). Make a huge batch and freeze it for later use – you won’t regret it!

bolognese_sauce

Bolognese Sauce [http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooked-bolognese-sauce-recipes-from-the-kitchn-69968]

5) Chicken and Dumplings [http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/03/crock-pot-chicken-dumplings-recipe/]

Growing up in the South, it’s hard to make something more down home than Chicken and Dumplings. Budget Savvy Diva not only takes into account cost, but provides a melt-in-your-mouth experience with this one. Perfect recipe for a ready to serve dinner for the family.

chicken_and_dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings [pillsbury.com]

Happy slow cooking! Enjoy!

Woot!

I’ve been following Woot! for awhile now – I unsubscribed from their emails awhile back, so I fell off a bit in terms of purchasing items from them, but once in awhile I visit the site (like today) and remember how awesome it is.

Woot! offers multiple daily deals in short-term sales across 11 different categories:

  • Home
  • Electronics
  • Computers
  • Tools & Garden
  • Sport
  • Accessories & Watches
  • Kids
  • Shirts
  • Wine
  • Sellout
  • Side Deals

There’s certainly no shortage of options, just a shortage of time. Most deals only run for 24 hours, so it capitalizes on users making a quick decision on whether or not they want a product. Once you commit, you are really committed. Woot! only accepts returns for damaged and defective items, not for personal reasons or ‘buyer’s remorse’.

Who wouldn’t want a Mood Shirt, featured today?

Mood Shirt

Mood Shirt [woot.com]

All kidding aside, there’s some awesome stuff on here. Just looking today, I see at least 5 things I want…I should probably get off the site now…haha!

My suggestion to  you: get on their email list for categories you are most likely to need items from, and get a daily overview on what the offerings are.

Check it out here.

TOP CHEAP EATS!

Besides basic bills and the mortgage, my most costly expense is definitely food. I’ve been asked several times to do a post on my top ‘cheap eats’ – so here you go! Enjoy, and remember, cheap does NOT have to mean fast food!

1. EGGS – eggs, eggs, eggs. I cannot stress enough how inexpensive (even buying organic) eggs are while still being incredibly easy to make AND make a variety of recipes with. Hard boiled eggs? Easy breakfast, egg salad. An omelette? Make it for breakfast or dinner, throw in the kitchen sink. Poach an egg? Throw it in ramen, top a boring salad, eggs benedict. Scramble some up, make a sandwich, a wrap. Anything – my absolute favorite!

eggs

Eggs

2. RICE & BEANS – super easy, super filling. Buy either in bulk to save extra, canned beans work just as well. Throw them together and throw in anything else you may have, leftover meat or fish, some spices, peppers, onions, tomatoes – sky is the limit.

rice_and_beans

Rice and Beans

3. BAKED POTATOES – russet or sweet, these are extremely low cost – microwave or roast these in the oven, split open, and go to town. I generally keep frozen veggies on hand – broccoli and cheese is a favorite. Throw in some beans for a more protein packed meal. Go to town on this, the world is your oyster.

baked_potato

Baked Potato

4. TUNA – maybe we all aren’t tuna people, but I sure am. I absolutely love tuna – top a boring salad with it, throw it on some toasted bread or a wrap, etc. My guiltiest (yet still cheapest) pleasure is tuna noodles. Boil some noodles (whole wheat for some extra health), add a can of cream of mushroom soup, a little bit of cheese, tuna, salt + pepper. Thank me later.

tuna

Tuna

5. LENTILS – similar to dried beans, you can buy lentils in bulk and save a ton of money. Lentil soup is one of my cheapest cost meals and lasts me almost an entire week sometimes. Here’s my favorite recipe from my favorite, Ina Garten: Ina Garten’s Lentil Soup

Lentils

lentil_soup

6. ROTISSERIE CHICKEN – though maybe one chicken won’t feed your entire family – you can do a TON with one rotisserie chicken and stretch it’s limits (not to mention, you don’t have to cook the chicken! Major time saver). Pull all the meat from the bones and make individual pot pies or a casserole. My favorite (surprise, surprise) – rotisserie chicken noodle soup. Couldn’t be easier – some onions, carrots, and celery + broth + noodles + spices and you are good to go. Done! Anything leftover? Make chicken salad for lunch tomorrow.

rotisserie_chicken

Rotisserie Chicken

7. PASTA – I know, I’m treading on the edge of unhealthy here – BUT, pasta is possible to do healthy too. Whole wheat noodles? Frozen shrimp? Ground turkey? Frozen veggies? My favorite? Pasta salad. EEEEEE.

pasta

Pasta

8. CORN – I know this isn’t a full ‘meal’ – but corn is SHOCKINGLY inexpensive, and perfect in the summertime. Grab some fresh corn on the cob and grill, boil, or bake for the perfect side dish. Go traditional and add butter, salt + pepper, or mix things up! Mexican corn is one of my new favorites.

corn

Corn

1 3 4