CHEAP Crock Pot Recipes- I'm broke. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Broke is an understatement. I have a thread in Frugality and Finances if you need an elaboration... but basically we have $50/wk to feed myself, my husband, and my 2yo for a week (three meals a day, though my husband doesn't eat breakfast).

My MIL let me have an old crockpot. I believe it's 4 quarts. It is old, we're not sure if it works or not, but we'll find out soon enough.

All I can think of is lentils and rice- anyone have any suggestions?

They only thing I do have on hand is rice. Other than that, I don't have any other dry ingredients (like beans). I can buy these, and I know they'll go a long way. So please, if you can help... that would be great

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#2 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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Heres one that can go a long way. Creamy chicken. Using 4 chicken breasts, a can of celery soup and a can of chicken soup (and some sauteed onions and celery if you wish) and enough water to cover the breasts. Cook for at least 8hours. The chicken is fall apart tender and you can do a bunch of things with the leftovers (burritos, enchiladas, sandwiches, over rice, over potatoes, add salsa to the sauce....etc.)

I also like to do sausages apples and saurkraut in the slow cooker. Good cheap filling meal!

And another good one is cranberry pot roast:

(1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast
1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions
Place onion soup mix in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place roast in the slow cooker, and top with cranberry sauce.
Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low.
Remove roast, and set aside. Set slow cooker to High. Whisk together butter and flour, and slowly mix into the liquid remaining in the slow cooker to create a thick gravy. Serve with the roast.

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#3 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you I could probably try the chicken thing. Otherwise, we can't really afford many ingredients. Just staples, and frozen/canned veggies. I have umpteen thousand spices though

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#4 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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2 cups dry, then soaked overnight red kidney beans
2 slices of bacon (I don't brown it, just throw it in)
1/4 of a small onion diced
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of brown sugar or honey with a touch of molasses
1 teaspoon of mustard

All day in crockpot serve on rice or pasta.

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#5 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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White bean gravy on toast or other starch.

2 cups navy beans soaked overnight, cooked in crockpot in water
10 sage leaves
chicken stock
S&P
1/2 pound breakfast sausage

Cook and crumble sausage in frypan, set aside.
In blender combine sage, S&P, and enough chicken stock to make a thick puree.
Combine puree and sausage in pan.

Place on toast/biscuits and serve with fruit.

Crazy high protein will keep you filled for hours.

Liz
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#6 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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2-3 cups black beans, soaked overnight
jar salsa
water

Combine in crockpot. Cook all day.

Use with cheese to make tacos or quesadillas. Put on rice and add a sliced avocado to make a dinner. Use to fill enchiladas. Add some stock and some sauteed carrots, celery, or whatever veggies you have on hand, even sweet potatoes, and make soup with whatever is left over after you make tacos/quesadillas/enchiladas/burritos and serve with tortilla chips.

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#7 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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One of my favorite crock pot recipes:

Chicken (I use thighs/legs, but I've used breasts in the past). A small can of chicken broth and 1 cup of water (or 2 cups of water). Several cut up potatoes. Carrots if you want. Celery if you want.

Seasons: lemon herb (you can use real lemon slices, or lemon juice). Pepper. A bit of salt. Some parsley.

Let it cook for roughly 4 hours on high, or all day on low.

Another recipe I like:

Beef stew bits (any small chunks of beef, or cut up roast, steak, chuck roast etc). 2 beef bullion cubes in 2 cups of water (or 1 can of beef broth & 1 cup of water). 1 can of diced/cooked tomatoes (fresh would work). Parsley. Cut up potatoes. Corriander. Salt. Pepper.

Cook for same time as chicken.
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#8 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I have done this with thigh meat before and that would be even cheaper. But this one goes a long way and I serve it over rice.

http://cookingformyfamily.blogspot.c...label/crockpot


Also you can place a whole chicken in the crockpot along with cut up potatoes and carrots and let it cook all day on low. That is fairly cheap. Save the stock and make a soup with it or something else calling for chicken broth.

You can do the same with pot roast if you find one cheap and then you'll have beef broth.

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#9 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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Saw this reciped linked somewhere, haven't tried it yet, but I bookmarked it b/c it looks so good: http://www.ummah.net/family/recipes/spinach.html

If you eat meat, you can get cheap roasts on sale and throw one in the crockpot with a bottle of bbq sauce (make your own or buy it when it's cheap). Then shred up the beef when it's done and make sandwiches or just serve with potatoes and a veggie.

Pot roast (again, if you can find a good sale, it's very affordable): put in crockpot with some stock, potatoes, carrots and a chopped onion. Seasoning: Salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and carraway seed (if you have it, or a piece of rye bread -- not necessary, but it adds good flavor). When the meat and veggies are done, take everything out, pour the juices and part of the onion into a blender and make gravy.

SOUP - very cheap, very easy. Toss in whatever you have, season, and cook.
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#10 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Great thread! I've been looking for crockpot ideas, too.

We do a lot of stew - chopped up beef or pork, a bag of baby carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes (and whatever seasoning we feel like adding). For about $10 it will feed our family of 6 for 2-3+ meals.

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#11 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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If you buy a whole chicken it can get you two- three meals plus broth from the bones.

1st night just chicken and a veg.
2nd night chicken burito/taco, toritilla'a are really cheap, even the organic ones.
3rd night chicken soup, make broth, throw in rice and some vegetables that you get on sale...
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#12 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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We're vegan and the Saturdays I work I depend on my slow cooker. I LOVE IT TO PIECES!!! Last Sat I was at work and dh called saying some friends wanted to stop by after we were done work..it was so nice to say "Invite them to dinner!" and know that it was simmering away

I'm making this Sat night for dinner...well a version, I never follow a recipe exact.
I figure it costs about 5 bucks and it serves the 4 of us 2 full meals, then leftovers..it's a lot of soup. I usually throw crutons(using the ends of loafs of bread) in to make a full protein

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Red...ock-Pot-113554

Im wanting to try this
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tangy-V...er/Detail.aspx veganized

You might find some ideas here

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

I also do sweet potato veggie chili-can of tomatoes, a little broth, kidney beans, a large chopped sweet potato, carrots, onion, garlic and spices. That was last saturdays dinner, with tortilla chips and a small salad...company loved it

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#13 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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I love my crockpot and pressure cooker. Honestly in lots of ways it helps keep our budget in check and save my sanity

The good thing about a crockpot is that you can buy cheaper cuts (sale) of meats/chicken and make them delicous! Plus really spices are what changes things up.

Some things that I throw together when trying to stretch things out a bit are


red beans/rice
whole chicken (pull apart for tacos one night, tossed w/pasta another,or even a little mixed mixed in with beans for quesadillas
bean soup (any assort beans on sales..I wait to buy the $1 bags and mix myself )
any meat on sale with assort veggies for a stew add more water its soup
pork chops (really cheap here) and a can on cream of mushroom
I make chili one night the next night tacos with the left over meat reduced and then the next night we might do baked potatoes with toppings feauring by that point a little chili on top.
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#14 of 67 Old 04-23-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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We call it kitchen sink soup cause the first time we made it it was just stuff we had on hand. Throw in chopped cabbage, a a few ounces of chicken broth, 1/2 - 3/4 bottle of low sodium vegetable juice (like v8) some beans, we like great northern whites, and any other random vegatables you may have-onions celery, carrots,squash, etc.). Cook until vegies are tender. Easy, super cheap, and pretty nutritious. Oh and sometimes we add pasta if we have any hanging around.
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#15 of 67 Old 04-24-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chicken/chicken-and-biscuits/

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#16 of 67 Old 04-24-2010, 06:55 AM
 
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I'm from Louisiana and the standard Monday dinner is Red Beans and Rice. I developed this recipe for cooking the beans in the crockpot years ago. That is for the older crockpots. New ones cook hotter, so cooking times will be less. Probably you can put all the ingredients in a newer crockpot in the morning and it will be done in time for dinner.

Red Beans and Rice
Serves 6

2 cups dry red beans
6 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon thyme leaves
6 grates nutmeg
1½ teaspoons salt
1 lb. smoked sausage, Optional
2 cups uncooked rice

After noon on Sunday wash the beans and put in crockpot with water, onion and garlic. Turn heat to LOW, cover and cook.

Sunday night before you go to bed add the Tabasco, Worcestershire, cayenne, oregano, thyme, nutmeg and salt. Add more water, if needed. Cover and continue cooking.

On Monday morning slice and steam the sausage if you are going to use it; add to crockpot. Again, add water, if needed. Cover and cook till suppertime.

Cook rice according to package directions. Place cooked rice in soup plates and ladle the beans on top.


* Originally Red Beans and Rice were made using a leftover ham bone from Sunday dinner. Although I always make this without either ham or sausage, if you have a ham bone and want to be more traditional, put the ham bone in at the beginning of the cooking.

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#17 of 67 Old 04-24-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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i have made a chickpeas and chicken dish with peanut butter. chickpeas and PB are cheap. it turns out really excellent. it is just the ingradients above with honey and tomato paste and water. of course salt and pepper.

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#18 of 67 Old 04-24-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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One of my faves - cheap and simple:

Black beans
2 or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
onion powder
garlic powder
salt
(you can also add cilantro...I love the taste, but hate the stringy stems!)

Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot on high. I usually leave it on high all day and by late afternoon they are done (no soaking).

Serve beans with a splash of heavy whipping cream either over brown rice or on the side! MMMMMMM!!! One of my favorites and black beans are probably nature's most perfect food (antioxidants, fiber, calories, fat, protein, etc.).

I'm the type of person that could eat the same thing every day for lunch and dinner and I have made 2 lbs. of beans my lunch every day for a week+!

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#19 of 67 Old 04-26-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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Do you have flour? You can make your own toritillas super easy. All you need is flour and water.

We make the tortillas ourselves, then I take dried red kidney beans, 1-2 onions with any sort of seasoning I have on hand to 'mexicanize' it and we have beans with tortillas and if we have the money I will get an avocado for them (usually there is a sale where you can get 2-3 avocados for a dollar).

We're in a similar boat financially at the moment so I will be watching this thread


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#20 of 67 Old 04-26-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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All good ideas. I make large amounts of Cincinnati chili that lasts forever-fewer ingredients than regular chili so it's cheaper. We eat it on crackers or on spaghetti.

Also-just plain great northern beans (I add bay and s&p to mine) in the crockpot eaten with cornbread or just plain homemade bread. That's pretty much what I was raised eating-my grandma was very poor.

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#21 of 67 Old 04-28-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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You probably know this but I've been saving all my leftovers that aren't enough to feed the family again but maybe 1 serving size and freezing it. ( if you aren't eating it for lunch etc) then after I have several, I make a smorgasbord stew. I turns out pretty good. I just add either water or chicken broth to it or occasionally whatever veggie on hand if I didn't have any in the leftovers.

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#22 of 67 Old 04-29-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I saw several recipes that mentioned chicken stock or bullion cubes and thought I'd share a tip. I can't bring myself to buy bullion because it's expensive and I don't like the ingredient list.

Seeing "yeast extract" on so many labels gave me the idea to experiment with brewer's or nutritional yeast. (Is there a difference between the two? I'm still confused about that.)

You can use it in any kind of soup or broth to beef up the flavor. I've made brothy chicken soup when I just had beasts to use in a hurry, and you can't tell. I just dump it in til it tastes and looks right, using lots of garlic, onion and parsley.

I'm still experimenting with a good beef broth - passable with the brewer's and some Bragg's, but not great.

Anyway, I thought when you mentioned lots of spices you might have some of that on hand, one less thing to buy.

Beth

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#23 of 67 Old 05-05-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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wow great links and recipes , ladies!

thanks

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#24 of 67 Old 05-06-2010, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the ideas!!

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#25 of 67 Old 05-20-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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I just made a lime cilantro chicken the other day that was really good.

Just squeeze the juice from a lime all over and inside the chicken, season it with salt & pepper, put the squeeze lime halves in the chicken cavity along with some cilantro sprigs (they came from my garden- so free for me. But our grocery has it on sale for cheap all the time). Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

I shredded the chicken and we ate it in burritos with beans and rice, leftovers would be great in a tortilla soup too.

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#26 of 67 Old 06-01-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightside View Post

Seeing "yeast extract" on so many labels gave me the idea to experiment with brewer's or nutritional yeast. (Is there a difference between the two? I'm still confused about that.)



Beth
FYI, the yeast extract in commercial packaged foods is hidden MSG- they process the yeast in a way that causes it to yield MSG and they use that description to avoid labeling the product as containing MSG.

Nutritional yeast is yellow, flaky, and has a cheesy/buttery flavor. Brewer's yeast is brown and powdery and tastes- well, yeasty People do tend to confuse these and it's quite common for people to use them interchangeably as a result of the confusion. I learned the difference when working at a health food co-op in the 90s.
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#27 of 67 Old 06-01-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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I second the soup! expecally when you make your own bread, this is a super cheap strecher meal. Unforcunatly we have given up wheat and the grocery bill has been hurting. Split pea soup works well in the crockpot. You can make your own pizza, the flour for the dough is cheap, so is sauce and if you get WIC you have tons of cheese. I second the homemade tortillas as they are cheap and yummy. Make a crockpot of pinto or black beans, sometmes I like to mix you can make bean quesadillas with a little cheese. Have you tried the discount bakery rack at your local grocery store? Mine also has a dinged package goods area that is usually 1/2 price.
Good luck from a fellow straped mama

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#28 of 67 Old 06-01-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caiesmommy View Post
We're vegan and the Saturdays I work I depend on my slow cooker. I LOVE IT TO PIECES!!! Last Sat I was at work and dh called saying some friends wanted to stop by after we were done work..it was so nice to say "Invite them to dinner!" and know that it was simmering away

I'm making this Sat night for dinner...well a version, I never follow a recipe exact.
I figure it costs about 5 bucks and it serves the 4 of us 2 full meals, then leftovers..it's a lot of soup. I usually throw crutons(using the ends of loafs of bread) in to make a full protein

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Red...ock-Pot-113554

Im wanting to try this
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tangy-V...er/Detail.aspx veganized

You might find some ideas here

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

I also do sweet potato veggie chili-can of tomatoes, a little broth, kidney beans, a large chopped sweet potato, carrots, onion, garlic and spices. That was last saturdays dinner, with tortilla chips and a small salad...company loved it
I would second the crockpot365 site! It is totally great and she gives little reviews for every recipe she tries, like ways to make it better or what they loved about it.

my fav (so far) of her recipes is the 20 clove garlic chicken. Its literally 20 cloves of garlic, cut up chicken pieces bone-in (if you buy chicken when its on sale, you can get the family pack which is like 8-9 peices for 3-4 bucks) and an onion sliced-don't add any liquid! we serve it over rice with a veg on the side and its totally awesome!!! between the chicken and the onion, it produces this really lovely stock/sauce.
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#29 of 67 Old 06-01-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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One of my favorite super easy and cheap meals that everyone in the family likes is tortilla soup in the crockpot (crockpot not mandatory...but the cp makes it easier). It's just opening up a bunch of cans in a pinch. What makes it popular with my kids is that they can control which toppings they want in the soup.

Tortilla soup
28 oz. canned pinto beans (or 1.5 cup soaked dried beans)
28 oz. canned hominy
14 oz. canned enchilada sauce (we prefer Ortega for best taste)
28 oz. canned chicken or vegetable broth (or homemade)
1 medium onion, diced
1 small can green chiles (optional)
2 chicken breasts, diced (optional), or leftover shredded chicken

Toppings:
diced tomato
diced avocado
shredded monterrey jack cheese
tortilla chips
sliced olives
chopped cilantro
sour cream

Dump everything (except toppings) into crockpot on low for 8 hours.

Crumble tortilla chips on bottom of bowl, ladle on soup, then add desired toppings. A winner every time.

Laurel

Mama to 3 big boys
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#30 of 67 Old 06-01-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
Also-just plain great northern beans (I add bay and s&p to mine) in the crockpot eaten with cornbread or just plain homemade bread. That's pretty much what I was raised eating-my grandma was very poor.
This is a great thread! I'd love to use my crock pot more -- especially this summer. Hey kittywitty -- or anyone else! -- can you share a recipe to make relatively plain pinto beans in the crock pot? We have a lot of dried beans here and we're trying to be more frugal with our out-of-control grocery bill. Thanks!
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