My parents never used a slow cooker growing up, I remember wandering around Bed, Bath and Beyond doing my wedding registry and thinking "when would I even use this?" but I scanned it anyway...
THANK GOD I DID!!! I am now the proud owner of 3 crock pots and am actually hoping to get one more in my arsenal! Normally when people see how many crock pots I have, they give me a weird look and go "WHY?", um...why not!! I can use my smaller one for a side dish and one of my normal ones for the main dish, and if I'm feeling really ambitious, one for dessert!
Why do I love my slow cooker so much? Oh let me list the reasons...
1. I just dump the ingredients in the pot and that's it...i spend about 15 minutes TOPS putting it together then, the crock pot does the rest of the work!
2. We eat early in my house, by the time the boys get home from work around 5, they are starving...so when I was getting home from my internship at 4 so I would come in from an exhausting day then immediately have to start dinner...I was so crabby! So, after dinner the night before, I would get the next days dinner ready in the crock pot stoneware, throw it in the fridge then head to bed...that next morning I would wake up, take the stoneware out so it can come to room-ish temperature then get ready for my day! Then right before I walked out the door, I would turn it on...NO MORE RUNNING AROUND TO GET DINNER READY IN TIME!
3. Using the slow cooker forces you to meal plan! I mean, its not like you can run out after work to get the ingredients for your slow cooker recipe, you need to already have it, thus you would have needed to PLAN for it, which we all know is a very simple way to save money! (If you don't know, I got a little blog writing happy and wrote a big thing on it... )
4. You can use cheap cuts of meat...even the toughest cut of meat will be absolutely delicious after cooking all day long...Kale HATES pork chops, but stick them in the slow cooker and he can eat a whole pound himself! I'm always on the lookout for cheap cuts of meat at the grocery store because I know that it'll just melt and become so tender in the slow cooker!
5. There are just so many recipes! Stephanie O'Dea is my hero- she created Crockpot 365 (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/), where she used her slow cooker for an entire year- all 366 days (it was leap year!)...She even reviews how it turned out and I have yet to disagree with her on what the verdict was. So many great ideas!!
6. Last but certainly not least- you can make brownie cups, yep- Ive made brownies in coffee mugs in the slow cooker, then when they were done I scooped ice cream on them, OMG...to die for...hence why they get their own number on my list of why I love it so much...
Overall, the slow cooker continues to be both a time saver and a money saver! If you don't have one, I suggest buying one...if you own one, USE IT! I try to use mine at least once a week, and depending on our schedule, Ive used it up to 3 times in a week (also where more then one comes in handy!)