Making friends with the slow-cooker

Last month, in an effort to combat our continual overspending on food, I was very proactive and developed a meal plan for the week. I’m used Google docs to share it with the hubby so we can both refer to it from our respective locations during the day.

This process worked great until I started back at school for the Fall term…now, we are a little more haphazard in our planning, but somehow, we’ve started to stumble upon some cooking methods that are helping us to stretch our dollars and eat healthier at the same time.

One of these things is the slow-cooker – it turns out that you can put lots of types of meats in there with various other items and – voila! – dinner (and lunch and more dinner). And, because it doesn’t require a bunch of time at the oven or stove, the husband has been very involved with the process of prep, for which I am very grateful with my 8am-10pm schedule on 3 days of the week.

This week, we tried the Pomegranate Pulled Pork recipe from Coconut & Lime.  The author, Rachel Rappaport, posts great original recipes on her blog, and we’ve tried quite a few. I haven’t purchased her new slow-cooker cookbook, but I may be adding it to my Christmas Wish list as I think that focusing on these menus that can be streeeeeeeeeeeetched out will help us in our quest to stay within (or even below) budget. And I think it is working – because we have only consumed 40% of our dining-out budget so far this month (and we’re 63% in) and we’re at 65% of our grocery budget, so we’re tracking right where we should be, a huge feat for us!

Are there any slow-cooker recipes you have used that are winners?

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