crockpot http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7094/all en-US The 5 Best Slow Cookers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-slow-cookers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/slow-cooker-5249149-small.jpg" alt="slow cooker" title="slow cooker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone knows that cooking your own meals is better than eating out. Not only does cooking for yourself usually yield healthier dishes, but it is often healthier for your wallet as well. However, not everyone has the time to create delicious, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-time-for-home-cooked-meals" title="How to Find Time for Home-Cooked Meals">home-cooked meals</a>. This is where a slow cooker comes in &mdash; having a slow cooker do the bulk of the cooking for you frees you up to tackle the rest of your busy day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h2>What Is a Slow Cooker?</h2> <p>A slow cooker is an electrical cooking appliance designed to cook dishes at low temperatures for an extended period of time. There are a number of advantages to cooking with a slow cooker, the most important of which are ease-of-use and time. With a slow cooker, you can have a complete meal ready with little more than a bit of preparation and the push of a button. Slow cookers also save time by removing the need for you to oversee the cooking process. You can set food a slow cooker before you leave for the day to have it ready when you return.</p> <h2>Best 5 Slow Cookers</h2> <p>The primary factors that differentiate slow cookers are size, level of functionality, and special features. To that end, our top 5 recommendations for slow cookers encompass a wide variety of these factors.</p> <h3 style="clear:both;margin-top:15px;">Hamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right;margin:0 10px 20px 20px;" width="300" height="240" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hb33967.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>A top pick from Consumer Report, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AO2PXK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001AO2PXK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget</a> is the perfect combination of size and functionality. This 6-quart crock allows you to fit up to a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast while you select one of three automatic cooking modes. Program mode allows you to program a particular cooking time, probe mode allows you to designate a temperature at which you want the cooker to stop and includes a probe thermometer, and manual mode allows you to select the high, low, or warm temperature setting without designating a cooking time. All three settings switch to &quot;keep warm&quot; when cooking is finished. Currently $49 on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Click here to see the Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget 6-Quart on Amazon</a></p> <h3 style="clear:both;margin-top:15px;">Hamilton Beach 33182 8-Quart Oval Slow Cooker</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right;margin:0 10px 20px 20px;" width="300" height="249" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hb33182.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UV8L6G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003UV8L6G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">8-quart Hamilton Beach slow cooker</a> sacrifices some of the advanced features and functions of other slow cookers for sheer size. With a basic choice of high vs. low settings, this slow cooker is perfect for those who want a machine that is easy to use and cooks a large amount of food all at once. The Hamilton Beach 8-quart slow cooker gets the job done. Currently $30 on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UV8L6G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003UV8L6G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Click here for the 8-quart Hamilton Beach on Amazon</a></p> <h3 style="clear:both;">Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right;margin:0 10px 20px 20px;" width="300" height="228" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cpscvt650.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KVZTFO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001KVZTFO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Crock-Pot 6-1/2 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker</a> is slightly larger than the Set 'n Forget but contains fewer programmable functions. The Crock-Pot allows you to set the cooking time from 30 minutes to up to 20 hours and conveniently switches to keep-warm mode at the end of the cooking time. Outside of that, it has the standard &quot;high&quot; or &quot;low&quot; cook setting, and the entire thing is packaged in a sleek and modern touchscreen interface. Currently $79.99 on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Click here for the Crock-Pot 6-1/2 Quart Programmable on Amazon</a></p> <h3 style="clear:both;margin-top:15px;">Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right;margin:0 10px 20px 20px;" width="300" height="248" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cuisinartpsc350.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>The Cuisinart PSC models are highly rated from both Consumer Report and Good Housekeeping. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001E5CWVU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001E5CWVU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Cuisinart 3-1/2 quart crock</a> cooks enough food for 2-4 people, contains a total of four cooking settings &mdash; high, low, simmer, and warm &mdash; and is programmable for up to 24 hours. This variant is perfect for those living on their own or in smaller households. Currently $46.24 on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001E5CWVU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001E5CWVU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Click here for the Cuisinart 3-1/2 on Amazon</a></p> <h3 style="clear:both;margin-top:15px;">Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 Slow Cooker</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right;margin:0 10px 20px 20px;" width="300" height="212" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hb3in1.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 slow cooker</a> is perfect for those that like versatility and keeping their options open. The slow cooker comes with 3 different size stoneware crocks: a 2-quart, 4-quart, and 6-quart vessel. This particular slow cooker comes with your basic &quot;high,&quot; &quot;low,&quot; and &quot;warm&quot; cook settings without any form of programmable functionality. Currently $54.99 on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Click here for the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 on Amazon</a></p> <p>And there you have our recommendations for the best 5 slow cookers! Remember, when purchasing, keep in mind which combination of size and features work best for you. If you do, then you'll be making delicious roasts and stews from home in no time. Be sure to check out Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-products-for-men">The 5 Best Hair Growth Products for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-removal-creams">The 5 Best Hair Removal Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping affordable cooking crockpot product reviews slow cooker Fri, 08 Feb 2013 10:36:50 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 967596 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Tips to Spend Less on Eating In http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4824229135_b7abde3d86_z.jpg" alt="home dinner" title="home dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although we've shared plenty of tricks to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Save-Money-Restaurants-21090530">save on eating out</a>, you should also be conscious of cutting costs when eating in. Food in general can get pretty expensive, so even when you're cooking at home, it can become one of your biggest expenses. Here are some great ways to save when you're eating at home.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Farmers-Market-24036008">RELATED: How to&nbsp;Save Money at the Farmers Market</a></p> <h3>Don't Buy Too Much</h3> <p>Sometimes it can seem like a good deal to buy in bulk, but you're wasting money if you aren't able to finish what you purchased. Unless you can find a way to preserve the food, you should limit how much you buy. Try not to buy raw brown rice, cooking oil, and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Items-Buy-Bulk-22919982">these other items</a> in bulk, as they can go bad quickly.</p> <h3>Freeze Your Food</h3> <p>If you have the space, a deep freezer may be a good investment for the items you are able to freeze. And if you're wondering what can be frozen, almost anything can. However, some items may not taste as good after being frozen, such as vegetables and fruits that have a high water content, because they can possibly lose their texture when you're defrosting them. But they are generally safe to eat, so it's all about personal preference. There are many people who can attest to freezing every grocery item imaginable such as eggs and milk, so I would experiment to see what works for you. Personally, bread and cooked rice are two of my favorite items to freeze. Be sure to freeze your food in small portions so you don't have to keep refreezing your food, which can make the food less fresh and lower its quality.</p> <h3>Preserve It</h3> <p>There are definitely other methods of extending the life of your grocery items besides freezing them. Explore other ways to preserve such as canning, drying, and pickling. More suggestions <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Making-Groceries-Last-Tips-16971878">can be found here</a>.</p> <h3>Be Healthy</h3> <p>You'll be surprised to learn that a healthy lifestyle will actually get you a lower grocery bill. There's a <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/10-ways-save-money-food-shopping" target="_blank">study by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association</a> that revealed families who went on weight-loss diets also spent less on food. That's because they were reducing their portion sizes and buying less unhealthy food such as soda and chips. It's a win-win situation; by being more healthy, you will also be able to save on your medical bills.</p> <h3>Know Where to Get the Cheapest Groceries</h3> <p>It's important to learn how to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Saving-Money-Supermarket-20773159">save when you're at the grocery store</a>, but it's just as crucial to know where to shop. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Live-Frugally-24174070?slide=15">Ethnic supermarkets</a>, <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Live-Frugally-24174070?slide=5">local orchards</a>, and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Farmers-Market-24036008">negotiating at the farmers market</a> can be a bargain. Don't be afraid to check out alternative grocery sources such as the dollar store, a nearby pharmacy, or gas stations. Make a note on what you spend most on when you're grocery shopping, then compare the prices at these different locations. It may sound like a lot of work, but once you know where to buy certain items, you won't have to comparison shop until you notice a price increase.</p> <h3>Know the Frugal but Filling and Healthy Staples</h3> <p>There are some food staples that are cheaper than others, such as beans. Figure out what they are, and try to incorporate them more into your meals. You can also always go for cheaper cuts and buy meats whole and bone-in as they are more affordable in those forms.</p> <h3>Mix It Up</h3> <p>Making a certain type of frugal meal can get old, and when you start getting bored, you may start craving restaurant food. Be creative with your meals and change up things like sandwich fillings. Sometimes the oddest pairings work really well. Take a look at your pantry and experiment!</p> <h3>Crockpot Cooking</h3> <p>A crockpot is a frugal cook's best friend, because not only is it easy to make a slow-cooked meal with a few ingredients, but you'll also have leftovers that can be easily stored in the freezer. Take inspiration from FitSugar's <a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-One-Pot-Meals-20429650">one-pot healthy recipes</a>.</p> <h3>Coupon</h3> <p>Watching &quot;Extreme Couponing&quot; on TV can be overwhelming, but there are some couponing techniques that are actually quite doable. You can access online coupons before you go into a grocery store and take a note of what's on sale before buying. You can become a member of your grocery store's reward club to take advantage of special prices. Check out these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Extreme-Coupon-23755667">realistic insider tips</a> from an extreme couponer.</p> <h3>Use Leftovers for Lunch</h3> <p>Another way to keep your meals exciting is to use leftovers (either from a restaurant or home-cooked meal) the next day or to freeze what you have in the fridge for another day. You can also take leftovers and create an entirely new meal to spice things up, such as turning leftover steak into stir-fry or using fish as a salad topping.</p> <h3>Incorporate Meal Fails With Your Meal</h3> <p>You don't have to throw something away if you happen to dislike it. Just like leftovers, you can create an entirely new meal out of them. What doesn't taste good on its own can taste better when mixed with the right ingredients! And if something is overcooked, you can probably cut out the burnt parts and use the rest of it for another dish.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s almost always cheaper to cook than it is to eat out, but do you know how to keep your home-cooked meals both flavorful and frugal? Follow these tips. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Save-Milk-Beef-Pork-Eggs-24155760">Beat Rising Grocery&nbsp;Costs: Save on These 6 Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Whole-Foods-11376657">How to&nbsp;Save Money at Whole Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Extreme-Coupon-23755667">7 Smart Extreme Couponing Tips</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-meaning-of-milk-label-colors">The Meaning of Milk Label Colors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable cooking crockpot food preservation grocery shopping Wed, 22 Aug 2012 10:36:40 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 952288 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Quick and Easy Dinners (Plus 5 Delicious Desserts!) http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-and-easy-dinners-plus-5-delicious-desserts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-quick-and-easy-dinners-plus-5-delicious-desserts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/quick_dinner.jpg" alt="Mother and son eating" title="Mother and son eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The notion that junk food is cheaper than cooking at home is a myth that many busy, working people understandably cling to. Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless you&rsquo;re digging into some truly fine fare (caviar, anyone?), eating in still provides the best value. The good news is, a homemade dinner can be both quick and delicious if you keep your pantry well-stocked and have a few simple go-to recipes at hand. Here I&rsquo;ve provided 25 easy, delicious recipes using basic ingredients from your fridge and pantry, including a few that you can get on the table in mere minutes. I&rsquo;ve also included five simple desserts; these simple suppers are so quick, you&rsquo;ll have plenty of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-ahead-food-10-things-to-cook-on-a-sunday">Make-Ahead Food: 10 Things to Cook on a Sunday</a>)</p> <h2>Pasta Dinners</h2> <p>Pasta is the easiest thing to cook on short notice and, in many cases, only requires a handful of common ingredients. <a href="http://www.italianchef.com/blog/2009/08/23/pasta-with-sausage-and-tomatoes">Pasta with sausage and tomatoes</a> has few ingredients and very little prep time &mdash; just throw it together and put it on the stove to simmer. If you&rsquo;re looking to shoehorn a little extra produce into your diet, I highly recommend this <a href="http://achowlife.com/2010/10/acorn-squash-macaroni-and-cheese-karma-fall-and-food.html">acorn squash macaroni and cheese</a>; make it easier by skipping the white sauce and just mixing mashed cooked squash, milk, spices, and some of the grated cheese together, adding an egg, and mixing it all in with the cooked pasta. Top it with some breadcrumbs, butter, and the rest of the cheese. You&rsquo;ll be surprised at how well squash complements this dish &mdash; and boosts its nutrition.</p> <h2>Beans, Beans...</h2> <p>Whether you choose to buy them canned or dried, beans, peas, and lentils are delicious, cheap, and easy to cook. Plus they make a great meal when you haven&rsquo;t had time to do much shopping. For something with tons of flavor &mdash; and only a few ingredients &mdash; try this <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/313994/quick-chickpea-curry">quick chickpea curry</a>. <a href="http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2010/07/15/smoky-vegetarian-chili-rosarella-bread/">Vegetarian chili</a> is another great option, especially because it&rsquo;s so flexible; if you don&rsquo;t have what the recipe calls for, just use whatever produce you have on hand. You can also throw these meals in the slow cooker, making them even easier. <a href="http://chowtimes.com/2010/04/25/black-bean-enchiladas/">Black bean enchiladas</a> are another quick and tasty treat. If you&rsquo;re looking for something lighter, check out this <a href="http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/11481?section=">warm lentil salad with feta, grapes, and mint</a>.</p> <h2>Let Them Eat Meat</h2> <p>A friend of mine recently discovered that his mother&rsquo;s famous family pot roast involved only three steps: buying a roast, sprinkling it with salt and pepper, and placing it in the oven. You can get fancy with meat recipes, but on a weekday you can&rsquo;t go wrong with simple meals like a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/flash-fried-steak-with-white-bean-mash-recipe/index.html">flash-fried steak</a> simply seasoned with salt and pepper. If you want something a bit more flair, make these <a href="http://www.homemakers.com/food-and-recipes/chinese-pulled-pork-sandwiches-with-hot-and-sour-napa-cabbage/r/8519">Chinese pulled pork sandwiches</a> in your slow cooker. If you put this together early in the day, dinner will be ready whenever you are. The same goes for these delicious <a href="http://www.20minutesupperclub.com/recipe/slow-cooker-italian-meatballs-with-garlic-bread/">slow-cooker Italian meatballs</a>. Finally, if you&rsquo;ve never <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/baked-slow-cooker-chicken/detail.aspx">roasted a whole chicken in your slow cooker</a>, this is one recipe you&rsquo;ll want to hang onto for hectic weeks. Just add salt, pepper, and about eight hours of cooking time and you&rsquo;ll have a great meal &mdash; and plenty of leftovers.</p> <h2>Stick-to-Your Ribs Soups and Stews</h2> <p>Soups and stews make great meals during cold weather &mdash; and they give you the chance to cobble together some of the leftover things in your fridge. If you roasted a chicken (as shown above), take those leftovers and transform them into <a href="http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/that-chicken-noodle-soup-5156">Thai chicken noodle soup</a>, or toss leftover ham into a hearty and healthy <a href="http://www.simplysoups.com/SoupRecipes/SplitPeaSoup/HeartySplitPeaSoup.htm">split pea soup</a>. <a href="http://www.simplysoups.com/SoupRecipes/Chowder/BreadBowlClamChowder.htm">Clam chowder</a> is another good bet if you keep a couple of cans of clams handy. It will look very gourmet if you serve it in a bread bowl, but takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.</p> <h2>Vegetarian Delights</h2> <p>Tofu&rsquo;s not to everyone&rsquo;s taste, but it&rsquo;s a very convenient staple that keeps for months (unopened) in the fridge and can even be purchased in non-perishable Tetra Paks. Plus it makes for a nearly instant meal. If you&rsquo;re not sure about tofu, this recipe for <a href="http://www.templeofthai.com/recipes/pad-thai-vegetarian.php">vegetarian Pad Thai</a> may just change your mind. If you&rsquo;re pressed for time, use commercial peanut sauce instead of homemade. For an even simpler option, try <a href="http://www.templeofthai.com/recipes/vegetarian_thai_recipe.php">fried tofu with garlic and pepper sauce</a>.</p> <h2>Something Fishy</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seafood-on-the-cheap">Seafood</a> is probably the best quick dinner idea out there. After all, a fresh piece of fish or shellfish can be cooked to perfection in mere minutes. Seafood also freezes well, making it easy to keep on hand. If it&rsquo;s warm enough to barbecue or you have an indoor grill, try this recipe for <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Firecracker-Grilled-Alaska-Salmon/Detail.aspx">grilled salmon</a>. And, while you might assume <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/crab-cakes-iii/detail.aspx">crab cakes</a> are fussy, they&rsquo;re actually simple and quick to prepare, especially if you use canned crab meat. You could even toss together an extra-large <a href="http://www.shrimprecipes.org/asian-shrimp-salad.html">Asian shrimp salad</a>; the leftovers make a delicious lunch the next day.</p> <h2>Rice Is Nice</h2> <p>Rice is a quick and versatile pantry staple, so try to keep a few kinds on hand. For a quick and comforting dinner, check out this <a href="http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/cheddar-cheese-risotto-68">20-minute cheddar cheese risotto</a>. Or, try this delicious, balanced <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/turkey-basmati-and-wild-rice-casserole-recipe/index.html">turkey, basmati and wild rice casserole</a>; it requires only 15 minutes of prep time. Then, just pop it in the oven and tackle some other chores while it bakes. Even better, put your feet up and relax!</p> <h2>Extra-Fast Suppers</h2> <p>For those crazy weeknights when you feel just too busy to cook, there are still a few things you can get onto the table in less time than it takes to grab takeout. <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/pita-pizza-2/detail.aspx">Pita pizzas</a> are a fun recipe that can be thrown together and cooked in just a few minutes, especially if you use a few convenience products such as canned tomato sauce, pre-grated cheese, and pre-cut veggies and deli meats for your toppings. Eggs in any variation are also quick-cooking, inexpensive, and satisfying. For something quick and elegant, try this recipe for <a href="http://www.20minutesupperclub.com/recipe/roasted-asparagus-with-poached-eggs/">roasted asparagus with poached eggs</a>. When you don&rsquo;t have any fresh food on hand, this <a href="http://www.cloverleaf.ca/en/recipes/view/TunaCurryinaHurry/">tuna curry</a> can save the day. And here&rsquo;s another quick meal you probably haven&rsquo;t thought of &mdash; <a href="http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2011/06/22/rice-paper-rolls-garden-fresh-salad-wrapped-in-edible-paper/">rice paper rolls</a>. Use leftover or pre-cooked chicken, shrimp, beef, or tofu and have your family customize their own meat and vegetable combinations.</p> <h2>Sweet Endings</h2> <p>Dessert certainly isn&rsquo;t essential, especially when you&rsquo;re in a rush, but it&rsquo;s a nice way to wrap up a meal. Plus, there are many quick and simple desserts that can be made from scratch in a few minutes. This <a href="http://www.canadianliving.com/food/easy_chocolate_cake.php">easy chocolate cake</a> mixes up in one bowl (fewer dishes to wash!). If you have leftover <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-weird-and-wonderful-ways-to-use-rice">rice</a> from a previous meal in the fridge, recycle it into <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/rice_pudding/">rice pudding</a>. This makes a great breakfast or snack, too. If you really have a sweet tooth, check out this luscious <a href="http://joelens.blogspot.com/2008/09/tres-leches-flan-cake.html">tres leches flan cake</a>, which transforms a simple box of yellow cake mix into a sweet, beautiful, and unique dessert. You can even recreate the <a href="http://busycooks.about.com/od/nobakecookies/r/Skinny-Mint-Cookies.htm">thin mint cookies</a> made famous by the Girl Scouts &mdash; no baking required. If you need something a bit less sweet, tuck into this recipe for <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/314216/vanilla-roasted-peaches-with-raspberries">vanilla roasted peaches with raspberries</a>.</p> <p>Cooking at home is a cheap, healthy way to feed yourself and your family, but it doesn&rsquo;t have to mean hours at the stove. Keep a list of these and other simple family favorites so you can reach for them when you need dinner in a hurry. If you keep your pantry and cupboards stocked with items like pasta, rice, and canned goods, you will always have the makings of a quick and healthy meal on hand. Bon appetit!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-and-easy-dinners-plus-5-delicious-desserts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink crockpot dinner recipes easy recipes Wed, 16 Nov 2011 11:37:05 +0000 Tara Struyk 785823 at http://www.wisebread.com Share a money tip & win $10: What do you buy to thrive in a recession? http://www.wisebread.com/spend-money-to-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/spend-money-to-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flickr-2949007270-jeremy-brooks.jpg" alt="shopping bags" title="Desire Spend Consume Repeat by Jeremy Brooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em><strong>UPDATE 5/13/09: &nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p>The giveaway is over. Thanks to everyone for sharing really awesome tips! &nbsp;We received over a 100 awesome tips for what to buy to thrive in a recession. &nbsp;Look for a roundup of the answers coming soon.</p> <p>Winners are:</p> <p><strong>1. Comment #31 by&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.suzannebalvanz.blogspot.com/"><strong>Suzanne Balvanz</strong></a><strong>, who <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spend-money-to-save-money#comment-285727">said</a>:</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>I buy meat on reduced section at the market.</p> <p>Then I advance-prep for meals, saving me time, money, trips to the store and avoiding impulse buys.</p> <p>I also invest in fruit.</p> <p>And buy a newspaper on Sundays, which pays for itself many times over.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>2. Twitter #6 by </strong><a href="http://twitter.com/amuhlou"><strong>@amuhlou</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;(Amy Lynne), who <a href="http://twitter.com/amuhlou/status/1718888532">said</a>: &nbsp;</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Get a programmable thermostat to control heating/cooling when your home is empty.</p> </blockquote> <p>Congrulations Suzanne and Amy!</p> <hr /> <p>Is it possible to spend money to save money?&nbsp; What can we buy to help us <strong>thrive in this recession</strong>?</p> <p>We want to know how you've spent money to save money. Share your tips for spending our way out of this recession, and be entered to <strong>win one of two $10 Amazon gift certificates</strong> to help buy your money saving goodie.</p> <h2>Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate</h2> <p>We're doing two giveaways -- one $10 Amazon gift certificate for a random comment, and another one for a random tweet.</p> <h3>How to Enter:</h3> <ol> <li>Post your answer in the comments below, or</li> <li>Tweet your answer.&nbsp; Include &quot;<a href="http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%40wisebread+%23moneytippers" title="Twitter Search for: @wisebread #moneytippers">@wisebread #moneytippers</a>&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.</li> </ol> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <p>At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.</p> <h3>Giveaway Rules:</h3> <ul> <li>Contest ends Wednesday, May 13 at 11:59pm PDT. Winners announced May 14.</li> <li>You can enter both drawings -- once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.</li> <li>Only tweets with &quot;@wisebread #moneytippers&quot; will be entered.&nbsp; That's the <a href="http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%40wisebread+%23moneytippers" title="Twitter Search for: @wisebread #moneytippers">Twitter search we're using to track responses</a>.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>3 Ways to Spend Money to Save Money</strong></h2> <p>To get your creative juices flowing, here are 3 things you can buy to thrive in this recession.</p> <p><strong>1. Slow cooker&nbsp;(Crockpot)</strong></p> <p>I love my crockpot.&nbsp; Prep the night before and throw it in the fridge.&nbsp; Fire it up in the morning. Come home to a cheap and delicious dinner that's ready to be eaten the second I walk through the door.&nbsp; So easy.</p> <p>If you're a crockpot newbie, start by getting a crash course from Trent of The Simple Dollar.&nbsp; Read <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/08/the-art-of-the-slow-cooker/" title="fundamentals of crockpotting">The Art of the Slow Cooker</a>, <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/01/30/the-frugal-magic-of-the-five-ingredient-crock-pot-meal/" title="how to create your own crockpot recipes">The Frugal Magic of the 5 Ingredient Crockpot Meal</a>, and <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/20/by-request-five-essential-crock-pot-recipes/" title="basic crockpot recipes you can build on">Five Essential Crockpot Recipes</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Then subscribe to the Crockpot Lady's blog: <a href="http://www.crockpot365.blogspot.com/">A Year of Crockpotting</a>.&nbsp; Stephanie O'Dea posted a crockpot recipe everyday in 2008 (and still continues to post new slow cooker recipes), so there's a huge archive of crockpot recipes.&nbsp; (By the way, Stephanie's new book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762435682?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=0762435682" title="Simplify Your Busy Household, Day by Day"><em>Totally Together</em></a>, comes out this month.)</p> <p>You can also find a bunch of <a href="http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&amp;client=google-coop&amp;cof=FORID:13;AH:left;CX:Money%2520Tips%2520Network;L:http://www.google.com/coop/intl/en/images/custom_search_sm.gif;LH:65;LP:1;VLC:%23551a8b;GFNT:%23666666;DIV:%23cccccc;&amp;adkw=AELymgVR_ixoUNdsgGe__a8WYVQvz82ylEFZPbJKecXGwzb4H4jHGjpoyWx0Jb0w0mPaPUy34euM9a3LkqmBqlxiacYZyuexJTn673UttUvPNJL8nLCuxCA&amp;boostcse=0&amp;num=50&amp;q=slow+cooker&amp;btnG=Search&amp;cx=000824964308054589424:bze54xz6fd4">crockpot recipes from the Money Tips Network</a> and in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forums/frugal-living/what-do-you-make-your-crock-pot-1327.html" title="What do you make in your crockpot?">Wise Bread forums</a> (be sure to leave your recipes).&nbsp;</p> <p>Okay, that was the obvious example.&nbsp; Here's a non-obvious one.</p> <p><strong>2. An espresso machine or premium coffee maker</strong></p> <p>I really enjoy my daily latte.&nbsp; I could drink coffee from my drip machine at home, but it's not the same.&nbsp; A daily latte is my frugal indulgence (and productivity crutch).&nbsp; But 4 bucks a day at Starbucks is an expensive habit.&nbsp; And unfortunately, I'm not one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-being-a-slave-to-starbucks-how-to-quit-caffeine" title="Stop Being a Slave to Starbucks: How to Quit Caffeine">superhumans who can quit caffeine</a>, so I'll need a real solution.</p> <p>I've been thinking about getting an espresso machine and <a href="http://www.home-barista.com/">being my own barista</a>.&nbsp; A <a href="http://www.home-barista.com/reviews.html" title="Detailed and comprehensive reviews of home espresso machines">decent machine</a> might cost $500, but I'll recover that in just 125 Starbucks visits (5 months).&nbsp; I should have started this process a year ago.</p> <p><strong>3. Condoms<br /> </strong></p> <p>Hey, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugalfying-ways-to-get-to-1-million" title="10 Frugalfying Was to Get to $1 Million. By Leo Babauta of Zen Habits">Leo said sex is one of the 10 ways to get to $1 million</a>, and <a href="http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1884149,00.html" title="What Sells in a Recession: Canned Goods and Condoms">TIME magazine reports condoms are a hot recession seller</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. .... You tell us.</strong></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spend-money-to-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-the-word-recession-mean-to-you-answer-for-a-chance-to-win-10">What Does the Word &quot;Recession&quot; Mean to You? (Answer for a Chance to Win $10!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers">The 5 Best Slow Cookers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/win-a-ticket-to-the-iblog-conference">Win a Ticket to the I_Blog Conference!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/better-brewing-12-ways-to-make-coffee-at-home">Better Brewing: 12 Ways to Make Coffee at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-would-people-be-shocked-by-what-you-earn">Ask the Readers: Would People Be Shocked By What You Earn?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways coffee crockpot espresso giveaway recession slow cooker Wed, 06 May 2009 16:38:32 +0000 Greg Go 3127 at http://www.wisebread.com