Budget Friendly Slow Cooker Meals

If you are on a budget but want to cook tasty and filling meals for your family then your slow cooker can be your best friend. We’ve brought you some great budget friendly slow cooker meal ideas to fill up an average family of four for less than £2 a meal. 

Beef Brisket Pot Roast

Cooking a cheaper joint of beef can yield delicious results however it can require a longer cooking time making it perfect for your slow cooker. These less popular cuts have just as much flavour as their expensive counterparts and brisket is one example of a great value joint of beef. A 700g joint will feed four people well and costs around £5.50 in your local supermarket or you could try and get a deal with your local butcher. Add the beef to your slow cooker alongside 500ml of beef stock and some chopped onions. Cook on low for around 6-8 hours until the meat is tender and serve with roasted or mashed potatoes and your favourite vegetables. Approximate cost per serving: £2.

Cowboy pie

Cowboy PieCowboy pie is an easy filling dish that is tasty and a meal that all of the family will enjoy. It is similar to cottage pie with the addition of a few tomato based ingredients that make this taste amazing. Fry 500g of minced beef with an onion until lightly browned then add to your slow cooker with 1 tin of baked beans, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 250ml of beef stock and a dash of Worcester sauce. Cook for around 7 hours on low then when it is nearly done top with homemade mash using 700g potatoes. You can fill this meal out with extra vegetables for instance carrots and peas to make it go even further. Top with cheese if required. Approximate cost per serving: £1.68.

BBQ Pulled Pork Rolls

Pulled PorkPulled pork is really easy to do in the slow cooker and can be budget friendly too. This can be made with a number of different joints of pork with varying price ranges. A large pork shoulder joint weighing in at around 1.8kg costs approximately £3 in an average supermarket and is just the right amount for a family of 4. Pop your shoulder in the slow cooker, add a can of coca cola and cook on low for around 8 hours. Once cooked remove any bones and visible fat and pull apart the meat with a fork. Add a small bottle of BBQ sauce, mix well and enjoy in a large bread roll. Approximate cost per serving: £1.26.

Chicken Stew

Stews are a great budget friendly meal. To save money these can be filled with plenty of root vegetables which bulk out the more expensive ingredients such as meat and absorb the flavours of herbs and seasonings. Great examples are sweet potatoes, swedes, turnips, carrots and parsnips. Chicken stew is simple to make; simply add 1 leek, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 350g potatoes, 6 chicken thighs, 1 pint of chicken stock, seasonings of your choice and 4 tablespoons of gravy granules to your slow cooker and leave for up to 8 hours on low until the chicken is tender. Feel free to vary the vegetables or add more to stretch the portion sizes out. Approximate cost per serving: £1.04.

Sausage Casserole

Root VegLike stews, casseroles are a really great cheap dish that you can fill out with vegetables to create nice big portions. Your average pack of 8 sausages from the supermarket will cost you around £1.50 and if you pack this meal out with vegetables this should be plenty to go round. Brown your sausages off before adding them to the slow cooker. Then add 1 onion, 2 carrots, 150g mushrooms, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tin of baked beans, 1 chicken stock cube made up with 500ml of water and a sprinkling of mixed herbs. Cook on low for around 6 hours and once cooked serve with plenty of homemade mashed potato. Approximate cost per serving: 95p.

Vegetable Risotto

Meals without meat are great value because often the meat will be the most expensive part of your shopping trip. Vegetable risotto is a great budget friendly slow cooker meal and you don’t have to follow any particular recipes. This is great if you have vegetables in your fridge that need to be used up as you can pretty much add anything you like to this dish. Use 400g of risotto rice and add 500ml of chicken stock, salt, pepper, seasonings and any vegetables that you have. Try butternut squash to really fill the meal out and also try this with onions and peppers. Cook on low for around 4 hours, mix well and serve. Approximate cost per serving: 85p.

Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and Potato SoupSlow cookers are also great for making soups in large quantities. To make enough to serve four add 4 large peeled and chopped potatoes, 2 leeks, 1 onion, salt, pepper and a cube of chicken stock and enough water to cover everything into your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, then liquidise. Serve with bread if desired. Approximate cost per serving: 72p.

Fabulous Chocolate Fudge

This isn’t a meal but just a little bonus budget recipe. Not only can you make budget friendly main courses in a slow cooker you can also make great desserts and sweet treats. To make 20 pieces of fudge; place 375g cooking chocolate, 1 tin of condensed milk and 1 tbsp of butter into a slow cooker on high without the lid. Stir every 15 minutes until everything has melted then switch to low and leave for 2 hours. After 2 hours is up, pour your fudge mixture into a 20cm square baking tray and place in the fridge to set. Experiment with different flavours and toppings. Approximate cost per serving: 20p. 

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWe hope we have given you some great ideas for slow cooked meals on a budget. What is your favourite budget friendly meal? We love feedback so please use the comment section below. 

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