Crock Pot Meals for a month– Under $75

If you have followed any of my posts from “back-when” you will know that I do not cook. I just don’t. I don’t have many recipe ideas, nor do I care if I eat the same thing (chicken and veggies) every day for the rest of my life. However, my husband cares and since we are moving soon and he is now working out of the home, I thought it would be nice to have some meals ready when he comes in… annnnnnd I’ll be honest, I’m kind of getting bored of the same thing (just too lazy to do anything about it)
Well, my sister-in-law is living on one income with two kids to feed, so she’s always looking for budget-friendly meals AND of course, being a mom keeps her busy, so she doesn’t always want to cook.
She found these recipes on pinterest, did this last month and loved it, so she invited me on the grocery “tour”. I bought more food in one trip than I EVER have in my entire shopping life. I told her that my bill was going to be $120-130.
She said “No, I bet its only $80″… well… beat that! It was only $76 (and that was because I had a few extra things in there)
Total cost for these meals: $68!!** HOLY CRAP! I sure hope I like them, because I love the price.
They are all in the freezer and ready to go, so the first two weeks after moving, while I’m unpacking and have other things to do, we don’t have to spend more money eating out! I can’t wait!! I hope you all enjoy and please share some more crockpot recipes if you have them!!

** Depending on your grocery store and location or “on hand” ingredients, you may spend slightly more or less

Crock Pot Meals for a Month and under $75… yes please!

 

I am going to add Notations of MY modifications ;)

We created a big shopping list– bought EVERYTHING for less than $75 and this should last at least 18 meals for 2 people. I have a feeling there will be leftovers in many of the meals.

Not all of them I would consider “the healthiest” but you can make substitutions and change as you wish.

These recipes were taken from Pinterest and ringaroundtherosies.net

We also did not follow the recipes as they were written– Basically–

PUT INGREDIENTS IN BAGS— FREEZE. DONE.

PS Most of these are gluten-free and paleo (if you don’t add the pasta/rice)

 BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork – prep/no cooking, freeze

Ingredients:

- one 4 – 6 pound pork shoulder (I bought a pork roast, I’m not sure the difference, but it looked good/less fatty– I’d never bought pork before, so we’ll see how this one works!)

- all purpose seasoning 

- one bottle of barbecue sauce (you can buy low-sugar BBQ or just use half the bottle to lessen the sugar)

- one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained

Directions:

- Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in slow cooker.

- Dump can of pineapples (undrained) over pork.

- Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over pork.

- Lift pork a little to let the sauce get underneath.

- Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.

- Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.

Strain & serve!

(We took ALL of the ingredients– dumped in a gallon bag and threw in the freezer– I plan on defrosting for a day and just dumping into the crock pot— serve with brown rice?)

 

Lemon Garlic Chicken – prep/no cooking, freeze (this one we portioned into TWO bags)

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 lb. in each bag)

2 T. butter (1 tbsp. in each bag)

1/4 c. water

3 T. fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I just used dried and  it worked  perfectly)

1 package cream cheese (you can use 1/3 less fat or fat free)

1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in  a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place  chicken in a slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil.  Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker  15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.

4. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the chicken and place on a serving  platter. Add the cream to cheese to the juice in the crockpot, and whisk until smooth. 

Ladle the sauce over rice or pasta, then place your chicken on top!

(Again— dumped everything into two gallon bags and into the freezer– I think it will workout just fine)


Chicken & Spinach – prep/no cook, freeze (split recipe in half between two bags)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 jar Classico Pasta Sauce (or any marinara– 3 cheese, mushroom, etc.)

Onions, bellpeppers, etc.

Cajun seasoning to taste

Sliced zucchini & squash (the yellow ones that look like cucumbers) (optional)

mushrooms sliced (fresh or can)

Bag or container of fresh spinach (i break off the larger stems)

Pasta of your choice (bow-tie, spaghetti, etc.)

 Layer:Chicken breasts, onions, bell peppers, etc., seasoning, other veggies and top with  spinach.   I cook it about 6 hour (Dumped everything in two bags— freeze)


Beef/Turkey Taco Soup – make day of, freeze leftovers

2 cans of kidney beans (I only used one)

2 cans of pinto beans (I only used one)

2 cans of corn (I only used one)

1 large can of diced tomatoes —1 can tomatoes and chiles

1 packet taco seasoning

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger

shredded cheese and sour cream for embellishment

1 package of tortilla chips or bake corn tortillas 

 Directions:

brown meat if you are going to use it

drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat. not the fat.)

sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat

drain and rinse the beans and add

add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans

stir.

  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the  better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. About 20 minutes before serving, add  desired amount of crushed chips into the crockpot. Then,stir well, and serve with a handful of  shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. (I cooked the meat ahead of time and then just threw all the ingredients in two bags– I may or may not add the cheese and sour cream when the time comes to eat. Will probably make with a salad on the side) 

Crock Pot Pizza Soup – prep/no cooking, freeze in zip lock bag (split recipe in half between two bags)

–1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce

–3 empty jars full of water

–1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

–1/2 red onion, chopped

–1 cup sliced mushrooms

–1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)

–2 cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)

–1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters (Hormel turkey pepperoni is labeled gluten free)

–8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)

–1 T dried oregano

–1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (if your pasta is tiny, use 1/3 cup. if it’s big, do 1/2. I used 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s brown rice penne) (I didn’t add any pasta to this one, it might actually be great with garlic bread… mmmm!)

–shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)

The Directions.

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4 hungry adults, or 2 hungry adults and 2 kids with enough leftovers to feed them all again.

Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces–I sliced, then cut the pieces in fourths. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni, add it, too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high. My pasta only took 20 minutes to soften quite nicely.

Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese

(I didn’t make this yet, just threw all ingredients in two bags and freeze)

Slow Cooker San Francisco Pork Chops – prep/no cooking, freeze (I totally didn’t make this recipe at all, my sister did. I personally don’t care for pork chops, ever.)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick

Salt and pepper for seasoning

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold water

Mashed Potatoes or Hot Cooked Rice (for serving)

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.

 

Chicken Curry (this one we put into two bags)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I didn’t do this step)
4 tablespoons curry powder (2 tbsp in each bag)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (1 tsp each bag)
1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs, or breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces. (I just put entire breasts in the bags)
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes. (I didn’t add these, but I will chop them fresh, so I marked on the bag to chop potatoes later)
2 cups baby carrots.
1 coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion (used a white onion)
1 zucchini chopped, about one cup
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 2 tsp. chopped garlic in a jar)
2 chicken bouillon, one per bag (used a half cup of chicken broth from a can)
.5 cup raisins (for garnish) (raisins are nasty!! Did not use! LOL)

.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish) (didn’t use any nuts either)

Savory Chicken (split this recipe between two bags)

(we used a bag of frozen broccoli, threw all the ingredients in a bag and froze.)

Lazy Day Stew

(I didn’t use stewing beef, I used ground turkey on this one and I even added another can of corn and NO lima beans, I used kidney beans instead. We also did not use the tapioca– it was probably just for texture anyway. Dumped everything into two bags and froze)






Would you like more tips, recipes and workouts like these?

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  1. This is so awesome – thank you so much for posting! I am just blown away that you bought all of this for under $100. Are you saying you got every single ingredient above in your trip?? If so, you are a goddess and I can’t wait to try this.

    • I didn’t buy the potatoes, but I also bought a few extra things that I didn’t need, so basically, yes I bought every single thing for that much. We went to WinCo. (not sure who has them) and I bought garlic in a little jar instead of cloves, I bought all the cheapest canned veggies I could find and nothing was organic, but I still think I could have bought a little higher quality food and had it under $120, which, honestly was what I was expecting to spend when I saw my grocery cart! oh and I didn’t buy any spices, I either had them already, or did without (Basil Leaves.. no biggie)

  2. I really hope this works out for you and if it’s a success you’ll keep posting on here. I bought a crockpot to actually achieve this goal because I too do not like to cook. What I found was while there are tons of recipes out there, I couldn’t figure out how to do a whole meal plan of crockpot recipes. Taking the time to prep and freezing is key! That was the missing component for me. So tell me as I find it a bit hilarious, did you actually open up and pour pasta.tomatoe sauces in the freezer bags? LOL

  3. Becky Moreno says:

    I love this, I have been wanting to try freezer cooking for a while now, so thank you! I also wanted to say that you should ditch the plastic bags and check out the Freezer Mates, totally reusable and you can label them and make your freezer totally organized and be eco-friendly! The best part is they are on sale right now! http://my2.tupperware.com/tup-html/H/happytobe-welcome.html I have some and LOVE them, but need to get more so I can follow your lead!

  4. I hope this isn’t a totally stupid question, but did you throw raw meat into the bags and freeze them, or did you brown/cook it all first?

    I am really excited to try these!

    • I did raw meat on the pork and threw in all the stuff.
      The chicken was already frozen and I threw the sauces and veggies on top to refreeze.
      The ground turkey I browned and cooled first;)
      Good question!

  5. Dumb question, when you say you put everything in freezer bags, everything is already cooked right or do you put it in there uncooked then when youre ready to cook you just thaw it out and toss it in the pot without having to do all the measuring and everything? I just moved into my first place and a relative just sent me a crockpot which i have yet to use. So seeing this is great for me. Itll probably be a lotta food since its just me, but ive been lookin for something like this cuz i hate/cant cook to save my life. So thanks for posting.

    • Not a dumb question…
      I threw it all in uncooked, then froze it, so when its time, I’ll just defrost and then toss it in the post without measuring.
      The only thing I DID cook, was the ground turkey and some sausage for the pizza one. the rest was thrown in raw or right from the can or jar

  6. Did you cook the pasta for the chicken and spinach before you put it in the bag?

    • no I actually didn’t use any pasta. I put the chicken in raw and the spinach I’m going to add later, but we were going to just add frozen spinach and forgot. So I noted on the bag to add spinach when I cook.
      IF I had added pasta, I would have just put in uncooked.

      • I haven’t tried tried these – yet. I do cook a lot. I wouldn’t put the past in the freezer bags, but add it to the crock pot dry when putting in the rest of the ingredients. That’s what I’m going to do when I make this recipe.

        As a single, working mom of three busy teens, I love my crockpot. These recipes look great. I’m making a shopping list now! Thanks!

        • Yes, I think making them fresh is great, but its also nice to have them frozen ahead of time, I just moved, took these all in the cooler and have had meals every night since I haven’t had a lot of time to shop… and there are awesome ways to modify the recipes!

  7. For the lemon garlic chicken do the ingredient that we boil first supposeto cover the chicken completely?

    • Valerie– hmm I really don’t know, I haven’t cooked it yet, they’re still freezing. I would assume that there needs to be enough liquid to at least 1/2 inch in the crockpot so it doesnt all evaporate in cooking and you can probably just flip the chicken over partway through

      • Trying it right now. It doesn’t cover but one been moving the chicken every now and again. Smells yummy. :)

        • Part of crock pot cooking is that it works like an oven. Even with a shallow amount of liquid, the meat will cook through. Every time you lift the lid of the crock pot, you are letting all the heat out. This is convenience cooking – dump it, leave it, and enjoy your day!

  8. I am really eager to hear how this turned out! The recipes all sound fantastic! Any updates?

    • I haven’t tried any of them yet– well, except the Savory Chicken at my sisten in laws house.. it was amazing!!
      I am moving next week so I’ll be trying them all in Sept

      • Can’t wait!! You may have just saved me from a lot of jumping from blog to blog! Good luck with your move, looking forward to hearing from you.

      • the one i tried was a tad salty for me but my tastebuds are sesitive to salt so next time i going to put less bit other than that it was scrumptous my husband fell in love with it so yaaay!

  9. OMG Girl, You R O C K!!!! by any chance do you have the grocery list you used to purchase all the ingredients? Should would be helpful for me lol. Keep on with the great Posts and SHINE ON!!!!

    • I do… let me see if I can find it!!

    • (here was the list my sister in law and I took to the store, however, bacon was I think just for her home use, as were a few minor things, also, I didn’t get stew meat and pork chops because I don’t like them.. LOL)

      Meats:

      Chicken – 2
      Asada
      Pork Stew Meat
      Bacon-4
      Beef Stew Meat – 4lbs
      Pork Shoulder 4-6 lbs
      Hamburger – 1 lb
      Cooked Italian Sausage -2
      Pepperoni
      Pork Chops -4

      Veggies

      Green Bell Peppers -3
      Red Bell Peppers -2
      Carrots -2
      Onions – 5
      Garlic – 10
      Broccoli
      Celery
      Zucchini -2
      Parsley
      Spinach
      Red Onion
      Baby Tomatoes
      Potatoes
      Fresh basil leaves -8

      Mango

      Cans
      Stewed Tomatoes -2
      Chicken Broth -2
      Tomato Sauce – 15oz
      Diced Pineapples – 15oz can
      Salsa
      Classico 3 Cheese Sauce
      Kidney Beans -2
      Pinto Beans -2
      Corn -2
      Large Can Diced Tomatoes
      Tomatoes & Chilis
      Jar Pizza Sauce
      BBQ Sauce

      Seasoning
      Taco Seasoning
      Ranch Dressing Mix
      Curry Powder
      Cajun Seasoning

      Dairy
      Eggs
      Cheddar Cheese -1
      Butter
      Mozzarella -1
      Cream Cheese

      Misc
      Rice
      Lima Beans 10oz
      Ziplock Bags

  10. For the chicken curry, you list all of the ingredients, but no cooking instructions. How long do you cook it in the crock pot? Thanks!

    • just throw it in, I’m not sure how long, I put it on low… maybe 4 hours? I guess it just depends on your chicken.
      Pretty much everything you put in and walk away, I start checking it when it starts to smell good;)

  11. Kristin Fidler says:

    Absolutely love this!!!!! do you cook the pasta(s) before putting them in the crock pot?

  12. What is asada and do i need it for these recipes? or was it just in her grocery list for her personal home list?

  13. Seriously Danny J,

    You are like one of the only people who i can still follow. I’ve told you i’m doing your 12 week program while being prego and it’s help out so much. and now you’ve supplied me with meals for the crock pot cause lord knows i’m to tired to cook. and can still use these when baby #2 comes!!!

    God bless you

  14. What about the recipes with potatoes? I have been told and read in multiple places that it doesnt work to freeze raw potatoes. That they need to be blanched first. Can you help?

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