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10 Easy Family Crockpot Meals on a Budget

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Looking for easy crockpot meals to make when you’re short on time? Check out these simple ideas on a budget! (And if you’re looking for other menu plan ideas, don’t miss this FREE week of done-for-you dinner ideas with recipes and a grocery shopping list!)

The following is a guest post by Courtney:

As a mom of six kids, it’s sometimes challenging to get dinner on the table in between diaper changes, little league games, cooking, and cleaning.

But my slow cooker has become my best friend. And I’ve found so many easy crock pot recipes that will feed my family of six on the cheap!

10 Easy Family Crockpot Meals on a Budget

Here are 10 of our favorite easy and budget-friendly meals you can make for your family in the slow cooker when you’re short on time.

pulled pork

1. Pulled Pork

Pulled pork doesn’t have to be expensive, and it tastes amazing in the slow cooker!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Seasonings (what’s already in the cabinet)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in the crock pot, add about 2 cups of water, and turn the temperature on high.
  2. Let that cook for about 2-3 hours. Once the pork is cooked thoroughly and tender, use a fork and pull the pork apart.
  3. Turn the temperature down to low, add BBQ sauce, and stir.
  4. Let simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes to heat sauce all the way through with pork.
  5. Grab those buns and add pulled pork… dinner is served!

2. Lentils and Rice

What’s better than beans and rice to fill you up? This recipe is quick and easy to make, and yes, the kids will love it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • 2 lb bag of lentils (red or brown)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb bag of rice (parboiled or white)
  • Seasonings of your choice (use what you already have in your cabinet)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. First, shred the chicken and place it inside the crock pot.
  2. Add 2 cups of water. Cover and turn on high.
  3. While this is cooking, rinse your lentils in cold water in a large bowl until the water is clear.
  4. Repeat this same process with your rice.
  5. Cut up a large onion into cubes, then add lentils and onions to the slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. In a separate small pot, cook rice until done.
  7. After about 20 minutes, season the lentils and stir. The lentils will take about another 10-15 minutes to cook completely, and voila!
  8. Lentils, chicken, and rice… and you didn’t burn the house down!
chili

3. Chili

Hot, filling chili is one of my favorite crock pot recipes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 2 24 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • Seasonings (what you have in the house)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place ground beef into the crock pot, season it with your favorite chili seasonings, and turn it on high.
  2. Once the ground beef is browned, drain it and add back into the crock pot. Add beans, corn, and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Let cook for about 30 minutes and the chili is done!

4. Roasted chicken with carrots and potatoes

Nothing more, nothing less. Just 3 ingredients and that’s it!

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 lb bag of potatoes
  • Salt, pepper, or any other favorite seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season chicken and place in the crock pot with 3 cups of water. Cover and cook on high for 40 minutes.
  2. Wash and chop potatoes into chunks.
  3. Add potatoes,and carrots to the crock pot, reduce heat to low, and let cook for another 40 minutes.
  4. Poke veggies with a fork to see if they are soft enough and see if the chicken is falling off the bone.
  5. When this happens, your meal is ready!
chicken noodle soup

5. Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is simple and delicious and perfect for a cold day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 bags of frozen veggies
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 bag of egg noodles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season drumsticks and add to crock pot. Let cook on high for 1 hour.
  2. Add frozen veggies, chicken broth, and 1 cup of water. Let cook for another 35-40 minutes on low.
  3. Remove drumsticks, shred chicken, and add the chicken back to the crock pot.
  4. Add egg noodles and cook until the noodles are cooked (about 5 minutes).
  5. Dinner is served!

6. Easy Curry Chicken

Traditional curry chicken takes forever to cook and there are so many different ingredients. Luckily for you, I have an easy curry chicken recipe that tastes delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 oz. jar curry powder
  • 1 lb. bag of potatoes
  • 1 lb. bag of white rice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season chicken thighs and place in crock pot. Add 2 cups of water and cook on high for about 40 minutes.
  2. Slice potatoes in half and add to crock pot with curry. Stir thoroughly.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 35-40 minutes until chicken is tender and the sauce is thick and creamy.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare rice.
  5. Serve cooked chicken over cooked rice.
bbq chicken

7. BBQ Chicken

BBQ sauce is the glue that holds family dinners together. With just 3 ingredients, this recipe is sure to be a highly requested one.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 lbs. chicken drumsticks
  • BBQ Sauce
  • 2 12 oz. steam-in-bag green beans

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season drumsticks and place in crock pot. Add 2 cups of water and cook on high for about 40 minutes.
  2. Once cooked, drain juice off chicken and add it back into the crock pot.
  3. Add BBQ sauce and cover. Cook on low for another 15 minutes, until chicken is tender and falling off those bones!
  4. Microwave bags of vegetables and serve with chicken.

8. Hash Brown Casserole

Breakfast in a crock pot? Yup! This takes about 2 hours, so it’s perfect for weekend breakfast or brunch… and it’s lip-smacking good!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pack of bacon
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 26 oz bag of frozen hash browns
  • 8 oz shredded cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook bacon. Once cooled, chop into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, scramble eggs and set aside.
  3. Lightly grease the crock pot and add one layer of hash browns. Next add a thin layer of scrambled eggs, bacon, and shredded cheese.
  4. Repeat the hash brown, egg, bacon, and cheese steps. Top with remaining shredded cheese and cook for 2-3 hours on high.
  5. It’s finished when the eggs are set and firm.
veggie omelet

9. Vegetable Omelet

I want to give you some variety when it comes to crockpot recipes. And who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8oz bag of shredded cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 bag frozen vegetables
  • Half an onion, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Lightly grease crock pot.
  2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, half the bag of shredded cheese, and onion. Season egg mixture with whatever seasonings you have on hand.
  3. Add egg mixture and frozen vegetables to crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours, until eggs are firm or set.
  4. Turn crock pot off and add the remaining shredded cheese until melted. Cut into cubed portions and serve!

10. French Toast

This recipe comes out incredibly soft, moist, and so delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf of white bread
  • 12 oz box of raisins
  • ½ dozen eggs
  • cinnamon
  • 4 c. milk
  • syrup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Begin by lightly greasing crock pot.
  2. Next, cut bread slices into cubes. Add bread and raisins to crock pot.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cinnamon and pour mixture into crock pot.
  4. Gently toss the egg mixture with bread and raisins until completely coated.
  5. Cook on high for 3 hours and serve with syrup.

Courtney is a veteran’s wife and mother to six very energetic children aging 4-14. She loves homeschooling, gardening, and trying new slow cooker recipes that save her family money. She blogs at Blessed With Six.

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