Our 20 Most Wallet-Friendly Slow Cooker Recipes

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Wanna soften the blow of rent week? Get out your slow cooker! As if we needed another reason to love this appliance, it’s a great tool for keeping our weekly food budget in check — you just need to know all the best recipes to look out for.

From big-batch vegetarian favorites to budget meaty meals, these are our favorite cheap recipes to make in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Recipes Starring Beans and Legumes

Dried beans and lentils are always a win for feeding the whole table (often with leftovers, to boot!) on the cheap. This lineup also doesn’t call for too much hands-on prep, and most require an all-day cook time.

Slow Cooker Recipes Made with Ground Meat

I always make a point of stocking up on ground beef, turkey, and chicken any time they’re on sale and then stash it in the freezer. When I need a cheap, easy meal I can pull it out and put it to use in the slow cooker!

Meaty Budget-Friendly Slow Cooker Recipes

I’m of the firm belief that there is no better way to cook tough, inexpensive cuts of meat like pork shoulder, pork butt, and chicken thighs than in the slow cooker. The low, steady heat transforms them into a totally tender meal, and you can bank on having plenty of leftovers.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas (Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Other Slow Cooker Budget Favorites

If burrito bowls and tacos are your fall-back for cheap eats, here’s how to pull off all your favorites in the slow cooker. The best part about these versions is banking on leftovers for lunches during the week.