Is your food budget breaking the bank? The average family of four with a moderate food budget should expect to spend between $203 and $242 per week, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But if you eat out frequently or aren’t smart about planning your meals, your spending could easily exceed that.
Fortunately, it’s easy to get your food budget under control with a little planning. Slow cookers might seem like an appliance you only need to pull out for potlucks or soups, but they’re actually a convenient timesaver for all kinds meals, allowing you to quickly and easily prepare tasty foods for your family.
These 13 easy crockpot recipes cost an average of $5 to make, proving once and for all it’s possible to eat well on a budget.
1. Black Bean Enchiladas
A vegetarian alternative to a Mexican favorite, slow cooker black bean enchiladas are both filling and cheap. This recipe from the $5 Dinner Mom (courtesy of the Today show) requires just 15 minutes of prep time.
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained (or 2 cups frozen corn)
- 4 ounces can diced green chilis, drained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded quesadilla blend cheese, divided
- 2 to 3 cups salsa
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
Directions: In a mixing bowl, mash the black beans with a potato masher or fork. Mix in the corn and green chilies. Stir in the ground cumin and salt. Last, add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and combine well.
Add about 1 cup of salsa to the base of the slow cooker, and spread evenly on the bottom. Roll the bean-corn mixture into the warmed tortillas, dividing evenly. Place in the slow cooker seam side down, nestled tightly together. Pour the other cup of salsa over the top, and then sprinkle the other cup of cheese on top.
Set the slow cooker on low, and cook for 3 to 4 hours. Serve with a side of rice or salad.