Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crock Pot Meals for $10 or Less!!!

I was recently asked to recommend some Slow Cooker meals that could last a day or two, but stick to a budget of about $10.  As I was typing a lengthy email response, I realized there are probably  many more of you out there who would love to have this information as well!  The original question came from a family of 2.....which is pretty close to my family of 3, (since my munchkin doesn't eat very much) so these are my recommendations!

If you would like more information on how to save money on your groceries, visit Bargains to Bounty.  They do coupon match-ups in the Metro Detroit area, but they are a great resource for tips and where to find coupon match-ups in your area.  You can also find them on facebook and join in on great money-saving discussions!

*All of my prices are complete guesses!  Plus, if you shop ads and use coupons, even better!!!!!!!!!
**I will update this list from now on, so keep checking back!

Spaghetti and Meatballs
The meatballs cost around $2.50 to make.  The jars of pasta sauce I got for about $3 and the noodles cost around $1.50-$2.00.  That brings this to a grand total of $7-8!

Salsa Ranch Chicken with Black Beans
The chicken is about $2 for this recipe, maybe less if you're a bargain shopper like me!  The canned goods come to about $2.50.  The seasoning packets come to a total of about $3.50.  That brings this DELICIOUS meal to $8!  Again, plenty of leftovers here!

Super Easy Pulled Pork
The 3 lb. Pork Roast was probably about $5 or so.  (I've had it in my freezer for a while, so I don't remember what I paid!)  Add the bbq sauce for another $2 and some buns for $2 more!  That brings this total to $9 with PLENTY of leftovers!!

Salmon Loaf
I've had canned salmon in my pantry for a long time, but I can't imagine it being more than $2.  With the amount of stuffing croutons, french fried onions and parmesan I used, it's probably another $2-3.  That all amounts to about $4-5 for this meal!  You may as well double it!

Pulled Pork
The pork loin cost around $4.  The bottle of BBQ sauce cost just under $2.  We splurged on Onion Rolls that cost us around $2.50.  In all, the whole meal cost around $8.50!

I made a double batch of this (enough for 2 dinners and plenty to freeze as well!) and still came in under $10!  Lentils cost around $2/bag.  I used a whole bag. The brown rice cost me about another $1.00.  So, for $3.....I have TONS of food!  So, go ahead and splurge on some good pita bread to eat with this!

Barbecue Chicken
All you need is chicken and barbecue sauce!  The price all depends on how much chicken you want to make!  I made enough for 2 dinners and 3 people......6 pieces, coming in roughly around $3.  I used about 1/4 bottle of BBQ sauce, so add another $1 or so!  This make for a total of $4.  I served with some shoestring french fries, generic brand, so that may cost you another $1.  Grand total.....$5!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
The chicken in this recipe cost about $1.50 or less.  The can of soup cost around $1.20.  The box of stuffing around $2.00.  The deli ham and swiss cheese probably cost another $2.00.  All in all, that brings this SCRUMPTIOUS recipe to a grand total of $6.20!

Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The healthy vegetables probably cost a total of $3.  The canned goods and broth cost about $5 or less if you use bouillon cubes.  This makes this healthy and delicious meal $8 or less!!!

Cabbage Casserole
First of all, we all know how incredibly cheap rice and cabbage let's say together they might cost you $1.  Then, add the onion for a few cents because you know you have those on hand, add the parsley for maybe another $1, the can of diced tomatoes for $1.30 or so, and the package of sausage for around $2.  That brings you to a total of just over $5!!!!!!!!  There will be enough for at least 2-3 days! Now that's a bargain!

Chickpea Chicken Tortilla Soup
This soup is very inexpensive!  I looked at the price of the diced tomatoes I bought from walmart and they were like 97 cents!  So, 2 of those cans will only cost you a couple bucks.  Then, the garbanzo beans can't be that much!  a little over a dollar maybe.  Since the rest of the soup (beside the onion) is just water, bouillon cubes and!  I added 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, but it was a lot of chicken!  If I had put in 1, it would have been totally sufficient!  So, this would be a great meal for you!  If you buy your chicken in bulk from a meat market, you can get a really great price!  I got mine yesterday for $1.49/lb. in a 10lb. bag.  I will freeze 1-2 chicken breasts/bag to use in the future.

Easy Ranch Chicken
To make this meal cheaper, use bone-in chicken!  Bone-in chicken is ALWAYS cheaper and it tastes great too!  My personal favorite thing to buy is a family pack of thighs.  They only have 1 bone in them, so the meat falls right off after cooking it in the crock pot!  This is great, especially if you have little ones because you can swoop that bone away right away.  A packet of ranch dressing is fairly inexpensive, plus all you really need beyond that is an onion!  So, I would say this meal could possibly come in WAY under $10!

Crock Pot Baked Ziti
Noodles are inexpensive.....especially if you get the store brand!  Making your own pasta sauce like this can save you a lot of money too!   Noodles are just over $1, a package of cheese is around $1.50 and the canned goods come in around $3.  So, this is INCREDIBLY cheap!!!  Add some ground beef for a couple more bucks and you have an even more filling meal that will last you a couple days!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
A head of broccoli is super cheap!  Plus, it's good for you!  BONUS!  The canned goods in this recipe probably come to around $4.50.  I'm guessing a block of Velveeta is just under $ again, this is a really inexpensive meal.  We had this for 3 nights!  There was plenty!  Buy yourself a fresh loaf of bread for just over $1 and you have an even better meal!

Chicken with Apples and Onions
Like I said before, on the bone chicken is always cheaper than boneless skinless.  Plus, it is very flavorful!  So, for a couple lbs of chicken, you can spend around $2!  Add the apples and onions and it's around another $2!  The cream of celery soup is just over $1.  So, you then have a delicious meal you can serve for a couple days for way under $10!

Butter and Sage Cornish Hens
You can get 2 cornish hens for around $5 I'm guessing.  Maybe less!  For a few cents more, you add the butter and spices! ;)  If there are 2 of you, this could be you meal for 2 days!  Just add some inexpensive sides that are hearty to go with it! :)

Creamy Potato Soup
Well, everyone knows potatoes are cheap!  Add that with some small amounts of veggis and some spices for a couple bucks.  Then add the soup, sour cream and cream cheese for approximately $3 more dollars and you have a meal to last you 2-3 days for around $10 or under!

Turkey Lasagna
This one comes in right around $10 depending on whether you can get the ground turkey on sale, or you can replace it with ground beef if it's on sale!  So, for the meat, I'm going to say around $3, add about $3 more for the canned goods.  When you add the cheeses in there, about $3 more.  The noodles are just over $1, so there you have it!  A very delicious meal that will leave you with leftovers for right around $10!

Cheese Strata
Sometimes it's nice to switch things up and have breakfast for dinner!  You can get a loaf of bread for as cheap as $1.  Eggs you can get for around $1.50.  You can get a big block of cheddar cheese and shred it yourself for around $3.  So, this meal rings in right around $5.50!  There will be plenty for leftovers too! :)

Cheesy Potato Soup
Again, potatoes are cheap, but hearty and satisfying!  The vegetables that are in this soup you may already have around the house.  I usually have carrots, celery and onions on hand at all times.  They add lots of flavor to recipes for not a lot of money!  Again, shred your own cheese and save some money.  Really, you can probably put this soup together for $5 or less!  Of course, you'll have leftovers for the next day too!

Black Bean Soup
Buying dried beans over canned beans is always cheaper.  I try to keep a variety of beans on hand to cook with.  You just have to make sure you soak them overnight if you're going to use them! :)  So, I would say the beans might cost you around 50 cents!  The canned goods will probably add up to around $4.50 or less.  The green onions and spices hopefully you have on hand!  So, this meal is right around $5!  Again, there will be plenty for more than one night!

Meme's Meatball Stew
This has always been one of my most favorite meals!  The ground beef you can probably get for around $5.  The veggies may add up to around $3, plus another $1.25 or so for the tomato soup.  So, for under $10 again, you have a very hearty meal that will last you a couple dinners!

Meme's Stuffed Cabbage
This takes some effort, but is SO worth it!  The ground beef will cost around $2.75.  The vegetables might cost you at most $3.  The rice will only cost you around 50 cents.  I always have rice on hand too, so I'm estimating from what I already have.  So, this delicious meal will come in just over $6!  Well worth the effort I would say!!!

Coq Au Vin
This impresses every time I make it!  It is so full of flavor and can make enough for a couple nights' dinners!  The chicken will probably cost around $2, maybe less!  The mushrooms might be around $1.50.  The wine, well, if you have it on hand, it won't cost you much at all.  Even if you don't, you can get an inexpensive, but good bottle for around $5.  Serve this with some rice and you have a satisfying meal for under $10 or far less!

Four Bean and Barley Soup
If you have a stash of beans on hand, this recipe will be super cheap for you!  Really, you could use any beans you have on hand.  It doesn't have to be 4 varieties of beans.  Use what you have!  So, I'm going to say the beans here might cost you around $2.  The barley won't cost much if you don't already have it....maybe $1 or just a little more.  You can get the canned tomatoes for around $1.  The veggies might cost around $3-4.  So, add that all together and you have a hearty soup for $7-8!  There will be plenty of leftovers.

Stuffed Pork Chops
These were SOOOO good!  If there are only 2 of you, there will be plenty of leftovers for the next day.  I'm going to aim high on the price of pork chops and say you can get these for around $6-7.  Add a box of Stuffing to that for another $2 and you're still under $10!

Cheese Tortellini with Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
If you buy the refrigerated Cheese Tortellini, it will cost you around $4.  It might be less if you buy it frozen.  Pasta sauce you can always find on sale, but I'll say $2 for this just in case.  The canned diced tomatoes will cost around $1.  The sausage around $2.50.  So, for just under $10 you have a meal for 2 days!

Berry Oatmeal
Again, breakfast for dinner gives you a little break from the ordinary!  Dried fruit can be expensive, BUT the oatmeal is so cheap, you'll still come in way under budget.  So, let's say the dried fruit costs you $5.  The oatmeal might cost around $2.  So, for $7 or less, you have dinner for at least 2 nights.

Apple Breakfast Risotto
The apples might cost around $2, the apple juice, $2 and then the arborio rice might be around $3.  So, for $7, you have dinner for a couple nights.....or breakfast for a couple mornings!

White Bean Chili
Blocks of cheese go on sale all the time!  So, you can get the two blocks of cheese for $3!  The beans might cost around $1 and then the jar of salsa around $2 or less!  So, dinner for $6....for at least a couple days!

Hope's Meatloaf
I can't guarantee you'll have leftovers with this recipe, but if you double it, you will! :)  Even if you double it, you'll come in under $10.  For the ground beef, we'll say $5-6.  The bread crumbs might be around $2.  So, for $7-8 you'll have dinner for two nights.

Jalepeno Ginger Pork Loin
I'm going to guess a 2-3 lb. pork loin will cost you around $5-6.  I might be aiming high.  A jar of jalepeno jelly will be around $2.50.  So, for $7.50-$8.50, you'll have dinner for 2 nights.

Eggplant Parmesan
The Eggplant, depending on the season, I'm guessing might cost you around $3.  You can get a jar of marinara sauce for under $2.  The breadcrumbs will be around $2 as well.  I always have these on hand though, so it will cost less obviously.  This will easily last 2 dinners and only cost you $5-7!

Chicken Picatta
Well, 2 chicken breasts will cost you around $2 or less.  The pasta will cost around $1.  The lemons are usually a dollar a piece, so about $3.  The capers cost around $2.  So, for about $8 you have dinner for 2 nights.

BBQ Pulled Beef Brisket
I don't remember how much Beef Brisket cost exactly, but let's say around $6.  Buy some buns for $1 and some BBQ sauce for about $2 more.  There you have it!  PLENTY of leftovers and a delicious dinner for under $10!

Tropical Pork with Sweet Potatoes
Again, I'm going to say a 2-3lb. pork loin will be around $5-6.  The yams will be around $2.  The crushed pineapple will be around $2.  So, for $10 or a little less, you can have this yummy pork and sweet potatoes!

Black Bean Soup with Chicken and Salsa
2 cans of black beans will cost you around $3, but if you use 1 cup of dried instead and soak them overnight, you can save yourself about $2! The chicken will cost around $1, the salsa around $1.50 or so, and the veggis will probably cost about $3 more.  That brings us to a total of $6.50-49.50.  Don't worry, there will be leftovers!

Italian Sausage Meatball Soup
The meatball ingredients might cost around $3.  The remaining ingredients probably cost around $4 more.  This provides PLENTY of soup for a couple dinners for around $7.

Easy Indian Chicken
The chicken for this recipe will probably cost around $2-3 depending on how much you use.  The curry sauce probably cost $3.  Serve this with rice and there's another $1 at most.  So, this incredibly easy dinner will cost you $6 or less.

Apricot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Apricot Orange Chicken Leftovers
The chicken in this recipe probably cost around $2 or a little more.  The veggies probably cost about $3-4 more.  The apricot preserves cost about $2.50 more.  All together, this brings you to around $8!  Just thinking about it my mouth is watering!!!

Shredded Pork Wraps
The pork will cost around $5.  The salsa, around $1.50.  The tortilla wrappers will cost around $2.  If you choose to use the Broccoli Slaw, it will add another $1.50 or so.  Either way, you have a meal for a couple dinners for $10 or less!

Apricot Chicken
The frozen chicken will cost around $2.  The onion soup mix will be around 75 cents and the apricot preserves will be around $3.  Serve this with rice for another $1 or so and you'll have 2 dinners for $7!

Szechwan Chicken with Green Beans
If you want this one to last you two days, just double the ingredients!  So, the chicken would cost around $1.50 and the veggis would cost around $3.  Add the rice for about $1.  2 delicious dinners for $5.50.

Greek Chicken with Lemon Orzo
The chicken will cost you around $2 or so.  The lemon will be around $1 and then the olives will cost around $2.00.  I'm going to go ahead and say the orzo will cost you $1 to make.  If you make slightly more for leftovers, it will only cost a tiny bit more.  So, this yummy meal will only cost you around $6.

Tomato, Bean and Vegetable Soup
The beans will cost around 50 cents or less.  The canned goods will cost around $3.50.  The vegetables will cost around $3-4 more.  That's a grand total of $8.

Lime Chicken Tacos
The chicken will cost under $2.  The salsa will cost around $2.  The limes will be around $1 and the corn, 50 cents or so.  Add in the taco shells for around $2.  That makes for a total of $7.50!

The Best Bean and Ham Soup
I'm totally guessing on how much a meaty ham bone might cost since a friend gave me one, but I'm going to guess around $2.  The lb. of beans will be around $1.25 or so.  The remaining ingredients might cost another $2 or so.  In all, this soup will cost around $5 to make!

Parsley Chicken
The chicken will cost about $2.  The veggies will cost around $6.  The lemon and cream cheese are about $1/each.  So, that brings you right to $10!

Hope's Crock Pot Mjadra
SO cheap and SO good!  A bag of lentils probably costs under $2.  The onions probably cost another $2.  That's a grand total of $4!!!!  Splurge and buy yourself some good pita bread! ;)

White Chicken Chili
The chicken will cost just around $2 or less.  Blocks of cheese go on sale all the time!  So, you can get the two blocks of cheese for $3!  The beans might cost around $1 and then the jar of salsa around $2 or less!  That brings dinner to a total of $8!

Easy Chicken
To make this meal cheaper, use bone-in chicken!  Bone-in chicken is ALWAYS cheaper and it tastes great too!   If you use bone-in chicken, it will cost around $2......using boneless skinless might cost you $3 or so.  So, this meal will cost you around $3!!!! Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Thanks sooo much for these! I just started my first "big girl" job after college and am trying to keep my food budget down as I pay off loans and hope to travel! I'm super excited about the stuffed cabbage recipe!

    1. Laura,
      You're very welcome! There are MANY more, but I haven't had the extra time to update this $10 or less page in forever! ;)

  2. I want to know where you live that groceries are so inexpensive! lol...I am in Oklahoma and they are at least twice the price, but even so, you have lots of great recipes posted here! I am going to try several in the next month or so :)

  3. I tried 2 recipes but they cost me well over 10 dollars. what grocery do you shop at?

    1. I do most of my shopping at Meijer. I buy boneless skinless chicken in bulk so it cost me about $1.89/lb.

    2. Thank you so much for these recipes. I live alone and am on disability. This site helps as I have very little money to spend and I love utilizing my slow cooker. Freezing some leftovers is ideal as I can pop a container in the microwave and have dinner in a jiffy. Also, by cooking in bulk and freezing, I don't get tired of the same thing three days in a row and hardly any food is wasted. Again, thank you and God bless.

  4. With things as tight as they are for my family right now, I can NOT thank you enough for this!! I realize it's about 3 years old, but still - I googled & you were the first to come up for "Cheap slow cooker meals." You ROCK & most of these sounds delicious!!

  5. These are really good recipes. But all these things you are talking about cost me at least 13-15 dollars. I live in Washington State and out here 1lb of boneless chicken costs anywhere from 8-12 dollars. If I buy the bulk its around 15-20 dollars. I don't see how these are under 10. and also the fact you didn't factor in the prices the spices or other things. I'll admit I am young so I do not stock pile half of the spices. but I'd say you should call this crock pot meals for 10-20 dollars.

    1. Obviously groceries are more expensive in your area. Also, this is from 2011. Prices have changed. Overall, these meals are far more inexpensive than most meals out there. I don't factor in spices because those are pantry type items most people already have. I will never be able to please everybody. Also, please remember, I do all this for FREE. If this site doesn't suit you, I'm sorry. I blog to help people and if I'm not helping you, then maybe it's not the blog for you.

    2. These sound very tasty!!! But not all of them are $10 or less. Yes it may be for the main ingredients. Take the meatloaf for instance... click on the recipe and there are a butt load of ingredients such as eggs...dijon mustard etc... not everyone has those thing in their pantry or refrigerator. The site definitely needs to updaTed because food prices are not that cheap. Thank you for the recipes tho.... I will definitely try the ones I know can be done for $10 or less but only because I have some of the ingredients already.

  6. Thank you so much for posting these recipes!! I have such a busy house, my husband and I have our own business as well as other jobs, 2 children under the age of 3 and I am also pregnant with twins! I am trying to research great recipes that will be easy to make in the crockpot so towards end of my pregnancy or when I have the babies we can still enjoy great meals but not turn to takeout which would be super expensive :)

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  8. Love all these ideas thanks for putting the time into sharing! Prices in El Paso seem a little higher so I will personally need to account for that but even so it helps w the mental grocery block!!

  9. You are awesome. Thanks for the time and work you put into providing these recipes. I truly appreciate it and I am excited to try out these recipes. :)

  10. I am attempting to feed my family for $9.28 a day! I am really hoping these meals with lead me in tge right direction. I already have a stockpile of meat so that wont be a factor. Thnks for taking the tine to do this some families depend on it

  11. I'm a busy newly wed who has never had much training in the kitchen. This is awesome, thanks!

  12. Awesome Awesome and Awesome

  13. These meals are not at all a bad price even if more expensive then they are for her to make in her area. Seems they could feed you for a few nights. People complain too much.

  14. Thank you so much for posting these recipes. You have blessed me and so many others with good food recipes and the opportunity to save some bucks. We are having a tough time with money right now, so your site is a blessing. This is awesome! I come to this site almost every day now. Woohoo! :-)

  15. Love these!! We go through bags of spinach like crazy. A bag with chicken in chicken stock, potatoes. Bag of fav veggies. Crock pot 6-8 hrs on low. Thicken sauce with instant mashed potatoes or corn starch. Serve. Feeds 5 comfortably. We ship aldis and plumbs.

  16. Hope, you have been a life saver with these recipes! If you have more like these, please post them, we would love to try them out! Thank you!!!

    1. I'm so happy this has helped you! I've had so many negative and awful comments on this post I've almost deleted it a bunch of times. :( So, it's refreshing to see something positive!

  17. I just saved your page to the home screen on my phone. Heading to the store now to get things to try the baked ziti. These recipes sound delicious! The prices may no longer be accurate, but they're still very inexpensive ingredients. Nevermind the negativity and naysayers!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Just to let you know... I doubled the recipe and still purchased everything for $11.15, including a pound of ground turkey.

    3. Cassie- thank you so much for the update! Xoxo

  18. You're welcome! Thank you so much for all of your hard work! On a side note, I prefer my pasta a bit saucier, so I added more. It came out absolutely delicious!

  19. You're welcome! Thank you so much for all of your hard work! On a side note, I prefer my pasta a bit saucier, so I added more. It came out absolutely delicious!

  20. Havent tried any of these yet, and cant wait to. Family of 7 on ome income so this will be interesting. I buy alot of sale items then conduct my weekly meal planning its much easier than deciding what you want to make and then go buy it. It can get expensive that way. Thanks

  21. I have tried ten of your recipes so far And All came to your price!! I shop at Aldi... Love your recipes.