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4 Easy, Budget-Friendly Crock Pot Meals

Save time this week and make these kid-approved crock pot meals, because let's be honest, no one really has time to slave over the stove or oven while you are juggling after-school events, sports practice, and daily chaos. Even though I work from home and rarely go anywhere, I rely on my crockpot more than any other appliance in the kitchen.

Before I had kids, I didn't use my crock pot much. I made a lot of easier meals since I mostly was cooking for one, but I had more time to stand in the kitchen and actually cook a meal. Nowadays, I don't know what I would do without a crockpot. It's a bonus that all these meals are budget-friendly. If you are like me, I cook for 1.5 people each night (me and a toddler), so most of these meals will leave me with lots of leftovers, so sometimes I can get away with only cooking every few days.

Below are the recipes, and if you keep on scrolling... I've put together a printable shopping list for all the ingredients you need! I shop for these meals exclusively at ALDI, which helps keep prices low.

Chicken Tikka Masala

If you don't already love Indian food, this will ignite that flame. It's the easiest meal and so flavorful. Even better, it's so incredibly budget friendly. This has quickly become a favorite in our household and is great for the fall and winter. It uses 3 ingredients, making it perfect for even the worst of cooks!

Serves: 4


2 Chicken Breasts

1 Jar Tikka Masala Simmer sauce

8oz cream cheese, cubed

1. Place the chicken breast and cubed cream cheese in the crock pot and set on HIGH 6

2. After approximately 5 hours, shred the chicken, dump in the jar of Tikka Masala sauce, and mix, making sure there are no chunks of cream cheese left.

3. Finish cooking for the last hour, and serve over rice (we prefer Jasmine rice or basmati)

Chicken Or Beef Teriyaki with Vegetables

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use beef or chicken, depending on your preferences. We eat a lot of chicken at our house, usually reserving red meat for when we have really good steaks or burgers (which is often!). If you use beef, use thin sliced skirt steak or cubed stew meat - something bite sized to soak up all the sauce and flavor.

Serves: 4


1 Jar Teriyaki Sauce (we love the Aldi brand sauce)

1 Bag frozen Stir-Fry Medley vegetables - this usually has snap peas, broccoli, peppers, carrots, baby corn, and water chestnuts

2 Chicken Breast, cubed OR 1.5 lb stew meat

1. Cook the chicken or stew meat on high for 6 hours

2. After 4 hours, strain the juices from the meat and dump in frozen veggies and whole jar of Teriyaki sauce

3. Let cook for remaining 2 hours

4. Stir and serve with rice or rice noodles

Orange Chicken

This is so reminiscent of the orange chicken that you would get at a Chinese restaurant, only significantly cheaper and you can make it in the crock pot. It's another kid-approved recipe that only takes 4 ingredients and chances are, you already have the ingredients in your pantry!

Serves: 4


3/4 cup Orange Marmalade

3/4 cup Barbeque sauce

2 Tbsp Soy sauce

2 Chicken Breast

1. Cook the chicken breast on high for 4 or 6 hours.

2. With 30 minutes of cook-time left, drain the liquid from the crockpot, and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces

3. In a bowl, stir together the orange marmalade, barbeque sauce, and soy sauce

4. Pour sauce over chicken and mix together.

5. Let cook for remaining 30 minutes and serve over rice

Pizza Sausage Hoagies

These hoagies are a fun way to switch up crock pot meals. They require a bit more effort than the other recipes, but only 10-15 minutes of your time so it's easy to finish up the meal quickly when you get home from a busy day! Depending on your family's preference, use mild or spicy Italian sausage. Make an easy side salad to accompany the hoagies or other vegetable of choice.

Makes 6 Subs


1 pack Italian sausage, mild or hot

1 jar marinara sauce

1 small sweet onion, chopped

1 pack Hoagie rolls

Provolone cheese

1. Slice the Italian sausage and remove casing.

2. In your crock pot, cook the onion, sausage, and marinara sauce on low for 8 hours

3. In a 9x13 casserole dish, line up the hoagie rolls (open side up!). Fill the rolls with sausage and sauce mixture. You should be able to fill up approximately 6 hoagie rolls.

4. Cover each hoagie with provolone cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly

5. Serve while hot!


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