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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Ann Masur

Less than $2 Easy and Healthy Slow Cooker Meal (gluten-free and dairy-free options)

The key here is to purchase less popular cuts of meat. Due to some minor health issues, I haven’t had a desire to spend excess time learning new things in the kitchen. So, I needed to keep it simple, and I’ve found a few easy ways of going about this. While the war on meat rages, I feel much better eating it, and my skin and hair seem to be better off as well. Of course buying quality/organic meat is ideal, but sometimes you just need a cheaper set of meals for the week, and this is what we do.

MEAT: Giant package of chicken drumsticks, thighs or a combination. Put in slow cooker with a bit of BBQ sauce and salt/pepper and cook on low for 4+ hours or high for 2+ hours (if frozen, cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours). I like to check every so often and stir, but that's probably not necessary.

VEG: Frozen broccoli, one bag per dinner ( we steam)

STARCH: Sourdough loaf (homemade or store-bought) or small bag of Potatoes (boiled and smashed with butter or olive oil)

The approximate breakdown:

Meat: $8

Veg: $2

Starch $2

This will feed our family of two adults and two small children for 8 meals, so it comes to $1.50 a meal, but even if it would only feed your family one meal and maybe a snack, it's still less that $3 at that!

I did not add the BBQ sauce and butter in the figure, but it's just a few cents more. :)

Additional tips and ideas:

Living in England, I realize not everyone has a large freezer, but if you have a bit of space, buying a few packages of chicken, broccoli (or whatever vegetable your family might eat) is a helpful way to have a quick meal for later that evening of you’re like me and quite often wake up having not planned that day’s dinner. We drive a little ways to shop at Aldi’s for a bulk/stock-up (we do not live near a Costco, etc) and buy the smaller bits we need throughout the week at local stores.

Whether you're living in a new place and are feeling the stress of having too much to do, or Black Friday shopping has done some damage on the checking account, I hope this meal helps you feel some calm and simplicity as you're gentle with yourself and your wallet. Nourishing home-cooked meals are good for us in multiple ways. Here's to family time and sitting around the table--as much as my little ones will allow. :)

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I’m Audrey Ann—a writer who treasures the gift of travel, and I’m a mama who endeavors to love where I live one playdate, grocery trip, and sunset at a time. An island girl with heartland roots, I currently live in the Cotswolds of the United Kingdom. 

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