Thursday, 23 May 2013

Winter money saving ideas. The trusty Slow cooker.

Winter is almost upon us southern hemisphere dwelling folk and for our family this can be an expensive time of the year.  It seems I am always reaching for my wallet once the cold hits.  Keeping a home warm, comfortable and safe is an expensive thing to do and as the winter weather settles in the cost to do this increases. 

During winter the main increases in expenditure are electricity ( i.e heating) and hot water.  The bills associated with these two services can double or more during winter months even if you have an alternative heating method like wood or gas.  The simple process of keeping cloths dry can be a challenge and often an expense. These two services aside there are also many "hidden" increases that we might not initially notice.  Have you ever examined your grocery bill during the winter months?  Our household grocery bill increases quite a bit during winter.  As a general rule people spend a lot more time indoors (for obvious reasons) when its cold.  You start work in darkness and usually finish work in darkness, daylight hours are less and the temperature has dropped so you go into hibernation mode.  Being inside makes it a lot easier to curl up in front of the TV (or with a book) and grab a "snack".  People that spend winter in reasonably cold climates tend to eat more and usually put on some "winter fat" as my grandmother called it.

A simple basic solution that saves us considerable money on groceries this time of the year is to utilise our trusty slow cooker.  You can load it up with an inexpensive cut of meat, tons of veggies, spices, herbs and what ever takes your fancy.  Switch it on in the morning and come home to a cooked meal that is perfect for winter.  Wash it down with your favourite bevvy, minimal washing up, minimal preparation time, everyone is happy.  Experiment with recipes change things around a bit, I have never found cooking easier, cheaper or quicker (as it cooks while you are at work) than using a slow cooker.  They usually make enough food to provide leftovers for lunch the following day too.  Yummo.  JM