As a busy mom, I'm finding the crock pot is a valuable time saver. I found a wonderful book called Home Tested Slow Cooker Recipes. It's wonderful. I even had dear hubby make a chili for us one night. We used the crock pot about 3 times last week. It was great. I threw everything in when I got up and when it's was time for dinner the main course was done. Hubby used the Chili Recipe.
He had to brown up 2 lbs of ground beef. Then added that to the 4- 8oz cans of tomato sauce and 3 - 15 oz cans of chili spiced kidney beans. Throw it all in slow cooker ond high he was done in 3 hours. you can cook all day on low for 6-8 hours. the Chili spiced kidney beans are a real money saver. I like them because then I don't have to go out and buy a bunch of spices that never get used again. This book contains lots of down to earth recipes that anyone can do, that's me I'm not Emeril Thanks God.
Check your local thrift store especially right now after christmas when everyone's bringing in their older appliances because they got new. I sell standard crock pots for 5-10 in my store. I'll try to find a link for the book and post here for you. so far we tried 4 of the recipes and will be trying some more in the next couple of weeks. As we try to use up what's left in freezer and fridge.
Below is link to the book I mentioned above and the other link is the kind of crock I use. You can buy crock pots anywhere. But spend the extraa money and get a removeable crock.