Cooking at home can seem daunting, but can improve your health and save you money in the long run. In this series we will take a look at kitchen utensils and gadgets that can make cooking at home easier.

Today’s gadget is the crockpot. Truly your best friend for meal planning and on cold days. This little gem comes in a variety of sizes and in both manual and automatic. It makes it easy to throw in ingredients before you head to work and have a hot meal ready and waiting for you when you get home. You can also reheat “freezer” meals or use it for batch cooking and preparing leftovers to have through the week. Cooking on low for a longer amount of time can help tenderize less expensive cuts of meat, and it actually uses less electricity than an oven making it more budget friendly on both accounts. It sells in a variety of different sizes starting around $15 and going up to around $50.