I love a good money saving purchase and lately my search, particularly through social media, has taken me to the humble slow cooker.
The slow cooker, or crock pot as it’s also known, was reportedly first invented in the 1940s and despite not taking a pretty photo, its rise to fame, for a product that generally costs between $25 and $200, has gone from cookbook craze to top Facebook group status.
Public groups like, Crockpot/Slow Cooker Recipes & Tips and Slow Cooker Recipes for Families have amassed a combined following over just over 1-million people, including both men and women.
The groups offer people the ability to find recipes for fast food done slow and cheap, which are typically for stews, curries and cakes but they also share videos of their favourite cooking appliance.
But it’s been the confessions of slow cookers to which I most relate and love to read with one recent post reading: “Is it okay for me to buy a 5th slow cooker?”
And, “I’ve got to survive on $50 bucks a week, how do I do it with my slow cooker”. That post alone got 300-plus comments with budget saving suggestions.
While the appeal of such groups is all about the food and the pot, there’s no getting away from the cost savings benefit of slow cooking.
Cheaper cuts of meat and even lower electricity usage as opposed to traditional oven cooking, are potentially saving people hundreds of dollars, if not thousands a year, say community members.
According to grocer Harris Farm, meat cuts like Brisket are about $20 a kilo, beef ribs about $30 a kilo and Ox Cheek about $16 a kilo.
Compare that to the cost of an eye fillet steak and you might be looking at between $50 to $70 a kilo. These prices will vary between wholesale and retail butchers and time of posting.
The concept of using social media to share money saving stories is becoming increasingly more popular particularly among women who are known to make 70%-80% of the consumer household spending decisions.
Melissa Brown accountant and author believes that 2020 will be the year where more women in particular take action on their finances by doing their own research and using digital apps that make life easier.
This could well mean that a diverse range of social media groups become even more popular for money conscious shoppers, savers and investors.
“Women are a bit tired of being told that we are either savers or spenders,” she said. “So rather than speak to us as a group people need to realise that women are more complicated and we are different and we need solutions that are more personalised.”
Facebook has also allowed for other money saving groups to thrive.
Groups like Kmart Mums Australia, Aldi Mum, Aldi Mum’s and Aldi Mum have a combined following of nearly 600,000 and allow women to review and compare Aldi products with those bought elsewhere, get recommendations and discuss how much they have saved.