To say that student life is busy is a drastic understatement. Your days are spent bouncing from class to class, and your evenings are spent studying, working, or socializing–and sometimes all three. With little free time available to make meals like you would have enjoyed at home, it’s no surprise so many students fall victim to the dreaded “Freshman 15.” That’s why a slow cooker is a must-have for any student living on, or off campus. Here’s why:


1. It’s easy

You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to whip up delicious dishes in a slow cooker. You also don’t need to hit the grocery store to buy a long list of special ingredients; in fact, in most cases, whatever veggies and meats you have in your fridge will do the job–even if those veggies are close to hitting their “best before date.” Add to that the fact that most recipes take no longer than 10 minutes to prepare, and it’s hard to argue with the fact that a slow
cooker is a busy person’s dream appliance.

2. You can prep 

The joy of a slow cooker is that you can put your ingredients into it the night before so you wake up to delicious breakfasts, lunches, or dinners that can be portioned into Tupperware and feed you through the week. Whether it’s oatmeal, soup, chili, or an entire roasted chicken, a slow cooker has got your back. So, regardless of how hard you’re studying, or
conversely, how hard you are “socializing” you can still set yourself up with nutritious meals to get you through your week.

3. It saves room 

Regardless of whether or not you are living on, or off campus, space will likely be a luxury. With a slow cooker, you can forgo a number of pots and pans, and stick to one appliance that will meet the vast majority of your needs. They come in various sizes, like this 8 liter one from Crock-Pot and this 6.5-quart slow cooker, so when space is an issue, you can go with a smaller version that will still be large enough to help you do your meal prep for at least a few days.

4. Cost effective 

I’m not going to sugarcoat this­–as a student you are very likely going to be broke, so premium cuts of meat and organic produce might not exactly be in the budget. Thankfully, with a slow cooker, you can use inexpensive meats along with produce that might have seen better days, to make a great meal. Meats tenderize throughout the course of their time in a slow cooker, and even veggies that are on their deathbed get new life when part of a great soup or chili.

5. It’s social 

Whether you’re living in residence or off campus, being a student means working hard and socializing even harder. What better way to introduce yourself to your neighbours than by whipping up a batch of inexpensive chili and hosting a games night in your dorm room? Or perhaps you swap meals with other dorm or roommates with slow cookers so you don’t end up eating the same thing day after day. When you can cook in larger batches, you can share your creations with friends, both new and old.

There are countless recipes online that will help you make the most of your slow cooker. From oatmeal to chili to the most amazing tacos you’ll ever eat, there’s not much you can’t cook in a slow cooker, which makes it one of the best appliances a student could ever have.

Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.