I've been thinking about getting one and when I saw a nice version on sale at Target for $29.99 I snapped one up and took it home with me (I paid for it of course!). There was a Hamilton Beach version at Target for the same price but it didn't have the 5 heat settings that this one has. You can set it at 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours and 10 hours. Once it's done it's cycle it goes into Warm mode. You can also just turn it on to warm mode too. The Hamilton Beach version had only low, medium and high settings. No hours and no warm mode! Not good.
I think a crockpot is a good investment for the Fall and Winter. I'll be making lots of soups and stews and casseroles. I also very much like the idea of throwing some ingredients into the crockpot in the morning, going to work and coming home to a hot meal, ready-to-eat.
I just made my first beef stew in the crockpot and that recipe is coming up next. Stay tuned.