When you get your Christmas stuff out this year, hang on to that timer for your lights. Plug your slow cooker into it and you have yourself a programmable, delayed timer for your slow cooker! Set the timer to come on when you want the slow cooker to start. Make sure it's on long enough (don't set it to only be on for an hour or something -- disaster!). Plug the slow cooker into the timer and the timer into the wall. Turn the slow cooker knob to high or low (whichever you need for your recipe) and walk away. This is great when you are gone from the house for 12 hours a day but only want to cook something that calls for 5 hours on low.
Be smart about using the delayed start... Don't cook anything with ingredients that will spoil if sitting out on the counter for a couple of hours before the slow cooker comes on.