In recent posts, I have shared a couple ways that I have saved on my laundry and beauty routines. Today, I’m going to share one of the simple, but yummy, ways I save on my food budget. 💰
Are you ready for this?…I cook my own pinto beans instead of buying canned. 😳 Yes, I know that canned beans aren’t all that expensive, but when you compare the difference in cost between dry beans and canned beans there is definitely a difference.
I’ll give you the recipe I use to cook them and break down the cost as well, I’ll be sure to be conservative and overestimate for argument sake…😉
- 2 pound bag of pinto beans (a 2 pound bag sells at my favorite supermarket for a little under $2.00)
- 1 gallon of water (I have to purchase bottled, so 1 gallon is 30 cents)
- 1 large onion chopped (50 cents at the highest)
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flake (I buy spices in bulk, so this is mere pennies, but we’ll say 25 cents)
- 2 teaspoons or 2 cubes beef bouillon (I use the powdered, so this comes out to pennies, as well, but we’ll say 25 cents again)
- salt to taste (not even going to add cost because it doesn’t even come out to pennies)
I’ll tell you how I make them and then we’ll figure cost and savings.
- In a large stock pot, add rinsed and cleaned pinto beans to the gallon of water and bring to boil.
- Rapidly boil, uncovered for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 2 hours.
- Bring beans and water* back to boil then simmer for 30 minutes, with the lid tilted.
- After the 30 minutes, remove from stove and pour into large Crockpot along with the onion, crushed red pepper and beef bouillon.
- Cook on low for at least 4 hours.
- Cool completely before placing in storage containers. Store in freezer until ready to thaw and use.
* The directions on the package for the beans tell you to use fresh water for the second step in cooking. I prefer the taste of the beans with the “used” water. If you cleaned your beans well, it shouldn’t matter.
Two pounds of dry beans makes 4 quarts of cooked beans.
Now, let’s break down the cost…
- The cost of the dry beans, water, onion, red pepper flake and bouillon comes to $3.30 for 4 quarts of ready-to-serve beans.
- The cost of a 15 ounce can of beans is usually about 69 cents a can (unless you come across a great sale). So, the cost of 8 cans of beans (about 4 quarts) is $5.52.
- That’s a minimum savings of $2.22.
Now, I know that in our “spend-thrift” society, $2.22 might not sound like much, but when you save a couple of dollars here and a couple of dollars there, it sure can multiply. 💰💰
It may seem like a lot of work if you’ve never cooked dry beans before, but it sounds more time consuming than it really is. In addition to the cost savings, here are some other benefits of cooking dry beans versus using canned beans…
- They taste soooo much better!
- The house smells great while you’re cooking them. 👃
- You control the amount of salt/sodium that goes into your beans.
- Your family will think you’re a 🌟Superstar 🌟 and you’ll feel like one too!