Monday, April 23, 2012

Frugal Food

In light of my efforts to stay within our monthly food budget, I started doing things that I thought were a waste of time before. Like cooking beans. The time it can take to cook them seemed ridiculous. Especially when canned beans are fairly inexpensive and duh, easy. However, thanks to Pinterest, I came across Budget Bytes. The author of this blog breaks down the cost of her recipes per serving and they are so tasty and even pretty good for ya! My favs so far have been hearty black bean quesadillas (seriously one of the best things I've ever put into my mouth), cumin lime chickpeas, and her homemade taco seasoning. She just posted a recipe for lentil tacos that I cannot WAIT to try. So, back to my original thought... I've been trying to cook recipes with inexpensive ingredients. Beans (and lentils too) seem to fit the bill. And thanks to Budget Bytes, they are now even less costly. The genius behind the blog, Beth, shows how to cook them in the crock pot. Basically you take 6 cups of water for every pound of beans, 4 hours on high in the crock and bam. You've got soft, delicious beans. 

Rinse 'em off in a strainer.

Then divvy them up using a measuring cup to scoop roughly 2 cups worth of
beans into freezer safe containers. Each container equals about 1 can of beans. 

I get about 6 or 7 "cans" worth out of 2 pounds of beans. And other bonus: less packaging waste and far less sodium and preservatives. It's really amazing to see the amount of salt, sugar, and other such things I've never heard of that are in a seemingly innocent can of beans. Before I started cooking my own beans I found myself buying organic canned beans because of the junk that was in canned chickpeas and kidney beans in particular. Canned organic beans run about $1.25 a can. Now I'm paying only cents more for an entire bag of beans that I can get at 3 cans out of. Granted they're not organic, but they are much more pure. It's a good thing to see when the only ingredient listed is: beans :)


our backyard homestead said...

Thanks Sara for posting!!!!

Shana L. Edinger said...

I have really enjoyed your Frugal posts. A few months ago I started cooking my own beans too. A few weeks ago I scored an overstock sale at Krogers with 2 lbs for a $1. That makes it even better!

Leslie said...

Do you use some of the liquid the beans were cooked in? reading the comments in the post on Budgey Bytes many women mentioned that - just wondering... I've got a pound of white beans in the slow cooker right now...