I usually cook with dried beans once a week for dinner and there’s always some in our refrigerator for breakfast burritos, lunches or after school snacking. Why I cook with dried beans is easy: they cost much less than canned beans, they’re better for my family to eat, and I control how they taste and how much sodium is in them.
While I try really hard not to buy canned beans, you know what? Sometimes, I find myself in a pickle and I have to go the store and buy beans in a can. It absolutely kills me because paying around $1.00 for beans that are in a can lined with bad plastic is not what I want to be feeding my family. To keep this impulse buying to a minimum, I soak the beans over night and when I wake up in the morning, they’re ready to be cooked in my slow-cooker or on the stove top.
Why I cook with dried beans?
1 pound of dry beans, after they’ve been soaked and cooked, yields about 5 1/2 cans of beans. The cost of 1 pound of dry beans = $0.86. To purchase that same of amount of beans in cans costs about $5.50. By purchasing and cooking dry beans instead of canned beans, I’ve saved my family $4.64 in one grocery shopping trip.
Because we eat a lot of beans every week, by eating dry beans instead of canned, I figure this saves my family over $500.00 a year, just on beans. Take that, bean counters! Scoop them from the bulk bins for an even lower cost per pound.
Canned beans usually come in tin cans which are lined with bisphenol-A or BPA (the bad plastic that lines most cans). Canned beans also have an assortment of other ingredients including:
- garlic powder
- calcium chloride
- calcium disodium
- edta (to protect color)
Not every can or manufacturer uses all of these ingredients but it’s worth looking at the ingredients of the brand you buy to see what’s inside. I also check the sodium levels as well.
Dried beans cooked in water do not have much flavoring. You have to add onions, garlic, spices, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make them really tasty. The best part of cooking with dried beans (aside from saving all sorts of money!) is making them taste how you’d like them to.
Keeping a stash of cooked beans on hand is a big money saver on our food budget but it also makes for a quick dinner once a week and plenty of breakfast burritos, lunches or after school snacking. Not only do they cost much less than canned beans, they’re better for my family to eat, and taste better. They fill up hungry tummies in a hurry! Just remember to soak them the night before – reminding myself that, too!
Do you cook with dry beans or do use canned? What’s your favorite recipe that uses beans?
Go Gingham related links:
Spicy, homemade hummus that you make from dried beans
Very easy and tasty white bean dip
Corn and black bean salad – made with dried beans
How our freezer gets used – I keep beans in our freezer!
Grocery shopping soon? Plastic grocery bag alternatives