To save money, we have been using more dry beans these last few months. We used to buy black beans at Wal-Mart for a reasonable cost. But, we are able to save even more money by soaking them, cooking them, and storing them ourselves.
First - I buy large bags of dry black beans at the bulk food store. This past trip I bought a bag that was 4.18 pounds. (This cost me $5.81.)
Next - We soaked the beans in a
Then - We drained the water and added fresh water. Cover the beans with water and then add one more inch.
Saute and Add - (per pound) 1/2 onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 Tbls. oil, 2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper
Cook - several hours until the liquid is creamy and the beans are tender
Cool and store - We store the beans in cottage cheese type containers in the freezer
With this last batch we were able to cook 256 ounces of beans. This is the equivalent of 7 cans of black beans at Wal-Mart. Seven cans of Great Value brand beans (price $.68/15 oz can) = about $11.50.
So, after factoring in the onion and seasoning we saved at least $4. Is it worth it? It is to me! You cannot put a price on knowing where/how your food is cooked/stored!!! We eat five pounds of dry beans in a month's time so we might be saving more than $50 a year. Not bad.
Next, we need to conquer Kidney Beans, because the canned kidneys at the store have high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in them. We have two children in our church who are allergic to HFCS. So, I am need to be very careful that I don't accidentally make them sick with the food I prepare for potlucks!