Beans

If you are looking for ways to cut your grocery costs and improve your health, I suggest incorporating beans into your weekly meal plan. Beans are healthy, cheap, and taste great if you prepare them correctly.

Dried beans are almost always cheaper than canned, plus you can control the amount of salt added to the beans. You cannot compare the price of dried beans to can pound for pound because as beans are cooked they absorb water, adding to their weight. For example a 4 pound bag of dried pinto beans (purchased for $2) will yield almost 13 pounds of refried beans. This breaks down to $0.15 a pound. I have never been able to purchase a can of refried beans for $0.15.

The key to cooking dried beans is water and time. I usually soak my beans over night in a large bowl or pot. Then I cook them the next day in the crock pot. To soak beans place in a container with water. I have never actually measured how much water I use, but I try to add as much as I can without going over the top of the container. Also, leave room for the beans to expand. Beans do not have to be soaked before they are cooked, but it does shorten the cooking time.

The next morning I rinse my soaked and now much expanded beans and place them in the crock pot to cook. Depending on what I am making I might throw other ingredients in as well. Cooking time also depends on what you are making. Refried beans cook all day until they are almost mush, black beans are cooked for a shorter time. The recipe you are using will probably tell you how long to cook your beans.

If you don’t want to use your crock pot you can simmer your beans for one to two hours on the stove top.

Quick Bean facts from Central Bean Co.

  • A pound of beans measures about 2 cups.
  • Beans triple in volume when soaked and cooked.
  • A cup of dry beans yields 3 cups cooked.
  • A pound of dry beans yields 6 cups cooked.
  • Use 3 cups of water per cup of dry beans for soaking.
  • Simmer each pound of beans 2 hours after soaking.
  • A pound of dry beans makes about 9 servings of baked beans.
  • A pound of dry beans makes about 12 servings of bean soup.
  • A one-pound can of cooked beans measures about 2 cups.

There are so many different beans as well as ways to prepare them, you could eat beans every night have still have quite a variety in your menu.

A few of my favorite bean recipes are:

Navy Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (this is great served over rice)

Red Beans and Rice

Pintos and Cheese

Wet Burritos

I love using homemade refried beans to make burritos. Beans are a great healthy filler in recipes. My burritos freeze well and also can be packaged in ziplocs without the sauce for an easy lunch on the go.

Basic Wet Burrito Recipe

  • Refried Beans
  • Chopped onion
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Tortillas

Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Mix beans, onion, and Rotel. Spread on a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and roll up. Place burrito in baking dish. Fill entire baking dish with burritos. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on the burritos. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover the last 5 minutes, sprinkle with cheese, and finish baking.

In this picture I used small tortillas, I would not recommend using then as they don’t hold much filling.

What I love about this recipe is that it can be changed in so many different ways. If you have leftovers in the fridge just mix them in with the beans. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Rice
  • Ground Beef
  • Beef Roast
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Corn

You don’t have to have a large amount of these items a little bit goes a long way in burrito filling.

If you are dying to know more about beans you can visit All About Beans, Central Bean Co., and What’s Cooking America. The Hillbilly Housewife has a some great bean recipes on her site as well.

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This post is linking to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tightwad Tuesday, and Kitchen Tip Tuesday.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. You read my mind. I’m just taking pics of my beans now….who would have thought that we’d grow up to be bean photographers. :) hee hee

    My beans have been in the crock pot for 24 hours. Yep – Our freezer is packed and now I am going to baggy up FIVE pounds of dry beans which is now a gazzilion pounds of cooked beans (and I had no time yesterday to do anything with them. :)

  2. Tina says:

    Your right on beans, they are cheap and you can make various meals out of them. Someone taught me how to make authentic refried beans and i was hooked. I only make homemade now. soak my beans for about 6 hours then use my pressure cooker. It is so awesome to have fresh pinto beans in 30 minutes. I save some and mash the rest for refried beans for beef and burritos. Do you have a recipe for pintos and cheese?

  3. Jennifer says:

    Our staples are rice and potatoes. Hadn’t thought of beans. I am new to the realm of keeper of the home since we ate out 5+/- times a week the first year or so of our marriage (eek!) It’s only been in the past year that I am learning to cook, care for our home etc.
    Will enjoy following along on your blog.

  4. Lovin’ the beans in this house! When hubby and I 1st got married he wouldn’t go near a bean, lol…now just 9 years later he looks forward to “bean night” ;-)

  5. Shannon C says:

    We love beans! I’ve never been motivated enough to cook them on my own, though. Maybe I’ll give it a shot sometime. If you can do it with all the other things you do each day, I can do it too!

  6. momstheword says:

    I love the name “wet burrito” and it looks like a great recipe. I will have to try it. I have cooked with beans but only used canned. I really want to do my own and I just need to do it I guess! It would be a great moneysaver.

  7. rdzins says:

    I can’t get my family to buy in to beans. Any way to convince them?

  8. MB says:

    Wow! 13 lbs of refried beans! I had no idea. I’m not sure I will be able to buy another can of beans again! My son loves refried beans so I might have to make these soon. And some of those other recipes. I do LOVE black beans.

    Thanks!

  9. Cassie says:

    We love beans too! I’ve got pintos and ham hocks simmering on the stove to pair with cornbread and fried potatoes for dinner. Yummy!

  10. We need to work more beans in our meals. There’s nothing I like better than pinto beans, cornbread, fried corn, green beans that have cooked all day and big slices of tomato. Great post! :) Now I’m hungry. LOL
    God bless,
    Amanda

  11. Lawanda says:

    That is so weird. I just posted about beans too! LOL My kids wanted some, after their daddy read them a story about the Great Depression. Their daddy is the only reason we rarely have beans! He hates them. I told him it was his fault we are having beans this week! hahahaha

    You know, I actually have bought cans of food for $.12! :D It wasn’t beans though ;) It was years ago; and I know there was corn, but I know there was other things too, but I cannot remember what they were. It was a grocery store going out of business. I bought so much I think it was YEARS before we got through all of it :D Of course it was when our kids were tiny babies :) haha Those were the good ole days! LOL

  12. I wish my kids liked beans. I grind up white beans and add to my bread. Don’t tell the kids.

    I loved homemade refried beans. :)

  13. Yummy burrito recipe! Also, that is some great info about beans. Cool!

  14. lana says:

    thanks for the tips. I’ve started cooking more beans but I know I need some pointers. This really helped me!

  15. Jerri says:

    Dried beans always taste better than canned. Great tips & recipe!

  16. Angela says:

    Lentils are a great way to make ground beef go farther. I boil large amounts of ground beef at once, to freeze for future recipes. I add lentils to the pot and you can’t really tell they’re there, and they’re healthy too!

  17. Rebecca says:

    My favorite way to eat beans growing up was with ketchup and mustard. (Don’t ask I was a kid). Now I usually keep some cooked ones on hand for beans and rice or burritos, or to just add to the hamburger to stretch it further. My husband hates it when I do that, but someday he will love beans too.

  18. mub says:

    I love beans! I like to use my pressure cooker to soak and cook them, it’s way faster than overnight soaking and cooking.

  19. Sherry says:

    Yum! I love beans. :D Those burritos sound delish, too!

  20. Brenda says:

    I make beans all the time, it took my husband a while to get used to it but now he loves them.

  21. Angela says:

    Pinto beans and cornbread is my favorite meal! Can you tell I’m from the south?! Anyhoo – I’ve never tried soaking them overnight, so I think I will do this next time!! Thanks for sharing!
    ~angela @ peonypatch

  22. Alright, I’m convinced. I need to try to use beans more often! Thanks for the great information!

  23. Ohhhh the Wet Burritos look soooooooooo GOOD. I am for sure going to try out the Wet Burritos !

    I have been wanting to expand my bean recips. Thank you for posting this.

    Blessings and ((HUGS)) my SSiC
    In Him<
    -Mary

  24. Okay, I surrender. I have been so intimidated by the thought of using dried beans that I have forgone that option and just used canned. *sigh* Now, however, with your easy-to-follow directions, I suppose I can’t do that any longer. I think it’s my last kitchen-hurdle to get over. I would *love* really explicit directions – for instance, you can freeze them?? Do I do that after soaking, or after cooking? Do I just throw them in a plastic zipper bag? And how do I gauge how long I leave them in the crockpot?

    All right – off to put DRIED beans on my grocery list. Thanks for the kick in the pants. *grin*

    Have a great week!
    Shani

  25. TheHappyHousewife says:

    I shop at the military commissary, but I have seen beans that cheap at Walmart as well.

  26. angie says:

    thanks for sharing such a great recipe

  27. Ila says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I really could use some ideas for cutting costs. Actually, we all could!

    The Basic Wet Burrito Recipe sounds soooo good! I’m going to have to make that sometime soon!

  28. We’re fixing a lot more beans around here, too. I rarely cooked with them even one year ago. Where have I been?!? ;-)

  29. Melissa says:

    We eat lots of dried beans, too. Another advantage of using dry beans instead of canned: salt. Canned beans tend to contain a lot of sodium, but dry beans have none. (There is at least one brand of low-sodium canned beans, but they’re far more expensive than dry.) I use the dry beans so I can add as much, or as little, salt as we like.

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  1. […] sense: If you can do it yourself, the grocery store will probably charge more to do it for you. So cook your own pinto beans instead of buying canned. Steam your own broccoli in a covered pot with an inch or two […]

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