Buy This, Not That: Saving Money On Beans

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Buy This Not That Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans

Buy This, Not That: Saving Money On Beans

Beans should be a staple in any frugal household. Not only are they a nutrient dense product full of protein, vitamins and minerals they are also economical and quite frankly, tasty too! Dried beans have been a staple of the human diet since practically forever. And there is a reason for that. Dried beans have a very long shelf life, 1 year in the plastic bags that most beans come in at the supermarket, or if you store them in a dry, cool and dark place away from any light they can be stored for 5 years and if you store them with the oxygen removed they can be stored for up to 10 years! I bulk dried beans in Foodsaver bags in solid colored Rubbermaid totes in my garage (where is is cool up here in Wyoming) and have stored them just fine for about 4 years.

Most grocery stores where I live sell beans for under $1.00 per pound (watch the prices and scout out the best deals). You may even have a store that sells them in bulk for a cheaper price. Growing up my grandma Lopez would buy pinto beans in large 25 lb. bags. I have fond memories sorting beans with her and my sister.

One pound of dried beans is the equivalent of 6 cans of canned beans. If you are thinking about buying canned beans because you have a deal and coupon make sure you are comparing the cost versus dried beans. While canned beans are convenient and nice to have on hand you usually are paying for that convenience. With a little extra work you can cook up a big batch of dried beans and put them in freeze bags or containers and have almost the same convenience. I usually cook up a pound or two of beans in the crock-pot and freeze for easy meal prep.

Or if you have a pressure canner you could even can your own beans. I have never done it myself but it is on my to-do list for sure!

Beans really are a staple of our diet and I love knowing that as long as I have some beans, water and some basic spices and seasonings I could turn them into something to eat for my family. Having already cooked beans in the freezer means I can whip up burrito’s or chili on the fly.  And lentils and split peas cook up easily without pre-soaking for all sorts of tasty dishes.

What do you think? Is cooking up your own dried beans worth the money saving versus the convenience of canned beans? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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  1. I do a combination of both. I have several large bags of bulk pinto beans, black beans, and white beans. I cook them in the crockpot to make my own refried beans, bean soups, etc. Sometimes I am in a hurry and have not cooked beans in advance so it’s nice to have canned ones on hand as well. Sometimes the convenience of just opening a can is worth the little extra cost, but I try to mostly use dried beans. I also have dried lentils and split peas on hand, but they don’t require as much soaking/cooking as the beans.

  2. So I have a crockpot chicken recipe that calls for a can of beans. Do you think I can just throw in dry beans? If so, how else would I change the recipe?


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