Bagged dried beans offer more than just healthy eating. They are inexpensive and come in a large variety. For those of you watching their salt, you can easily control the salt content compared to some canned beans with a high sodium content. Sure, you can buy expensive low-sodium brands, but that defeats the purpose of buying low-cost dried.
But canned beans do offer one convenience…they’re quick and easy. So to equal the convenience of canned beans, it makes much more sense to cook a big batch of beans – the way YOU like them – and freeze them in whatever size portions that you prefer for later use. Cook them relatively plain so that you have max flexibility for the future, just like canned beans. You can easily do this one evening or on a weekend afternoon when you’re sitting around watching a movie.
Beans freeze really well and they defrost easily in the microwave or in fridge while you’re at work. Little ziplock bags take up little room. Beans in the freezer are like money in the bank. A much better return than you’ll ever get from the stock market.
These are based on prices found at local grocery stores, coupled with data from my own cooking.
- Average cost for a can of cooked beans: $1.19
- Average contents of a can of cooked beans: 2 cups cooked beans
- Average cost for a pound of dried beans: $1.99
- Average cooked contents of a pound of dried beans: 8 cups cooked beans
From this, it’s just simple math.
- Average cost of pre-cooked beans: $0.60 per cup, cooked
- Average cost of dry beans: $0.25 per cup, cooked
- Energy and water use to cook beans: $0.01 per cup, estimated
- Savings per cup using dry beans: approximately $0.34 per cup, cooked
For roughly every cup of cooked beans that I prepare myself (approximately 1/8 lb. dry beans will cook into 1 cup cooked beans), I save $0.34, including the additional costs. That may not sound like much, but that’s about a 25% savings per can.
To keep you well stocked in fresh cooked beans, I’ve discovered a quick and easy way to cook them, and I’ll show you how.
This Food Substitutions list has come in handy more than once. I keep this list taped up inside one of my kitchen cabinets and add to it as I discover more handy substitutions. Do you have any that I can add? Please leave a comment!
The Handiest Food Substitutions Ever!
Allspice (1 tsp)
1 tsp. cinnamon plus 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.
Apple Pie Spice
4 parts cinnamon, 1 part nutmeg and 1 part ginger.
Baking Powder (1 tsp)
1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.
Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbsp)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar.
You can imagine my excitement when I heard that my friend who lives in England just had a baby girl. Not only was I happy for her and her husband, but that meant that I got to go shopping. And not just any-old shopping, but shopping for a girl! (you fellow mothers of three boys can understand my enthusiasm!)
So check out the adorable outfit I bought. It had a little shirt, leggings with sweet hearts on the knees, a matching hat and matching booties. And the store also gave me a pretty striped box, polka dot tissue paper and a cute paper shopping bag. And I found a baby gift card with the polka dot theme. I was in heaven!
Granola that you buy in the store is not only expensive but full of fat and calories. And most of them are not gluten-free, leaving many of us out of luck. But this version is not only gluten-free, but fruit-filled and much healthier. And the best part, it’s easy to make.
I am not a vegan, but I pretend to be one. Vegetarianism has been spreading through my family like a friendly virus. First, my youngest son at 14 became a vegetarian (he’s now 21 and never looked back). Then, when my middle son went to college, he discovered how expensive buying meat can be and now he’s vegetarian. My husband and I watched Fork Over Knives and am now “almost” vegetarian. And my eldest son, my last holdout, just announced that he was vegetarian (thank you, girlfriend Diana).