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Is it Worth it to Make Beans from Scratch?
Those $1 cans of beans sure seem like a good deal – but is it much cheaper to make beans from scratch? Canned beans are convenient, and I feel have their place. If you choose to make your beans from scratch it’s nice to know how much your efforts are actually worth. As it turns out, a lot.
I know some people who do a little of both – making beans from scratch, and also keep some cans in their pantry for quick meals. As far as a nutritious food, it’s a good choice no matter how it arrives on your plate.
Personally, I like to make my own beans in my Instant Pot. This was especially true after I calculated buying canned beans vs. making from scratch.
Back to calculating those hills of beans. We need to compare the same units in order to calculate our cost. On the one hand, we have cooked beans (canned) and on the other dry (uncooked).
A can of beans contains 1.5 cups of beans. Let’s say the can costs $.99. So, that’s $.99/1.5 cups=$.66 per cup
I buy beans in bulk at Smart Food Service for $.48/lb. One pound of dry beans makes 6 cups cooked.
Cost for cooked beans in can: $.66/cup
Cost for homemade cooked beans: $.08/cup
These cost 88% less!
Now you know how much a hill of beans really amounts to! 🙂
Knowing that the beans in the cans can cost just $.12 can really shift the way you look at sales and what may “seem like a good price.” You may be thinking, “but it’s only a can of beans for $.99.” Imagine if you were to save 88% on every item on your grocery list. If you apply the strategy of comparing prices, it’s possible. See how I achieved this with a Price Book.
I use this Instant Pot in the 8 qt. size to cook my beans. It’s so easy, and the beans come out a better texture than other methods. Cost aside, I like the way homemade tastes much better. I used to make my beans in a slow cooker which took 8 hours. After you use it once, the intimidation factor is gone. Soon you will be making quite a hill of beans! Heck, maybe even a mountain! 🙂
Or maybe you choose not to make beans from scratch. In that case, you can still save money by stocking up when canned beans go on sale for the lowest price in your area.
I feel these comparisons can really help you lower your food bill dramatically. And, by applying these strategies, your savings will add up to much more than a hill of beans!
Happy Saving! 🙂
Update: I just had a request for my bean recipe, (Thank you Charity! 🙂 ) and wrote this up quickly (I’m so old school!) I will type this up later and even add one of those cool print buttons. This old-fashioned girl likes her pen and paper LOL! I also have a refried bean recipe I’ll add. That one uses whole onions and garlic. When I’m planning to keep beans whole, I prefer onion powder and garlic.
Note: Adding a couple of bay leaves to beans when they cook adds a nice flavor, be sure to remove if mashing!
To Make Unfried Refried Beans Instead: Use these same ingredients adding 2 chunked whole onions in place of the onion powder. Drain the cooked beans in a colander, reserving some cooking water. Mash by hand or with an immersion blender, adding only enough of the reserved water back in to make creamy and of desired consistency.
I like to use an Immersion Blender to mash the beans, makes it really easy!