OK, so even though we bought a house and my life is totally crazy and up in the air right now, I’m still going to try to keep blogging because I love it and I love all of you!
Last year I made a whole bunch of resolutions. I kept some of them (I ran my second half-marathon, read more, brought less work home, saved money) and didn’t keep some of them (cooking from a cookbook 1x a week, doing more yoga, running 1000 miles). Quite frankly, 11 resolutions was a lot to keep track of!
This year, I want to focus on self-reliance.
For me, a big part of learning to cook has been learning to make things that I used to buy all the time. Nut butter, bread, pickles, BBQ sauce, marinara, salad dressing, pesto, etc. It’s fun realizing that I can make all of these things myself and exciting to save money, reduce packaging, and control things like salt and preservatives. Why wouldn’t you make your own when had the opportunity?
Today, let’s talk about making something that I always assumed was kind of complicated and time-consuming – cooking your own beans.
We eat a lot of beans here at Casa Ellis. And while paying $.099/can is not a terrific hardship, I was sure that by cooking my own beans I could cut down that cost significantly.
I started with 2 pounds of dried black beans from the bulk section at Sprouts. They cost $1.67/lb, so I paid $3.34 total.
When I got home, I sorted the beans, removing any broken ones, and rinsed them. Then, I dumped them in my slow cooker with 12 cups of water (6 cups per pound), turned it on high, set the timer for 4.5 hours, and walked away.
I checked them at 4 hours and they were nice and tender, so I drained them, rinsed them, and set them aside to cool. When they were cool enough to handle, I weighed them out into 15oz baggies. I ended up with 6 bags, bringing my cost per can (bag) to $0.56, a savings of $0.43. It might not sound like a lot, but when I buy 5 cans of black beans a week, it certainly adds up. And when bulk beans go on sale, which they are sure to do, you can bet I’ll be buying instapot to make a mega-batch!
I think I’ll try garbanzo beans next – we don’t eat a lot of them during the winter, but I go through cans of them like crazy when it gets warmer.
Do you cook your own beans?