Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spilling the Beans on....Beans

Welcome back Thrifty Thursday!!!  I really do try to write a money saving tip for every Thursday, but I am not just a blogger and life happens.  The past couple of weeks have been full of finishing up school, reviews, appointments, and events.  So I had to put my thrifty tips on hold while I got other things done.  I hope you forgive me.  Now that we have that out of the way, I'm going to spill the beans this week on beans.  Read on...
A Glimpse of Normal, Thrifty Thursday, Saving Money, Grocery Budget, Beans, Instant Pot
I try my best to stretch my grocery budget as far as I can.  For me, being the math nerd I am, it is a fun little game.  I win when there is grocery money left at the end of the month.  I lose if I need to get out extra money for groceries.  I told you that I serve soup to save money.  It is cheap, gives us leftovers which either become lunch the next day or I freeze for another day, and it is filling.   I also told you about my Instant Pot that costs a little up front, but helps me save money by not eating out when I forget to thaw dinner and saves me time because things cook quicker in the pressure cooker.  Today I am combining both of these ideas to spill the beans on ....beans.
A Glimpse of Normal, Thrifty Thursday, Saving Money, Grocery Budget, Beans, Instant Pot
Canned beans are not super expensive and I will be the first to tell you that I do buy them sometimes, but not all the time.  At Aldi's (I so hope you have one of these grocery stores where you live, they save me a ton of money) I can pick up canned beans for around 55¢ a can which is a great price, but I can buy a bag of dry beans for around $1.50 - $2.00 a bag depending on where I shop.  That one bag of dry beans is enough beans to equal 4 cans of beans depending on the type of bean.  Also when you buy canned beans they come in the liquid.  That liquid has lots of hidden sugars in it that you just don't need.  When I cook my dry beans, I can use the liquid because it is just water and sometimes a little beef base that I put in to help flavor them.  Dry beans are super easy to cook too.  First you open the beans into a bowl and sort them.  You are looking for rocks that end up in the beans from them being picked....yes beans are picked.  Then wash the beans really good to get the dirt off.  I wash mine a few times and then drain them for a few minutes.  If you are cooking them on the stove you are supposed to soak them overnight, but I usually forgot.  On the stove they take a few hours to get good and soft.  Make sure you cover them with plenty of water before you put them on to boil.  You can add seasonings, salt, and onions while they boil to help add flavor.  You have to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't run out of water or you will burn them...been there, done that, it doesn't smell pleasant.  You can also cook beans in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.  The method is the same as the stove top except you don't need as much water.  I always forgot to start them early enough.  My favorite way to cook beans is the Instant Pot.  I sort the beans, wash them, and then throw them in my Instant Pot.  I added water to cover them and a little more water for broth.  I also add my seasonings, salt, beef base for flavoring, and onion.  I set it on the "Bean" setting for 30 minutes and let it do it's thing.  I think it takes between 1 and 1.5 hours from start to finish (the pot has to pressurize before it cooks) and the beans are always soft.  I take out what we need for whatever soup I am cooking and then I divide the rest into containers for future batches of soup and freeze them.  I cook one bag of beans and I get multiple meals.  I save money and plan ahead.  It is a win in my book.

Do you cook your own beans?   We even sometimes just have ham and beans as a meal which is super tasty too.  How you do you save money on your grocery budget?

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