Canned beans are convenient because they are precooked. You just dump, drain, and rinse. But they are also double the price than if you were to prepare beans yourself. A lot of people stray away from buying dry beans because they think it’s too much work to put into them.
I’m going to share an easy time-efficient way to prepare and how to cook dry beans, and why you should consider making the switch.
Does Buying Dry Beans Really Make a Big Difference?
Let’s just say this: if you think canned beans are cheap… your wallet is really in for a treat when you switch to buying dry beans. On average, a 14 oz. can of beans costs around $0.60, this will contain almost 2 cups. Not bad. But, you can also buy 1 pound of dry beans for around $0.90, in return this will give you about 6 cups.
If you’re doing the math correctly, canned beans are twice as expensive as dry beans. That’s not even searching for a good deal on dry beans either.
Always Buy Dry Beans in Bulk
The best deal you can get for dry beans will be in bulk at an ethnic grocery store. I’m not sure why this is, but commercial grocery stores just don’t have the best deals for dry beans. Don’t get me wrong, they are still cheaper than if you were to buy canned. But if eating beans are a staple in your household, by all means stock up. They can last up to 1-2 years in a pantry.
How to Cook Dry Beans
This preparation is valid for any bean that requires a long cooking time, such as black beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, and so on. Basically anything besides lentils falls into this category.
- Rinse dry beans.
- Add beans to a large bowl or pot and cover with cold water. Make sure the water is many inches above the beans.
- Soak overnight for 8 hours.
- In the morning, you’ll notice the beans are plump. Rinse and drain them.
- Add them to a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring this to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat and cook it on a simmer for 1 hour. Some beans need a longer cooking time, so taste until they are ready. They should be tender, not mushy.
- Some foam may gather on top while cooking, just remove it as it appears.
- Cool the beans completely and you can store them in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 6 months.
You can skip the soaking overnight step, but the cooking time will be much longer. This is a process, but definitely worth it if you eat beans frequently and want to save money.
Add Flavor to the Beans
When cooking the beans, you can add flavor by boiling herbs or vegetables with them. You can add rosemary, thyme, garlic, onion, whatever your heart desires.
What you don’t want to do is to add salt. Adding salt will slow down the cooking process as it prevents the beans from soaking up water. Wait until the beans are finished cooking to add salt.
Do you have any advice to share? Leave it in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our meal plans to help you with your money-saving goals.