Do dried beans actually work out any cheaper than tinned beans when you factor in the gas/electric used to cook them?
Myrtle from UK
By Su Wilson
I always buy store brand canned goods so I can't say it is cheaper to use dried beans. Canned beans are much more convenient. Now that I am retired and have time to cook a bit more I cook my dried beans in winter and use canned in summer.
I use dried beans unless I am in a real hurry, always for soups. I'm more likely to open a can of black beans to go with tacos or for a throw together casserole.
I was just checking the prices and canned beans usually cost around $.75 (more or less) for 15 oz (so we will call that two cups)
One cup of dried beans makes around 3 cups of cooked beans (some say 3 1/2), so for a similar package, you would get 6 cups. Looks like the cost of that is around $1.25 or double for the 15 oz package. But you can get bigger packages that are a better deal. And if you buy them in a bulk foods section, they can be much cheaper.
As for the power they take, it is about the same as making pasta. You bring a pot of water to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Soak overnight. Rinse and they are good to go, but they will still need to be cooked to be completely soft.
I have read a tip on ThriftyFun that you can then freeze portions, and they are very similar to using canned beans. I should try this, seems like the best of both worlds.
I believe dried beans are far cheaper and the taste of homemade pintos are FAR better than those in a can. However, I too use canned beans in a pinch to throw in casseroles. As long as you rinse all the water out they are good.
I cook beans in very large quantites and freeze them. They freeze very well and taste no different that a fresh made batch. I even make refried beans with thawed frozen pintos with no problem. When I want to use them I just deforst in fridge or counter or micro just depending on how much time I have. Good luck.
By betty webb. (Guest Post) 01/28/2008 Flag
Depends on the number of people that you are feeding. I find that a 14 ounce is enough for me for 2 meals and I do not care for frozen dry beans. If you are feeding several, cooking from scratch is cheaper and tastes better.
Speaking as someone who just made a huge batch, lol I like dried better, though like everyone I do use canned in a pinch but definetly rinse them first. I made a crockpot full, 7 quart, of a combo of pinto and white beans. I make a huge amount and then freeze meal size portions for later meals. Since I am supplying enough for several meals at once, I think its cheaper this way. And I like being able to season it the way we like it. I save ham chunks to add to it, then when its almost done I add pepper and sea salt.
By bambi2003 (Guest Post) 01/28/2008 Flag
After making my own beans, pinto, baked, or whatever, I can no longer open a can. Canned beans just don't taste good anymore. I would think it's cheaper, but, honestly, even if they weren't I would still make the dried beans because the quality is so much better.
By Kathielee (Guest Post) 01/28/2008 Flag
They are much cheaper than canned beans. There is so much more in one bag than in a can and if you are using a crock pot/slow cooker, not much electricity is used. A whole bag of pinto beans, 1/4 onion chopped, 2 slices of bacon cut in small pieces, a few cut up carrots, chicken broth...out of this world delicious !
By Louise (Guest Post) 01/29/2008 Flag
There is also the part where you are reusing your canning jars, new lids each time, but not using tin cans that maybe recycled or thrown in a land fill. Also when you can your own, you don't have to use as much salt or preservatives. Another plus for going green!
Walmart/Asda has the cheapest dried beans I have found so far.
May I highly recommend the book the Tightwad Gazette, the complete version, all three books combined (check it out for free at the library).
The author breaks down the cost of many things and in a humorous way!
By Mary Ann (Guest Post) 02/14/2009 Flag
I can my own beans then I have them on hand if needed and in bad weather it is great to have them on hand for that chili!