Build a Frugal Pantry with Beans and Lentils

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I haven’t always been friends with beans. I liked them and all, but they were more a supporting actor in the play on my plate. They weren’t the star. Until I met Dave Ramsey (or at least read the book) and realized that beans and rice, rice and beans would be a healthy, inexpensive option for our family.

But I wasn’t sold out on dried beans, though.

I had tried cooking dried beans when I first became a stay-at-home mom. And I didn’t like their texture. And besides, a can of beans at Walmart cost $0.44. I could swing that.

Until the price went up.

The price went up a lot! A few years ago the price in my neighborhood doubled, and so dried beans started to look a little more do-able. Now, I’ve gotten used to it and homecooked beans are a regular feature on our menu.

I buy a big 5 or 10 pound bag of pintos and cook up a huge pot on Freezer Cooking Days. I divide them into 2 cup containers, though quart size freezer bags would work, too. I cool them to room temperature and then store them in the freezer. All month long I have precooked beans to add to chili, chimichangas, or to play a starring role in beans and rice.

They’re super good for you providing fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. And different beans offer different health benefits, so it’s worth your while to try a variety. Find out when which ones you like and add an inexpensive protein to your pantry.

While we’re on the subject, do you already have a favorite bean?

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Lindsay says

    Thank you!!! I had no idea you could freeze cooked beans. You have just made me rethink the beans/lentil stockpile.

  2. Karla says

    my favorite bean is the navy bean, with lentils second to that. I too didn’t know that beans were freezable. Will cook more now that I know.

  3. I Love beans but am still struggling a bit to add it regularly to my diet but we really appreciate beans in my household. My favorite are black beans I cook one pound of dried beans to six cups of water in my slow cooker and cage it up two cups of beans with liquid also, the only way to get a good frozen bean is to make sure there is liquid in it. AND two cups equals to a can of beans in any recipe you follow :).

    I also do the same with red kidney beans. I dont always soak beans but you usually have to with kidneys because they have something in them that will give you super bad cramps if you dont. One way around this is to boil the red kidney beans in a rolling boil for ten minutes in a rolling boil then put them in the slow cooker.

  4. Rhonda says

    Our families favorite bean is a yellow Mexican bean called miocoba (not sure of the spelling). We replaced this yellow bean instead of pinto beans. It has a very smooth flavor and mild taste.We will never go back to pinto. It doesn’t produce the gas and bloating that pinto beans do. They are made the same as preparing pinto beans.They freeze well too! I make a big pot and freeze them inn chipmunk bags portioned enough for a meal for 4 people.

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