One way to save for your family is by making some of the things that you formerly just bought at the store. This frugal living lifestyle practice can be utilized for so many products and items we use every day. My latest “homemade” win is a pantry staple in our house. Did you know you can cook black beans, to make your own “canned”? It’s a super easy process (thanks to a crockpot). And not only will you see savings, but it makes it easier to stock up for all your fave black bean recipes.
How to Cook Black Beans in a Crockpot
So let’s start with how to make black beans in a crockpot.
First, you need a 32 oz bag of dried black beans
Next, empty the bag into an at least 6 qt crockpot.
Then fill the crockpot with 3 cups of water, or until there is a finger’s length of distance between beans and top of water (I know very precise right?)
Optional- add a few dashes of salt.
Now you will cook on high for 4-6 hours. You will need to come back a few times to give a stir and check on the water. You always want to “see” the water in the pot. So if it seems all the water is incorporated, add a little more. (It will make better sense when you do it).
At about the 4-hour mark, taste test a bean. If they are still hard- keep cooking up to 6 hrs. I like mine a little “al dente”. When they are fully cooked, transfer to a large colander to rinse in cold water.
I like to package mine 2 ways for freezing. First is by using plastic storage containers. We often buy deli meat that comes in plastic containers, so we have plenty on hand; basically free and reusable. These stack really well in our deep freeze as well. Another option is to use quart zipper storage bags. These can be laid flat in the freezer and take up a little less space if you have a smaller freezer.
Canned black beans are usually between 14-15.5 oz., this converts to about 1 3/4 – 2 cups of beans. Measure the cooled beans into your containers and freeze. You should get about 8 containers worth.
To use, just defrost and add to your recipe (See my fave black bean recipes here.)
So How Much Does It Save
Since we are discussing this as a way to save money, just how much does making your own black beans save you?
I bought my 32 oz bag of dried black beans at Aldi for just $2.49. The bag made 8, so it’s $0.31 ea ($2.49 divided by 8). Canned black beans at the grocery range from $0.49 at Aldi to $0.79 (on sale) at Kroger. So at the very least, by making 8 of your own, you are saving $1.43. And for me, since my Aldi isn’t as close I usually buy my canned beans at Kroger, so the savings here is $3.83! That might not seem like a huge savings, but every penny counts! And if you buy a lot of black beans over the course of a year it’s totally worth it.
Make Homemade for Savings (Money, Health and Sanity)
Call it a frugal living hack if you want or maybe modern homesteading; I call “homemade” a way to cut down on my grocery budget. For instance, I cannot remember the last time I bought breadcrumbs because I have been making my own for years (and it’s a great no-waste practice too). And making your own taco seasoning is not only frugal, but it’s pretty much always on hand, no having to run to the store to buy a taco packet. And speaking of those packets, when you are making your own pantry staples you know just what ingredients are going in- not a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
So I encourage all my Frugal Suburban people out there to try to make your own black beans, breadcrumbs and more! Not only will you save money, but feel a sense of accomplishment too.