A Cheaper Way with Beans

Cans of beans were on for 99 cents for the last few weeks, and I stocked up on some of our favourites: black beans for soup, mixed beans for tabouli, kidney beans and white kidney beans for chili and other stuff, and our favourite: chick peas, for hummus, tabouli, and many other things. But darn, they take up a lot of room! And is 99 cents really a bargain?

Well, we ran out of chick peas, and I really want to make both hummus and tabouli this week, but the sale is over. So I finally pulled out the giant 2 kilo bag of dried chick peas from the back of the cupboard. I measured a cup of dried peas and almost 2 litres of water into a large bowl, and left them out to soak last night. This afternoon I’ll give them a good boil for about an hour, and I’ll be good to go with the equivalent of 2 cans of chick peas.

And is it cheaper? Well, if memory serves, my 2 kilo bag of chick peas cost about $3.99, or $2 per kilo. 1/2 cup dried peas (equivalent to one can) weighs about 110 grams–about 22 cents. Yes, it takes some energy to boil them afterwards, but it’s still about 1/4 the price.

The other benefit is how little space dried beans take up to store compared to cans. A great benefit in our teeny tiny kitchen.

Once I’m done this 2 kilo bag, I’ll head to the Sandy Hill People Food Co-op and pick up some organic beans for $3.85 per kilo–still around half the price of conventional canned! I’m all about bringing down the price of organics.

So, for beans, as with many other things, I can either spend money or time, and in the words of Erik Knutzen, “my time is cheap”! (And BPA free.)

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5 thoughts on “A Cheaper Way with Beans

  1. I have long loved dried beans. Using dried beans also takes some for thought. You need to remember to soak them. But I tend to make large batches and freeze the beans in 1 cup servings then they are ready to go when I want to make soup, burritos, etc. And way cheaper than meat. I love lentils. I use organic red lentils to substitute entirely for or stretch my ground beef in items.
    Another benefit to dried beans is no BPA lining in cans. You can bet unless your can boasts that it is BPA free it is not. Companies are just ignoring the problem because the solution is to go back to glass, otherwise they cannot can long term in metal with the item tinning or eating the can.

    1. Do they freeze well? I wondered about that! I’ll try that next time. A friend of mine mentioned the BPA thing–it just seems so wrong that it is outlawed in baby toys, yet allowed in canned stuff!!

  2. I love this post. I like the idea of having a pantry stocked with dry goods. Now if I can only make a decent hummus!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I will share my new recipe with you–it uses an “emulsion” technique to make smooth, creamy hummus. Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen!

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