Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tips - Beans and the Budget

Why didn't I think of this before?

In an interest of stre-e-e-tch-ing our food budget, I've gotten more interested in cooking with beans.  Dried beans, to be exact.  Beans and rice and rice and beans (to quote Dave Ramsey) is the staple around here. 

The problem comes when someone (who shall remain nameless) forgets to soak the beans overnight.  The cooking becomes slightly more tricky, dinner plans are scrapped, budget goes out the window, and you begin to curse the day you vowed to cook with dried beans to save money.

Not that I know from personal experience.  Because all my cooking adventures turn out perfectly.  Well, almost always.

But I digress.

Here's the tip of the day:  next time you buy dried beans from the grocery, as soon as you get home from the store, put them in a large pot of water, and soak overnight.  The next morning, place 1 cup servings into ziploc baggies, label, and freeze.  Then, when you're ready to use them - voila!  Cooking time is significantly shortened.

(Full disclosure:  this great tip brought to you by Saving Dinner.  I'm on their email list - check it out!)


Anna said...

You can also boil for 2 minutes and leave to soak for an hour. Then drain, rinse, add fresh water and simmer for an hour or two. Just don't leave them cooking while you go to a meeting. You might return home to a house full of smoke and have to get an ozone machine to remove the odor. Not that I know too much about that. I've just heard that's how it is.

Anna said...

I want to exchange recipes using black or navy beans. Maybe a future post?