Beans, beans, the magical frugal fruit. The more you eat, the more you save money…or something like that.
The other day while I was planning our meals for the week, I became consumed with finding a recipe that featured beans. I was specifically craving white beans, and while combing through Pinterest trying to find a recipe, it struck me. Why don’t I cook with beans more often? They are easy to prepare. They are cheap. They are healthy.
Right then and there I decided to incorporate more beans into our family’s meal plan. Here are a few reasons you should too!
3 Reasons to Include Beans in Your Meal Plan
Beans are Cheap
Beans are the quintessential frugal food. I believe that whether you use canned beans or dried beans you are guaranteed to save money on your grocery bill. Here’s an example. We used to make chicken quesadillas with two chicken breasts. Then, we started incorporating black beans into our chicken quesadillas. Eventually we were able to swap one chicken breast for one cup of black beans. Substituting beans for meat has definitely saved us money over time.
Although I’d like to say I maximize bean’s frugal flair by strictly using dried beans, I don’t. I mostly use canned beans. I pay .87 cents a can and right now the convenience of canned beans outweighs the savings of dried beans, however I would like to experiment with dried beans in the future (tips and advice welcome!)
If you’re interested in a cost analysis between canned and dried beans, The Simple Dollar has done the math for us!
Beans are Healthy
Beans are healthy and nutritious. In addition to being high in protein, beans are low in fat, rich in fiber, and packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you’re trying to shed a little weight in the new year, beans can help you feel more satiated.
Beans are Easy and Versatile
Beans are easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of ways. You can add them to soups and stews, toss them into a salad, and even whip them into a puree (black bean hummus anyone?)
Here are some of my favorite bean dishes:
Black bean quesadillas (with or without chicken)
Black bean and rice burritos
Black bean hummus (used as a spread to make a wrap sandwich)
White bean and chicken chili