Since deciding to eat healthy and frugally, I have come to depend on the trusted dry bean to cut costs and make up for the elimination of meat. If you are seeking to cut costs radically, you also may decide to become a vegetarian eater for this reason alone. Be sure to do your research, however, on how to ensure getting the proper nutrients in legumes, grains, vegetables, etc.
But the dry bean!
The dry bean is economical. Not only are the costs low, but dry beans have a loooong shelf life, so stock up! Personally, I find that I am spending around $12 on beans a month, to eat everyday, and beans usually make up 25%-50% of my larger meals. Why wouldn’t I invest in food security and buy a 3 month stash for under $40?
The dry bean is healthy. I would say that the only things you should think hard about are to make sure that the beans are thoroughly rinsed to removes foreign materials or lingering unwanted chemicals, and that you can cook them well. Crock pots are great investments to save you time ad energy. Pop them in, turn the pot on, and leave them alone for the whole day, only to come home to tender, tasty beans! There are so many different types of beans, but most have such high levels of protein and fiber. They fill you up for the entire day and make you feel so good!
The dry bean is versatile. You don’t have to eat beans in the same old way. Research ways to create bean burgers, bean paste, gravy, and/or stuffing.