Trying to Eat Cheap: Dinner, Day 17

Tonight's meal was slow cooker chili. I make this recipe at least once a month. I use bulk beans--always kidney and pinto beans, sometimes I'll also add black beans if I have them. I am a little picky with prepping the beans. First I soak them overnight (or longer if I forget about them). I put them in canning jars full of water and just let them swell up for at least 8 hours. Then, I cook them--separately. I just don't like the red kidney beans (or dark black beans) to dye my light pinto beans. Not sure why I'm so particular since everything turns out chili-colored in the end, but that's just my way. For meat, I use ground turkey instead of ground beef. It tastes pretty much the same, but is apparently healthier.

This meal is probably over the 10 dollar mark. The beans maybe cost around $3.00 and the turkey another $3. The onion, peppers, carrot, celery, canned tomatoes, spices and grated cheese probably bump things up to at least $10, maybe more like $12. However, this does make a lot and we had leftovers... maybe we'll be revisiting this chili around Day 19.

Frugal lesson from today: Use cheap beans to bulk up and extend other more pricey ingredients. They'll not only soak up flavor, but they can make the meal larger so you can eat it again another day--for free.


Joie de vivre said...

What a great idea! I've been using my crock pot a LOT more trying to eat fugally. Perhaps this dinner was over $10, but don't you have leftovers? That brings the price down divided by the number of days you will continue to eat. Well done. Fun idea!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Thanks, and you're right, with leftovers this will definitely get amortized--I think we'll have chili again tomorrow! I love the slow cooker too. I find that I really do need to presoak and precook beans though, or else they're chewier than I like.