You’re probably wondering what the EFF does rice and beans have to do with financial independence?
Or maybe why you even clicked on this article on in the first place? Believe it or not, cooking rice and beans has been the biggest way we’ve significantly cut back on our food budget. Before you read any further, be aware that this is not article about eating plain rice and beans for every meal. Who would do that? So don’t click away just yet and I’ll share some great recipes too!
Budget Friendly Rice & Beans
Want to know why Dave Ramsey suggests rice & beans when you’re trying to get out of debt? Dried beans and rice are super cheap!
Consider this example. We can buy a 16 oz bag of dry pinto beans for $1.50. When cooked that yields about 6-7 cups of beans giving you a per cup cost of $0.21-$0.25. If you bought precooked beans instead it would cost you roughly $0.50 per cup. Double the expense with a ton of sodium and who knows what else.
The rice has even more savings. We buy a 5lb bag of uncooked brown rice for $4.59. When cooked it yields about 30 cups of rice for a per cup price of $0.22. If you buy pre-cooked rice (microwave ready) it would cost you $2.39. That’s more than a 986% mark up!
Dry beans and rice save money over the convenient pre-cooked, but can take some time to prepare. I used to spend all day cooking beans in a slow cooker before I purchased by Instant Pot.
Now we cook about 12 cups of each in our Instant Pot. 21 minutes for perfect brown rice and 40 minutes for beans. BUT if you do it big batches, you can cook a week’s worth in an hour.
Rice & Beans Recipes
I pack rice & beans for my work lunches and don’t really care if it’s fancy. I’ll just season them with hot sauce for a total lunch cost of under $1. For dinners and meals on the weekend, I’ll use the rice and beans as a base for other meals such as Mexican Casserole and Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Curry.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained (or 1 jalapeno, diced)
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 2 cups cooked black beans (easy Instant Pot recipe here)
- 12 ounces salsa or enchilada sauce
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (easy Instant Pot recipe here)
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Top with choice of cilantro, black olives, avocado
- Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat or sauté mode of the Instant Pot. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, then add the spices and stir together.
- Add the red pepper and the green chilies then stir together cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add cooked beans, corn, salsa, and rice. Stir everything until well-combined.
- Top with shredded cheese and cover for a few minutes to melt.Serve warm with diced green onions, cilantro, and/or avocado.
Rice and Chickpea Curry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
4 cups chickpeas or garbanzo beans (easy Instant Pot recipe here)
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (easy Instant Pot recipe here)
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat or on sauté mode in Instant Pot.
- Add the onions and cook until they are dark brown and caramelized.
- Add in the curry powder and garlic stirring well.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan.
- Add the chickpeas, coconut milk, honey and a squirt of sriracha.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve over rice.
Looking for other tips to cut back on groceries? Click here to read my Tips for Saving on Your Food Bill.