Monday, February 28, 2011


So, last week I opted to use $5 of my $50/week budget to buy a 10lb bag of pinto beans. What a GREAT way to stick to the budget!

And this week, I blew it. $110 and counting. I knew it would happen someday...that there would be a day when I ran out of a bunch of things at once. And a day when I just got tired of the mental mathematics required to stuff all these items that I WANT into $50. But still, I did pretty good while it lasted, and I'm still going to pay cash for my groceries and try to stick to $50 starting next week.

Last night was bean night! How do you "dress up" beans so you don't feel deprived. Frankly, I LOVE beans, so that's not necessary for me. But the answer is "tacos!" with homemade corn tortillas. Homemade tortillas are so delicious, so awesome, and so easy. But a little time consuming.

I'm sorry that I have no new pictures. We were so hungry that we sat down and mowed through 13 of the 16 tortillas that I made in about 30 minutes. But here's an old picture of the last time I made homemade tortillas.

Sadly, as I was preparing peppers and onions, I realized the problem with a week where I don't cook for 2 nights in a row: a moldy onion and a half moldy bell pepper. Ah well, they go into the compost. I salvaged half of the bell pepper anyway.

Bean ingredients:

1 lb pinto beans, soaked: $0.53
1 bunch limp chard, washed, boiled 5 min: $1.50
to taste: dry onion flakes, garlic powder, salt, cumin, chili powder: 0.25

Drain and rinse soaked pintos. Cover with water. Cook pintos (I use a pressure cooker). Feel proud that you've cooked so many beans in the cooker now, that you don't need to get out your measuring cup for water.

Leave the beans in the pot when they are done and add spices and simmer.

In the meantime, chop the boiled chard and add it to the beans with the spices.

Peppers, onions, beef:
1 Tbsp canola oil: 0.03
1 onion: $0.25
1/2 red bell: $0.40
Plus lost to moldiness: $0.65
1/2 lb beef: 2.50

Saute onions and peppers until soft (I usually start them covered on low and finish on medium to med-high), then add the pre-cooked frozen beef. I used 1/2 lb of grass fed beef.

Buy masa. Follow instructions on the bag. It was probably $0.50 to 0.80 for 16 tortillas.

whatever you like. We used store-bought guacamole (haven't made it to the farmer's market for avos), sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese. But also good with cabbage, onion, cilantro, lime...

Total: $9.19. There's a bunch of beans left and three tortillas.


Anonymous said...

i really think should hire you to cook for me! love the bean tacos :)

Biz said...

I love beans too - my go to recipe is Veronica's crock pot beans because I don't have a pressure cooker:

You just reminded me that I need to make some more! :D