Black Beans: Dried vs. Canned

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Jars of Cooked Black Beans

How much does it save to buy dried black beans instead of canned? I crunched the numbers to find out.

Can of Black Beans

The cheapest can of organic black beans sells for $1 at Kroger.
A pound of dried organic black beans sells for $1.79 in the bulk bins at Earth Fare.

*I ran the numbers on organic because that’s what I buy. That’s a non-organic can that you see in the picture. I got it for free, so I saved myself a buck and used it as my guinea pig.

Measured Black Beans

Since canned black beans are packed in liquid, I drained the can to see how much you really get.

A: 1-1/2 cups.

When I cook dried beans, I always pack them in pint freezer jars, but I’d never measured to see how much I was ending up with. Turns out that’s 1-1/2 cups, too. Cool!

Now for some bean math:

The last time I bought dried black beans, I paid $2.86. From that I got six cans of beans. That means I’m paying $.48 a can when I cook my own.

Compare that to the $6 that I’d pay for six store-bought cans, and that’s a savings of $4.86 or $.52 a can. So, I get more than twice as much for my money when I cook my own. Nice!

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  1. Not to mention the potential earth and health benefits. Some cans still use BPA in the lining of the cans, which some studies suggest causes health issues. Additionally, the waste from a bag of beans is much less than from six cans of beans. Purchasing them in bulk and using a reusable produce bag (made of lightweight material like the plastic produce bags) eliminates all waste.

    1. Agreed. Not buying canned goods means a lot less trash, and I love that the diy approach avoids the whole BPA issue, too.

  2. When you put your cooked beans in the pint jars, do you include liquid? Also, do you then freeze them? Thank you so much! I love your articles and everything you post. Please keep them coming!

    1. Hi Marci,

      I do NOT include the liquid when I fill my pint jars with beans. And yep, I freeze mine. It’s the easiest solutions, since (as a low-acid food) beans would otherwise have to be pressure canned. One pint of homemade beans is the equivalent of one can of store-bought (i.e. around 2 cups).

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