The other thing that we did today was cook beans. I know in my heart of hearts that using dried beans is cheaper and better than using canned ones. My problem is that I don't usually have (or make) the time. I knew I'd be home all day working at the dining room table, so that I could swing cooking and freezing bunches of beans.
Last night, I set 2 pounds of dried black beans, 2 pounds of dried kidney beans, and about 2.25 pounds of dried pinto beans to soak. Over the course of the day, I cooked them up, one batch a time. Tonight, we put them in ziplock freezer bags, in quantities of 3 cups per bag.
The economics of using dried versus canned are pretty clear. If memory serves, we bagged 12 cups of black beans and 15 cups of kidney beans and pinto beans. These beans were organic - and we paid (per pound) 3.86 for the black beans, 3.82 for the kidney beans, and about 2.00 for the pinto beans. That means that rather than paying somewhere between $1.00 and $1.50 for a can of beans, our cost was .97 for the black beans, .76 for the kidney beans, and .40 for the pintos! Hooray.