Of the many ways to save money in the kitchen and on sometimes expensive groceries, many ideas come to mind. Only purchase store brand, use coupons excessively and have a bulk store membership such as Sam’s Club. All those very thrifty and useful ideas have all been  proven to be very useful for saving countless dollars over the course of many years of grocery shopping.



But among the many ways to save money at the grocery store, one kitchen device is almost always present in those many ways to “save at the grocery store”. It’s a gadget that’s so affordable itself, you’ll wonder why you never used one previously. A slow cooker, or crock pot if you’re Southern.


Any slow cooker, from the $7 two-quart Mainstays brand of slow cooker to the camouflage-colored eight-quart Nesco slow cooker and even Cuisinart’s $193 multi-cooker will do the trick and it’s constant money saver in the kitchen. You can cook a multitude of meals from a variety of genres, all in this incredibly convenient gadget.  


With this nifty gadget, you can prepare meals by simply dropping your ingredients into the slow cooker itself and best of all, you can save ample amounts of money from simply reheating the leftovers in an oven or stove. Of all the ingredients from all the food groups to put in a slow cooker, one type could potentially save you greatly.


Beans, depending on the type, could be a huge money saver. For those who are vegetarian or eat primarily plant-based, beans are an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrate and both types of fiber. As a semi-vegetarian, I never realized until recently the amounts of money I could save if I simply slow cooked the dried beans as opposed to buying them canned.


Let’s start with the conversions. Depending on the bean itself, some beans may cook larger than others. But generally speaking, one pound of dried beans yields up to six cups of cooked beans. Of those six cups, you can yield approximately the equivalent to four cans of beans. Now, let’s do a little math on exactly how much of a steal that is.


One 15.5 ounce can of cooked Great Value brand pinto beans could run up to a $1.18 while two pounds of dried pinto beans approximately costs $2.23.  



According to the math above, one pound makes four cans of beans. By that math alone, you could already recognize the massive savings given all the extra can equivalents there are from cooking dried beans.  


With two pounds of pinto beans at $2.23, that’s approximately $1.12 per pound. Based on that little math above and after you add approximately six to eight cups to those beans with a slow cooker, you’ve produced four cans of beans for only $1.12.


That may not seem much to those who don’t eat beans often. But at 28 cents a can, it’s a huge 75-cent save. If beans are a regular part of their diet as they are in mine, those 75 cents a day could add up greatly in terms of yearly savings. At 75 cents a day for four days a week, that’s $156 throughout the 52 weeks of the year.


Among the many ways to save at the grocery store, slow cooking and using legumes such as beans are an excellent way to, in this case, save over $150 at the grocery store and that only includes legumes.


Do you have any nifty ways to save money in the long run? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff because I’d love to hear it.