Before starting the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps we were blowing money on convenient things at the grocery store not realizing the cost. One of the first things that we seen we could do to help pay down debt was to cut our grocery budget. We were spending $150-$200 a week on groceries and that had to stop so that we could put that money towards defeating our debt! Now, we have a $100 grocery budget per week to feed 5-6 people and that includes toiletries and all non-food items we need. One of the things I purchased in the past were these frozen burritos.
I could pull them out and pop em in the air fryer or the microwave and boom! lunch was served. They weren’t my husbands favorite but he would eat them on occasion. In my quest to save money, I decided we would stop buying convenience! That meant that I would have to try to make a homemade version of the things we bought “for convenience”! For this one, I started by cooking up a HUGE pot of beans. I also knew that I could explore other options like adding beans to meals since they are so inexpensive and would help to stretch other meals….. So here is how I cooked my DRIED BEANS so that I would be able to use them in multiple dishes:
3-INGREDIENT PINTO BEANS
I got a 2 lb bag of dried pinto beans for $1.45 from Aldi and the rest of the ingredients I already had in my spice cabinet. These are great on their own or added to to make a meal stretch AND Beans freeze wonderfully! I batch-cook a large quantity at once, then spoon the leftovers into my re-purposed jars or a mason jar and then use them later.
• 2 lbs dried pinto beans
• 3 Tbsp cumin
• 1 1⁄2 Tbsp each of salt and pepper (or more to your taste)
• Optional: 2 bay leaves when simmering
Note: Stick with these simple ingredients because when it comes to cooking dry beans from scratch, less is more! Adding
too many seasonings will actually ruin the taste.
- Sort through your beans picking out rocks or any weird looking beans
- Rinse them well in cool water
- Presoak your beans overnight or use the quick soak method on the packaging.
- Rinse again and put in crock pot covering them with water
- Add cumin, salt, and pepper, and stir well
- Cook in the crockpot on low for 8-10 hours or until beans are soft.
Once the beans are done, I store half of them in the fridge for other meals or I make a double batch of burritos! =)
NEXT STEP>>> Fry up some Bacon and Make your Refried Beans!
BACON & REFRIED BEANS
I got bacon at Aldi for $3.49. Cut the bacon in half before cooking. Fry up your bacon in a large cast iron skillet. I have THIS one and LOVE it because I can use the lid as a skillet as well. Then set your bacon aside and drain all but a few tablespoons of bacon grease.
REFRIED BEANS – Ingredient List
- half of the COOKED beans from our 2 lb dried beans above.
- Left over bacon grease
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In your cast iron skillet using the bacon grease left in the pan, sautee your onion until it is translucent.
- Add in the cooked pinto beans, using a potato masher to mash the beans as they cook. If they get dry, add 1/4 cup of water as needed. Mash while you cook them, until they are a rough puree.
- Add more water as needed to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out. Add salt to taste (If you want to add your cheese into your beans you can totally do that here but I prefer to add it as a layer when prepping because I feel like I use less that way.)
You can use all of these for your bean burritos, or put them in the bottom of your tacos to stretch them or even have them as a side with some salsa! YUM! So many things you can do with these….
NEXT: Prep the burritos and Freeze them.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- flour tortillas (Aldi has a 10pk for $0.99 each)
- Shredded Cheese (Aldi has a colby jack for $2.49 a bag)
- your refried beans
This part is pretty simple… I lay a layer of cheese down, put a spoonful of refried beans, and since I cut my bacon in half already i grab a piece and slap on there and roll it up. I store them in fold over sandwich bags, two fit perfectly and then once they are all ready, I put them in a gallon freezer bag and place them in the freezer!
COOKING YOUR BURRITOS:
My husband takes these to work….. so by the time he heats them up they are thawed. I think he said 1-2 minutes in the microwave if they are already thawed.
If you grab a burrito from the freezer, remove from bag, I dampen the outside of the burrito by wetting my hand and rubbing it down. Place the burrito on a plate and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through.
If you cook the burrito in your air fryer – 12 minutes at 320 degrees. Or 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Pause the air fryer halfway through and flip your burrito. **This is the preferred way to cook it bc it will have a golden crispy shell!
((I like to use hot sauce, taco bell mild sauce that I have left over or dunk it in salsa))
This may seem like a long process, but its not difficult! Its simple and you do it over a few days and if you meal plan, you could plan it out to were you can use the beans you cook on a meal (like chili or enchiladas) and then the next day make your refried beans and you could use the left overs as a side. Then the bacon could be added to a bagel the next morning with some egg and cheese! MEAL PLANNING will not only save you BIG TIME, but it also takes out the stress of what to cook and helps you not waste the food that you spend your hard-earned money on! PLUS >> My husband LOVES these were he didn’t care a whole lot for the frozen ones. If your budget is really tight then you can skip the bacon to really stretch your money.
Please comment below and let me know if you make freezer burritos, or share a photo! I would love to hear what other goodies your family likes to add to help stretch this already cheap meal a little further! =)