Chili is one of those great basic dishes that you can make a hundred different ways, all of them cheap and filling, and all of them delicious. I buy 25 lb sacks of pinto beans and cook my own beans instead of buying cans of pre-cooked beans because I find that we digest them better. That’s the polite way to say it, ha, ha! If you buy cans of beans, just skip to step 3 below.
1. Soak 2 c. beans, any type, overnight, in 6 c. water. I like to use a combination of pinto, dark red kidney, and black.
2. In the morning, drain the soaking water, pour the soaked beans into your crockpot, cover with water and cook until soft. In my crockpot it’s about 6 hours. Kidney and pinto beans take longer than black beans.
3. Brown 1 lb ground beef with a diced onion and 3 T. minced garlic in a stockpot.
4. Add 2-12 oz. cans of diced tomatoes and 1-8 oz can tomato sauce to the stockpot.
5. Dump the cooked beans and their cooking water to the stockpot. Add 3 T. garlic powder, 6 T. dark chili powder, 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. This is pretty mild, you may want to add more cayenne. Start with the smaller amount and add more to taste.
Add a can of corn
Serve over a baked potato
Use on taco salad
Serve over rice
Top with shredded cheddar or sour cream
Serve with tortilla chips or goldfish crackers
Use it as a side dish for a BBQ
1 lb. ground beef: $2.99
2 c. dry beans: $0.99
2 cans diced tomatoes: $1.49
1 can tomato sauce: $0.39
1 onion: $0.33
Cost per serving: $0.56