$0.57 per cup 40% savings save $22.37 yearly
Fall is my favorite!
It combines so many of my favorite things: perfect weather, wonderful holidays, family get-togethers, football season, colorful leaves, and comfortable sweaters. Of course there's also the crisp apples, warm soup with fresh bread, pumpkin desserts, pies, apple cider and hot chocolate, and of course a huge pot of perfectly thick, flavorful, knock-your-socks-off, healthy chili.
One of the coolest things about this chili (besides the fact that it tastes AMAZING), is that it is made with dried red beans, instead of canned sodium-infused beans. Don't get me wrong, canned beans definitely have their place in our home. But with this recipe, it's just as easy to use the dried ones as it would be to open a can. So why not go for the healthier option? Plus, it allows me to rotate through my extra storage of food that I keep on hand in case of an emergency. (Dried beans are perfect for long-term food storage.)
You might be groaning inwardly thinking, "Uuuugh... dried beans take forever! I don't want to take time to soak them overnight before I get to use them."
Believe me, I'm all about the whole "one less step" concept.
I simply rinse my dry beans in colander, pick out the few beans that might look a little off, dump them in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients, and forget about them. The beans in this recipe take, literally, 30 seconds to prepare. Now, you may still choose to soak your beans beforehand. I've done it both ways, and have enjoyed it both ways.
I'm kinda sneaky with my chili. Do you see any carrots in that photo? No? That's funny. There's half a pound of 'em in there. How 'bout green peppers? Spy any of those? One or two bits, maybe? There are 2 entire (large) green peppers in this chili. There's also a boat-load of tomatoes, a moderate amount of lean ground beef, and a ton of dry red beans to boot. So, yes... it's nutritious and delicious, and the kids (and husband) won't have a clue.
When I first served this to my unsuspecting husband, and he gave his positive verdict, I told him about the carrots and his reaction what priceless. Complete and utter incredulity. He had no idea, and couldn't taste them at all! The kids were oblivious as well, and didn't even notice the peppers.
This recipe makes 5 meals for my family, and is perfect for freezing and reheating on busy days.
Best Crockpot Chili
*Makes about 5 quarts (20 cups)
1 lb dry red beans (small bag - NOT kidney beans)
2 lbs ground beef (I used 97% lean)
2 medium onions, diced
2 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic
2 large green bell peppers, diced
1/2 lb (5 medium) carrots, finely grated
2 - 30 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
5-6 cups hot water water
Rinse beans in a colander. Pick out any bad beans. Let set in the colander.
In a large pan, brown the hamburger with the diced onions. Drain any excess fat.
Turn your crockpot on the "HIGH" heat setting. Add all the ingredients to the crockpot. Stir. Remove any floating beans.
Cook on "HIGH" for 2 hours and "LOW" for 5 hours.
Cook for 10 hours on "LOW."
Serve warm with cheese, sour cream, chives, cilantro, or avocado. Refrigerate leftovers or scoop into freezer-friendly ziplock bags and reheat another day.
~ Savings ~
1 lb dry red beans = $1.08
2 lb 97% lean ground beef (on sale) = $4.00
2 large green peppers = $0.58 each = $1.16
2 lb whole carrots = $1.48 - $0.74/lb = $0.37
3 lb bag onions = $1.96 - $0.245 ea = $0.49
9.25 oz. chili powder = $5.64 - approx 74 tsp - $0.076/tsp = $0.457
30 oz. can crushed tomatoes - $1.24 = $2.48
2 oz. cumin - $3.12 = 22 tsp = $0.142/tsp = $0.851
32 oz. jar minced garlic- $4.48 = 181 tsp = $0.025/tsp = $0.149
8 oz. black pepper - $3.84 = 37.75 tsp = $0.102/tsp = $0.204
26 oz. salt - $0.42 = 122.75 tsp = $0.003/tsp = $0.027
1.75 oz. cayenne pepper - $4.98 = 19 tsp = $0.262/tsp = 0.131
Total Recipe Cost: $11.40
Cost Per Cup: $0.57
Hormel Chili with Beans (15 oz.) = $1.65
Cost per Cup: $0.94
"Over a Year" Scenario:
Make Best Crockpot Chil 3 times = $34.20
Eat equivalent Hormel Chili with Beans = $56.57
*Money Saved: $22.37