Stretch Your Food Dollars with Beans UncategorizedBean Bulletin If you’re resolving to eat healthier and save money in the New Year, you should add beans to your menu. According to the Nutrient-Rich Foods Index, beans provide the best nutritional value for the lowest cost of any food. That’s not news to frugal cooks who have known for decades that beans are an economical yet tasty way to stretch soup, stews or even burgers and meatloaf. A one-half cup serving of canned black beans costs just 29 cents based on data from the USDA. If you cook dried beans from scratch, you’ll pay just 12 cents for a half-cup serving. Freeze unseasoned cooked beans in recipe size portions so you’ll always have them on hand for fast, economical meals.