Dry beans vs. canned beans: cost comparison

Public domain image from Wikipedia.

Are dry beans really cheaper? How much cheaper? I wanted to find out.

I would estimate canned beans to be running about 60 cents per can these days, and dry beans around $1.20 a pound.

Since a pound of dry beans makes the equivalent of four cans of beans, that would be about 30 cents per can, plus electricity for cooking. I finally found a page that gives the per-hour cost of running an electric stove: 7.5 cents.

So if you cook your beans for two hours, you'll pay 15 cents. That would make 45 cents total, and if you cook more than one "can" of beans at a time, you'll pay even less as you can split the cost.



Canned beans: 60 cents for 1 1/2 cups
Dry beans: 35-45 cents for 1 1/2 cups

Dry beans win!


  1. Now days it really helps to save some money :) ♥ Hugs!

  2. What a great post! I love this kind of thing, especially with the economy the way it is. We need to think about these things. Glad you're doing it for us!
    Thanks! Melissa

  3. Great information! I would of never thought to calculate in the cost of electricity! Thanks so much!

  4. Thanks for doing the math on this! I was wondering about this today as I cooked up a bunch of garbanzos. If you have a pressure cooker you can cook soaked or dry beans in much less time than needed for conventional cooking. Just be sure to read the directions for your pressure cooker first!

  5. The dried beans in my local store cost more by the ounce than do the canned. How does that make any sense?

    1. Because dry beans weigh more after you cook them. You must compare the cooked dried beans to canned beans, not uncooked dry beans to canned beans.

  6. I appreciate your conversion chart and cost chart. So save more money, I'll soak overnight then simmer 8 lbs of dry beans. I make a lot of chili, so I season it for chili during the 2-hr simmer time. I then can them for later use. Since you only have to replace the flats, you save even more money!

    PLUS the chili seasoning continues to flavor the beans during the canning time and shelf time. (I purchase the store brand chili powder from the seasoning section MUCH cheaper than the chili packets people use.)

  7. Just some dude11/19/12, 9:56 PM

    Hi, I just wandered in from Google because I was looking for some kind of dry to canned bean conversion. Thanks for the answer.

  8. Thanks for the conversion! It would be even cheaper if you used a pressure cooker for the beans! It takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to cook (depending on the bean) rather than 2 hours!

  9. Great, only site I've found that gives a conversion.

  10. Awesome info. The reason I switched from can to dry is because I started reading labels. lol Have you seen the sodium content on canned beans and soups??? OMG!!

  11. Grow your own beans = free. Cook on gas = about 10 cents per pound. 2.5 cents per can. I could cook over the firepit, but that seems excessive.

  12. I've started using more beans in my cooking and sometimes the beans are even more, per can. Making just a lb. or two at a time leaves me enough for immediate use and one more time, too. If I canned or had a huge freezer doing more might make sense, but for 4-8 cans worth of beans, this beats canned price and it all adds up!