People who know me well know that I am frugal. That comes from a long history of trying to use what I have and make the best use of my available resources. I really like dried beans because they don’t take up refrigerator space, they cook up so nicely, and they do not come in cans that then take up recycling space and energy, and they are much less expensive than canned beans. Many people make the argument that using dried beans takes too much time, but I do not think that is accurate. All one has to do is soak the dried beans the night before they will be cooked. In the morning they can go into a slow cooker if no one will be home or they can go into a pan and simmer for a couple of hours. It is good to add some seasoning and salt at the end of the cooking period. But hands-on time is minimal. I am positive this saves time in the long run. It takes time and energy to go to the store, buy cans of beans, drive home, rinse them off, etc. etc. etc. Contrast buying a large bag of dried beans which will provide the equivalent of dozens of cans of beans in much less space. The quality of the cooked dried beans is usually higher and one knows what is in the cooking water.
Keeping dried beans on hand is just a smart thing to do. It is consistent with being self-sufficient in the sense that having readily prepared foods that are easily stored is a great way to be less vulnerable when storms make travel difficult. Saving money and time are smart.
People who are interested in self-sufficiency might be interested in following Rachel Falco’s blog How To Provide (www.howtoprovide.com)