Budget saving recipes: bean burritos from scratch

Our current frugal food budget allots about 97-cents to each person per meal. This budget is rolled in with diapers and wipes and toilet paper since they all come from the grocery store too…so it really comes down to less than that per meal.

Here’s one recipe that breaks down to even less than the 97 cents per person:

Homemade tortillas and refried beans: frugal and delicious!

Refried beans

A bag of dry pinto beans from Aldi costs us $1.32. This will make about 4 meals for the five of us in the family. I make about half the bag at a time and eat it for dinner and then lunch the next day.

I started last year with soaking the beans over night and then simmering them on the stove all day. It worked, but I had to remember to start them soaking the day before and check on the water level all day long! With an InstantPot gifted to us this Christmas, I can now drop the beans, water, lard/butter/oil, and seasonings in all at one time and then pressure cook for about 2 hours to get the perfect soft beans.


  • 16 oz. dried pinto beans
  • Water to cover the beans and then two more cups at least
  • 1/2 cup lard or butter or oil (saved fat from cooking meat would work well and even cheaper!)
  • Seasonings:
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. Salt
  • 2 tsps. Cumin
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • Cayenne to taste

This is a recent thing and saves money AND cuts down even more in the preservatives in the food we eat (we want to eat HEALTHY too):


The key to this is the dry skillet, we use our cast iron skillet, and medium-low heat. Sometimes when I’ve chilled the tortillas in the fridge for a day, we get a better texture to them when they’re cooked. The cost is extremely minimal when the only ingredients are a little flour, lard, baking powder, salt, and water!

The recipe for tortillas that I use can be found here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/157642/homemade-flour-tortillas/

You’ve just made a meal that cost less than $0.50/person! Serve with sour cream, salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese (save money and cut out extra preservatives by buying blocks of cheddar and shredding yourself), or even with some canned corn or chopped onion.

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