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Grocery Budget Extenders: Black Bean Corn Tacos

By October 8, 2013December 22nd, 2021No Comments
Black Bean and Corn Tacos
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘make your dollar stretch’?  Of course you have, you’re reading Jordan’s amazing blog! Well, there are a few simple tips I’ve learned over the years that have really helped my family’s dollars stretch…especially when it comes to meal planning and shopping. I am excited to share with you a few of these simple ways you can help your money go further at the grocery store.
If you are like my family, we go through WAY too much of certain items. A few of those items that I can’t seem to keep on hand long enough are butter, bread, meat, milk and eggs. I feel like I am always pulling out a pound of butter here and a pound of butter there. Too often I find myself digging through the depths of our freezer hoping to find one more pound of butter for a recipe I am making. Well, here in the U.S. a pound of butter costs anywhere from $2.85-$5.00 a pound—crazy! If you are using a lot of butter, like me, that can add up very quickly. I am SO excited to share with you my favorite tip to save money on butter, and many of these other ‘staple’ items!


Use white bean puree instead of butter and oil.
What? Beans instead of butter?! I promise, it works and it’s awesome! If you do a lot of baking like I do, pureed white beans makes for a healthy AND inexpensive replacement for butter. If you are new to using pureed white beans, here is a post where I explain exactly how to do it. Basically you cook hard white beans in a crock pot until completely tender. Drain the water and then put the cooked beans in a food processor and puree until smooth (you may have to add a little bit of water to help them puree easier—don’t add too much though or they will be too runny).
Once the beans are pureed, put ½ cup measurements of beans into Ziploc bags. Keep these bags in your freezer and pull out when you are ready to bake. In a recipe you can replace HALF of the fat in a recipe with beans. Keep the other half the butter or oil that is called for in the recipe. Using half white beans will not change the texture of your recipe but will add nutrients and help keep the cost of your recipes down. Your kids will never know! Here are some of my favorite recipes where I replace fat with beans:
Use powdered milk. Besides butter, milk is another expensive part of a family’s meal plan. If you have children like I do, I am sure you go through several gallons of milk a week. A simple way to cut down on your grocery bill is by replacing half of your regular milk with powdered milk.  When a gallon gets to less than half of the jug I prepare some powdered milk and pour it into the milk jug back up to the top. So far my kids haven’t caught on that the milk seems to keep replenishing itself 😉 Besides using powdered milk for drinking, you can also use it in your baking.  I use this trick ALL of the time and love it!! If a recipe calls for a cup of milk in a recipe, you can add instead 3 Tbls. dry powdered milk and 1 cup water. Youdon’t need to mix this before hand, just add the dry ingredients with the dry ingredients in your recipe and the water with the wet ingredients. It works great in many recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:
Make your own bread from scratch. Homemade wheat bread not only tastes better, but is much less expensive than store bought. Learn to make homemade breads of all kinds to save you money throughout the month.
Use Meat Extenders. Meat is one of the most expensive parts to a family’s meal.
Besides going meatless, there are simple ways to help stretch the meat in your meals so you can use less to feed more people. One of my favorite ways to do this is with Mexican food. My family of 7 would normally have to use 2-3 lbs. of meat when making a recipe. However, I always add black beans and corn to my taco meat to make it so I only have to use one pound of meat instead that’s a savings of $6-8 each meal!). Not only does it save money but it is actually healthier too!
Another tip, if you enjoy ground beef use half beef and half turkey. Turkey is $1-$2 less per pound and when added with regular ground beef you can not tell a difference, and it’s healthier. It’s a win-win! Here is a recipe for one of my family’s favorite Mexican
dishes that helps stretch your grocery budget.
Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Black Bean and Corn Tacos

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Author: Deals to Meals


  • MEAT:
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1-2 Tbs. taco seasoning
  • 2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 can black beans drained
  • 2 cups lettuce shredded
  • 1/2-1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup sour cream
  • 1 pkg. hard shell tacos or flour


  • In a saute pan, turn to medium heat and ground the beef (or turkey) until mostly cooked and browned. If there is too many juices and fasts from the meat, drain some of that and discard. To the ground meat, add the taco seasoning (enough to coat all of the meat). Add the frozen corn to the meat and stir. Add the black beans that have been drained from their can. Let the mixture simmer on low heat while you prepare the taco ingredients. Shred the lettuce, shred the cheese and then serve the taco meat in a taco shell or tortilla. Serve with the lettuce, salsa, cheese, and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro if you wish.
Besides using corn and beans, you can also use cabbage. Here is my recipe for Mom’s Sweet
& Tangy Sloppy Joes
where you add shredded cabbage to extend the meat. It works great and your children won’t even know you have added cabbage and some extra nutrients.
You can also add shredded potatoes to your taco meat as well. Just microwave your potatoes until tender, peel and then shred the potatoes into your cooked ground beef. All of these meat extenders help fill your family up quicker too so they eat less, and you can feed more people on less 😉
Use Powdered Eggs. I know most people have never used Powdered
but I encourage you to give them a try! With egg prices continuing to rise, having powdered eggs on hand can help save you money on those months your food budget is tight. You can use powdered eggs in nearly every recipe you use regular eggs in and they work great! Just like with the white beans, if you use half regular eggs and half powdered eggs you will never know the difference! Here are a few recipes where powdered eggs have worked great for me:
Learn to cook from scratch. Boxed items and prepared packages will cost you much more than learning to make items yourself. A muffin mix can cost you up to $4-$5 but if made from scratch would cost less than $1-$2. Boxed rice sides like Rice Roni will cost you over $1 and if made from scratch would be pennies. It’s nothing more than rice with seasonings and a little butter and chicken broth. Pancakes from a box? Learn to make your favorite breakfast items too to save you lots of money over time! Our blog has hundreds of homemade family favorite recipes to help you learn to cook from scratch.
Buy items when they are on sale and stock up.
I know I say this all the time, but this is the best trick to cutting down your food budget.  When items go on sale for great/red deals on our website, this is the time to head to that store and stock up! If it’s an item that can be stored long term, then buy as much as you can afford of that item and keep it on hand for when you’ll need it in the future. This way, you will try and reduce the times you have to pay full price for groceries. Watching for items to go on sale will save you anywhere from 30-75%. This will bring BIG returns throughout the year!

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