When you're on a budget like we are and you're trying to make your grocery money stretch as far as possible, the easiest place to cut the budget is GROCERIES! That means "rice and beans, beans and rice" to quote Dave Ramsey.
Here's one of the favorite bean recipes at our house:
1lb red beans
8oz ham hock/bacon/seasoning
3c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chopped green pepper
(I also throw in some celery if I have any)
1 t cayenne (or more to taste)
1 t black pepper
8oz tomato sauce
pinch each of oregano and thyme
Soak your beans overnight and do crockpot next day...or soak all day and cook in afternoon as follows:
Slow cook 45 mins and then add all other ingredients except salt.
[Chemistry sidenote: Never add salt to beans until they are totally soft. Have you ever had beans with that little film on the outside? There is a chemical reaction to the beans when you add the salt and that outside layer will never soften if the salt is added too early. Adding this info for anyone who didn't know. We're all eating beans, so figured it never hurts to remind about that!]
Cook another 2 hours and check last 15-20 minutes for taste. Add salt and more cayenne if you wish. Sometimes I will also add a pinch of my cajun seasoning as well if it needs a little more kick. Serve over a big pile of steamed rice. Yummo!