Rodale published this interesting article on how eating beans and grains instead of meat makes more economic sense than most people think — by lowering healthcare and prescription drug costs. (One poll showed people spend more on cheap junk food during hard times than on health food.)
It also pays to cook your own beans rather than buying canned. A 1-lb bag of dried beans costs about the same as one small can but makes the same as 3-4 cans of beans. Leftover beans can be frozen until you’re ready to use them in your favorite salads or vegan dishes.