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America Saves Week & Cuban Style Black Beans

Try this Cuban style black bean recipe this week!

February 18, 2015
Little River County, Ark. –

America Saves Week

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service joins Consumer Federation of America for the 2015 America Saves campaign.

America Saves is a national campaign designed to encourage people to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.  Consumer Federation of America hosts the campaign and provides free financial tools, savings services, advice, and resources that help Americans take the steps needed to take charge of their finances and manage money more effectively.

Browse the website for information and tips. Take the America Saves Pledge to access additional financial tools and gain guidance for reaching your savings goals.  Find America Saves at

America Saves Week is February 23-28, 2015.  This year’s theme is: Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Join thousands of Americans who are pledging to pay down debt, save money, and take financial action this month.

Here are some tips to start saving today. First, identify your wants versus needs: Kick a bad habit and put the money you would have spent on that habit into savings. Consider returning any gifts you won’t use and put any store credit towards items you need. Plan your purchases in advance by making – and sticking to – a budget. For free resources and entertainment, consider going to parks, libraries, or other community venues.

Reserve money for goal-based or high priority items in the future: Maximize your 401(k) or 403(b) deduction and take advantage of any contributions or matching from your employer – it is free money! Hide your savings from yourself by transferring money into a separate bank account, particularly in a financial institution you do not access regularly – out of sight, out of mind. Put money away for your child’s education with a College Savings program or a 529 plan. Stash the extra cash left behind in your car, home, purse, or pockets.

How can you get the most for your money and save with the difference? Pay above the minimum on the mortgage each month. Wipe out credit card debt by paying down balances. Buy store brands rather than name brands. Use discount stores when possible, you can buy used and save the difference. Make your home more energy efficient and consider weatherproofing against the elements.

Crock Pot Cuban Style Black Beans

1 ½ cups dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
3 cups broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)
4 cups water
1 small onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced or 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

In a large pan, combine beans and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer beans uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for one hour. Drain and rinse beans. Place the beans in a 3 ½ - 4 quart slow cooker. Add all other ingredients. Cover and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours or 5 hours on the high setting. Remove the bay leaves, mash the beans slightly (if desired) and serve over brown rice. Sprinkle fresh cilantro or cheese over the top if desired. Recipe adapted from the USDA.

The Cooperative Extension Service is your source for reliable, research-based information to improve quality of life. Discover the latest recommendations for money management, nutrition, health, parenting, relationships, and personal development. Learn more at

By Celeste Scarborough
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Celeste Scarborough
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
1411 N Constitution Ave Ashdown AR 71822
(870) 898-7224

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