Regular ground pork tends to be really inexpensive here – I picked some up today for $1.29/lb. I’m planning to use some of it to make green beans with fermented black beans and pork sauce (I’m planning to use 1/4 tsp. guar gum instead of the cornstarch) and ma po tofu (1/8 tsp. guar gum instead of the potato starch).
The fermented black beans were $1.19 for a small can and the chili bean paste was $2.39 for a jar. Buying fermented black beans and mixing up black bean sauce is much less expensive than buying black bean sauce, of course.