Our family LOVES tacos. I make it once every week and a half or so, as a special meal, say on a Friday night, as a treat. I think it’s a cheap way for the kids to feel like we’ve eaten a fun meal. Now right off, I know there are ways I could cut the price of this meal down, but I wanted a real assessment of what we spend when we make it the same way we always do. I started making my own taco spice mix a couple years ago, so I had to estimate the price of the seasoning. I fry two pounds of meat, and I know this is the fastest way I could cut costs, but for us, the meat is the main filling, and I am also trying to have enough for the next day’s lunch left over. Our favourite way to use the left over meat, by the way, is to make a sandwich with toasted bread and a slice of processed cheese on top of the meat. Our favourite toppings are lettuce, tomato, green pepper, sour cream, and of course lots of cheese! One more tip, is to put shredded carrots ( I’ve also heard of zucchini) into the meat while you’re frying. It stretches your meat, and something about the carrot enhances the flavour of the spices, making your meat spicier. You get more “meat filling” without using any more spice packs than if you just fried the single pound of meat. It’s also one more veggie, if those are hard to get in around your table.
So here is what I spent, when I made tacos this week ( didn’t use carrots this time):
Shells (18 pack of Old El Paso): $4.29
Green Pepper: $0.52
Sour Cream: $0.90
2 lb Ground Deer: $2.00
Cheese (200g): $2.20
Seasoning Mix (est): $0.75
That’s a total of $12.13!
This is by far the most expensive meal I’ve broken down yet! If you bought the two spice packs you’d need for this amount of meat at $1.69 ea (last time I looked) and you bought your two pounds of lean ground beef at the store ( for $1.78/ lb) then the total cost would be : $16.32!!
I was totally surprised by how high the cost was on this one. In perspective, though, our family would spend at least $25 to eat out at a fast food restaurant, so eating at home is still a better bargain. I still plan to eat and enjoy my tacos, and I will still probably smother them in all those rich, more expensive ingredients. I think I’ll just make sure we aren’t enjoying them too often!
If you’re wondering how I came up with the cost of the wild meat we used, here is the link to that post: Cost Break-Down: Our Family's Meat. Everything else I did by either by weight, like the cheese; and the lettuce etc I figured by looking at this week’s grocery bill. We used a third of the head of lettuce that I got for $1.59, so it was $0.53 worth of lettuce.