Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cost Break-Down: Tacos

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
Lettuce: $0.53
Tomato: $0.94
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.


  1. wow u are so creative and calculate all this i go to the store and find what is th cheapest and buy it and then divide it up for 4 meals and that is how i do it. you are a awasome women to do this, and i love reading ur storys of the day.

  2. Melissa, it may not be as expensive cause you are having it for two meals, so don't forget that part of it. Lol

    have you tried taco in a pan (my name for it) lol

    I make the taco meat, put a bag of multi grain tortilla chips in a pan cover with meat and tomatoes etc. Then bake till cheese is melted. The left overs make a great taco salad just add lettuce and salsa. (yum yum)

    Thinking about it makes me hungry. Have a great night!

    Thanks Kylee

  3. Thanks, Kylee. I plan almost all my meals to include left overs for the next day, so even if I divide the cost in half, I'd still have to do that with the others too, and this one would still be twice as much as everything else we ate this week, lol!
    Mmmm, I am getting recipe suggestions, that sounds really yummy! You'll have to tell me how you make that.
    I know there are lots of ways I could cut the cost, and sometimes we do try different things with these fixings, but honestly, this is the way I like to eat tacos, so I wanted to know what they cost before tweaking anything.

    @annon. Thanks! :)
    I am a math nerd, so I like the challenge of figuring it out exactly. I only plan to do this sometimes, but I definetly don't do this every single time I cook a meal. Averaging it out, even over a month, is probably more practical!

  4. Hahahaha, just realized that you DID tell me already, Kylee!


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