Monday, July 23, 2012

Frugal Food: Tortillas

Tortillas were a mainstay in our home when I was growing up because we ate tacos on a regular basis. I can remember turning on the gas pilot stove on very low and putting a corn tortilla on top of the stove grate and warming it on both sides and then spreading it with warm butter. It was an inexpensive and delicious snack. 

We used to go by this tiny, Mexican grocery store in Joliet, Illinois to buy the very best fresh tortillas. My late aunt Minnie made the best Mexican food was the one who taught my Mom how to make tacos and we still make them that same way today. 

Nowadays, tortillas are a mainstay in my frugal kitchen, and there are a number of reasons for that. 

Tortillas are inexpensive. 

I can buy a package of 100 tortillas for $3 at Wal-Mart, or if I am at Sam’s Club, I can buy two packages of 72 tortillas for $4.23. If I am at Sam’s Club I make a point of buying them, but if not the ones at Wal-Mart will do. 

Do the math: 

100 divided by 3.00 = 3¢
144 divided by 4.72 = 3¢ 

So, when you look at the cost of a tortilla, 3¢ each, you can see for yourself how inexpensive they are, and that is a good reason to use them in our frugal kitchens. 

 Tortillas are Cheaper than other Bread Products

Cost Comparison

Bread 89¢ for 20 slices = 5¢ each
Hamburger Buns 89¢ for 16 slices = 6¢ or 12¢ for a whole bun

Tortillas are extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes.

Tacos – Beef, Chicken, Fish, or Pork
Mexican Pinwheels
Pizza/Pizza Crust
Breakfast Tacos
Veggie Burger Tacos

You can also make your own tortilla chips rather than buy them already made at the store. All you need to do is cut your tortillas in half and then in half again. 

Fry them in a little oil and you have your own tortilla chips.I salt them a little bit and they taste just like the tortilla chips you would find at a Mexican restaurant. These are terrific served with homemade salsa.

Tortillas can be used for Leftovers

Whenever I have leftovers, like Mexican rice, I can use the leftovers in place of meat in a taco. I simply heat everything up and then add the rice, cheese, lettuce and tomato to a tortilla. My family really likes my Mexican Rice Tacos. You can also use other leftovers  and make them into a meal by using tortillas.You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

As you can see, tortillas can be a mainstay in your frugal kitchen. They are very affordable and versatile and I hope your family will love them like my family loves them.

© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. Great post, Belinda. Our WM up here in the North are a joke compared to the super centers down South. While ours do offer some groceries, there is very little, mostly shelf stable items. Good tip on making your own nacho chips. I should try that!

  2. Thank you, Carol. The Super Center Walmarts are definitely a good way to save money on one's grocery bill. They don't always have the best price, but are consistently lower on many items.

  3. My husband loves the chips made this way. I try to make them as a side when we have chili.

    Ironically I don't usually serve tacos made with corn tortillas. The kiddos ask for flour more often than not.

  4. Shara, we like the flour tortillas lightly fried too, although I can get the corn ones cheaper. They are completely different from the corn. They make great chips too!


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