Sunday, December 30, 2012

Use It Up - Taco Sauce

 This plus this...
 equals this...
 plus this...

Back when my Mother was in the hospital for 52 days, two times we stopped by Taco Bell on our way home from the hospital after a full day at work/school. Both times we picked up one of those 12 packs of Tacos for $10.00. The amount of sauce they gave us both times was so extraordinary that I actually counted the number of sauce packets because I was shocked at the amount they gave to us. The first time I counted 75 sauce packets and the second item it was 60 sauce packets. Unbelievable, right?

I had to wait until I had some extra time on hand to do this, but I decided to take all of those sauce packets and empty them into a glass jar and use it up. It would take us a long time to use them up in packet form, but if I empty them all into a glass jar then I could use it up faster because I'll use it in recipes. Some might consider this to be an extreme measure, but since they were given to me I might as well use them. 

That jar is a 2 quart jar and is half full, so I ended up with 1 quart of taco sauce.   Even I was shocked at how much sauce was there.

Have you went to any extreme measures lately?

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


  1. Belinda,
    I recognize my earlier suggestion back in force here! : ) WTG! Agree, if it's amassed and poured together, than you realize just how much of this stuff is on hand and will make an effort to use it up! Imagine if you had simply thrown it away . . . I see enchilladas baked in a casserole here. $ Tree tortillas, a can of beans, some shredded cheese, perhaps some meat (got any leftover, chopped turkey lurking in the freezer?).

    Extreeme measures reigns at the momement in my kitchen. New domicile, new chapter in my life as a single Mom, bills starting to settle out . ..time to reign in some of the budget bleeders, especially food and oil bills, which are killing me. Jan has typically been a use it up month, to give me some flexability in my buddget. Winter months mean heating and firewood bills, plowing, Christmas etc. So, I am putting every trick I know into use. Example, I recently had to make soup. I make my own stock, refrigerated so that the fat layer rises to the top. My soups often start with sauteeing some vegetables in butter/oil. Why break out the purchsed butter/oil/margarine when fat is right there atop the stock? Perhaps my cholesterol is a tad higher, and some may be grossed out (I also reserve pork fat and bacon fat for flavoring as well as kitchen economy)but do these same realize what that yellow blog is in a can of commercially prepared soup? Read the label and discover that it is chicken fat, turkey fat, etc.
    Another frugal bootcamp thing that I am doing is freezing leftovers to avoid food waste. Beyond my composting of veggie scraps, and tossing of boiled bones, we toss out very little food. Too expensive!

    1. You're right, Carol. This is an suggestion I first learned from you! :) A few years ago, I would have gotten tired of seeing this on the counter and thrown them all away, but not anymore. I figured I could use this in place of salsa in my Mexican Rice recipe. It's worth giving it a shot anyway and will save me money in the long run. Enchiladas would be a great idea and I have all that stuff on hand too.

      January is an extra spend month also for me as I have car insurance, car registration, and my Farm Bureau membership, which allows me to have cheaper auto insurance are all due this month, so extreme measures are good for me right now.

      We always saved bacon grease when I was growing up and it gave good flavor to beans and other foods. It was a good cost saving measure. You're right, that is exactly what that yellow blob is in commercially canned soups.

      Yes, food is too expensive right now to waste any of it. Good thing we are doing what we can in this area.

    2. Belinda, I would definately use these reserved taco sauce to replace any Mexican type sauce, including salsa. Just smooth not chunky is all.

    3. Thank you, Carol. I am definitely going to try this. :)

  2. I don't consider that extreme at all having all those packets of sauce to use up instead of waste.

    When we order Chinese food in (very rarely I might add) I always save the soy sauce packets since no one uses them, but I use them once in a while in cooking and I never have to buy soy sauce.

    Good thinking Belinda.

    1. Thank you, Mary Lou. I'm glad you all don't consider this extreme. :) I would be saving those soy sauce packets too!

  3. That's funny. I did the same thing yesterday but with pizza sauce. They gave us 3 containers of sauce and I was able to save it for another meal.

  4. I'm always amazed at how much of things like the places hand out. I keep a zip lock bag in the refrigerator door to hold things like that and I try to use them up as I go. I don't think it is extreme at all...I just consider it not being wasteful.

  5. I would never have this much leftover sauce as I use 4-5 per taco...

    add some to your next dish of mac and cheese for some extra zip...or tomato soup...

    1. Sounds good, Kelley. My daughter likes to sprinkle it on her popcorn too. :)

  6. Hi Belinda,
    We save these little packets to add to the to-go lunches that I pack for kids and husband. When I'm packing up something like bean burger patties, I can toss in a packet or two for them to add at lunchtime. But I have to confess, our container with all these packets is becoming full once again. Time to start planning to-go lunches that can use them again!

    The mayo, ketchup and mustard packets are great for vacations. I can bring a handful of those, then pick up bread and sandwich meat at our destination.

    1. Those are great ideas, Lili. I especially like the idea about bringing them along on vacations. :)


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