Looking for a way to save on dinner? Hello, tacos. Making tacos for dinner is so easy and it can be cheap. What’s more, there are always leftover ingredients. But one of my favorite things about them is how versatile they are. Don’t like red meat? No problem, use chicken. Don’t eat meat? Use mushrooms or beans. Below is a great taco recipe for you to enjoy this summer.
This recipe yields at the very least two dinners for two people. Two fully-loaded tacos for two people each and a handful of chips. Most of these ingredients will last you into several dinners, with the exception of the tortillas.
Total Cost for at minimum 4 servings –
- $33 or less with beef or chicken tacos
- $26 or less with mushrooms
- $24 or less with beans
*prices are approximate and will vary depending on where you shop.
- Corn tortillas – $2.19 for 10 tortillas *the more you can buy for less, the better!
- Romaine lettuce, 1 bag – $3.29
- Tortilla chips, 1 bag – $2.99 store brand
- Salsa – $2.19 for 16oz store brand
- Guacamole – $4.99 for 13oz
- Mexican style shredded cheese – $4.99
- Taco seasoning, 1 packet – $1.29 (or use your own spices at home, like salt, cayenne, paprika)
- Cilantro – 99 cents, 1 bundle
- 1 pound organic ground beef – $9 per pound
- Or 1 pound organic ground chicken – $9 per pound
Ways to Save
The way to save here is on the filling – the “meat.” And mushrooms are a great way to get that “meaty” texture for a less hefty price than chicken or beef. Another option that costs even less? Refried beans. A note on the mushrooms: I like to buy mushrooms from the bulk section, buying a handful or two at a time.
Portabello Mushrooms – $4.99 per pound (one pound is actually quite a bit! I recommend grabbing one or two handfuls)
Crimini Mushrooms – $3.99 per pound (see above for quantity)
Oyster Mushrooms – $2.99 for two handfuls
Refried Beans – $1 per can
- Step 1. Sauté your meat with a tablespoon of butter or a few tablespoons of olive oil until cooked thoroughly. This can be either the ground beef, ground chicken or mushrooms. If you’re using refried beans as your “meat” then heat these in a pot.
- Step 2. When the meat is halfway cooked, season with the packet of taco seasoning (or add your own spices).
- Step 3. While the meat is cooking, heat a cast iron skillet (if you own one) and warm the tortillas on each side for around 1 minute each side. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can wrap all the tortillas in aluminum foil and heat them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Step 4. Chop the cilantro and romaine lettuce and set aside, keeping them separate.
- Step 5. Set out the lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, buffet-style.
- Step 6. Eat! Load your tortillas with all the fillings. I usually like to add everything in this order, but really anything works – Meat (or mushrooms or refried beans), lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cheese, cilantro. Grab a handful or two of chips to go with your tacos and you’ve got a meal!
Expert Tip: Always be on the lookout for sale items. Taco ingredients are a magnet for sales. You can also pick and choose from the above ingredients, depending on what type of tacos you’re in the mood for with dinner.