Anyone remember my first Frugal Experiment waaaaay back in October? I talked about making my own red sauce – which has proved to be so tasty that it is now a constant in our make-ahead-and-freeze rotation.
After a too-long hiatus, I am getting back to the Frugal Experiment, this time by making my own salsa.
Now as you guys know, I am all about keeping it simple. I used to love to patchke in the kitchen, but these days, I’ve got about 20 minutes, tops, to make dinner. So, a 15-step salsa recipe with lots of chopping and mincing just isn’t going to cut it (no pun intended) for me.
Fortunately, I have found a so-good-and-SO-EASY recipe (don’t worry, I share it below) that the only question remaining is: Does making salsa from scratch save money?
Our favorite store-bought salsa is the refrigerated one from Costco. It has a lovely fresh, “restaurant” taste and runs $4.99 for 48 ounces of salsa.
The recipe that I use makes at least 6 cups, so let’s call that even. As for cost, to make my salsa, I use:
1 large can of whole tomatoes – $.75 with coupon and sale, Red Gold (regularly $1.25/each)
2 medium cans of crushed tomatoes with chilis (medium) – FREE with coupon and sale, Red Gold (regularly $.75/each)
1/8 of an onion, diced ~ $.05 (probably less, actually)
1/2 bunch of cilantro – $.40
2 cloves of garlic – $.10
1/2 lemon or lime – $.10 or less (when they are on sale, I use fresh; if they are more $$$, I used bottled lemon juice)
cumin, salt ~ $.05
1/4 t sugar ~ $.01
Wow! I totaled that all up and surprised myself with how frugal homemade salsa is. 6+ cups of salsa cost only $1.46! Even if I bought full-priced canned tomatoes, my cost would have been $3.46 – still less than the salsa at Costco.
Of course, not only is the price point right, but so is the taste! Seriously, you guys, this salsa is soooooo good. Everyone who tries it loves it!
I have tweaked the Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa recipe to make it even easier, and a little less picante.
Out of this World Salsa
- 1 can (28-ounce) whole tomatoes
- 2 cans (10-ounce) diced tomatoes with chilis (I use medium/mild)
- 1/8 of an onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ t sugar
- ¼ t salt
- ¼ t cumin
- ½ bunch of fresh cilantro (I LOVE cilantro, so I load it up – but you can use less)
- ½ lime or lemon, squeezed; or 1 T juice
Dump everything into your food processor and pulse until you get the consistency you want. I usually pulse it maybe 15 times. I don’t like mine overly smooth.
Refrigerate for at least an hour, then serve and ENJOY. Kept refrigerated, the salsa should last for about a week.
Do you make your own salsa? Is it the savings, the taste or both that have you making it from scratch?