Friday, January 6, 2012

Frugal Friday: Cost Analysis of Homemade Tortillas

I love tortillas and my kids love tortillas. Thus we eat a lot of tortillas and they do get expensive! Here’s a cost analysis of my homemade tortilla recipe so you can see how much cheaper it is to make them yourself (not to mention healthier)! In the recipe below, I’ve included the cost of each ingredient. The low estimate (in blue) is based on what I usually pay (when ingredients to go on sale and buying in bulk). The high estimate (in red) is based on actual prices taken from WinCo foods on December 13, 2011.

Whole-Wheat Tortillas
2 scant tsp. salt – {$0.01}
1/3 C. oil – {Ranges from $0.10 to $0.14}
3 C. Whole-wheat flour – {Ranges from $0.42 to $0.67}
2 C. Water – FREE!!

Place above ingredients into Bosch mixer and mix with dough hook. Meanwhile heat up 2 C. water in microwave until very hot. Start adding water gradually into Bosch until starts to pull away from the sides (I didn't use the full 2 Cups). Let mix 6 minutes. Turn off mixer and let dough rest 5 min. Break off small round balls about 2 inches in diameter. Then roll the dough out into the shape of a tortilla. Place the tortilla into a flat skillet pan on medium high heat. Rotate when air pockets start to form or until slightly brown around air pockets. You will know if you overcooked the tortilla because it will be stiff like a cracker. Make sure your tortillas are very bendable. It is better to undercook than overcook! Makes about 10 tortillas.

Total cost of 10 homemade tortillas ranges from $0.53 to $0.82
Total cost of one homemade tortilla ranges from $0.05 to $0.08

I won’t include electricity because it will be negligible.

For those of you who are wondering where I got these numbers and want to see the full analysis, read on! But I’m warning you, there’s math involved and conversions! Which I love, but you may not…so…I apologize in advance.

Cost of Home-made Tortillas Full Analysis
For 10 tortillas.
High Price taken from WinCo on December 13, 2011

Hopefully you already expect this to be really cheap…But in case you don’t…
A {1 lb. +10 oz.} container of store brand salt costs $0.44.
There are about 491 servings of salt in each package at ¼ tsp. each.
491/4 tsp. = 122.75 tsp.
122.75 tsp. = 2 * 61.375 tsp. (We use 2 tsp. salt in this recipe)
$0.44/61.375 =$0.01

I won’t analyze cheaper although I have seen salt go a lot cheaper than $0.44, but most of us don’t count our pennies that particularly...

A {1 Qt +1 pt} container of Store Brand Canola Oil = $2.50
{1 Qt + 1 pt} = 6 Cups
6 Cups = 18/3 Cups (We use 1/3 Cup in this recipe)
$2.50/18 = $0.14

I’ve seen Gallon containers of Canola oil go on sale for as low as $5.
1 Gal. = 16 Cups
16 Cups = 48/3 Cups
$5/48 = $0.10

WinCo has bulk food bins and their wheat costs $0.51/lb. for hard red. I didn’t see hard white, but it’s usually comparable priced…

1 Cup = about .44 lbs. of wheat (I measured this)
3 Cups = about 1.32 lbs. of wheat
1.32 lbs x $0.51/lb = $0.67

It’s a lot cheaper to buy wheat in bulk. I can usually get a 50 lb. bag of wheat for about $16 or less when it goes on sale.

50 lbs = 37.88/2.19 lbs (We use about 1.32 lbs. in this recipe)
$16/37.88 = $0.42

So to summarize again…
The total cost of 10 homemade tortillas ranges from $0.53 to $0.82. The total cost of one homemade tortilla ranges from $0.05 to $0.08. For raw ingredients. I’m not including electricity because it will be negligible.

So is it cost effective? Pulling out my handy-dandy ads for the week, I see that Don Julio’s 12-count uncooked tortillas are on sale at my local grocery store for 2 for $3. That works out to about $0.13 per tortilla. I’ve seen pre-cooked tortillas for as cheap as 10 for $1.00 on sale, but that’s still $0.10 per tortilla. So I can save between $0.05 and $0.08 per tortilla by making them at home. That may not seem like a lot, but our family eats between 10 and 12 tortillas a week. That’s a weekly savings of between $0.50 and $0.96. With 52 weeks in a year, that’s a yearly savings of between $26 and $49.92. I’m actually saving even more if you consider regular price instead of sale price.

So in conclusion, making your own tortillas at home saves you money and are much healthier as well!

And in case you are worried about the's a tortilla press that will make it even easier! It's on my wish list!


Patty said...

SO interesting!! I think I'll try making some this weekend! Do you make your own corn tortilla also? Love your blog, BTW!!

Jen said...

I tried to make homemade tortillas once and it was a debacle, but this recipe seems better... If I wasn't newly gluten free, I'd try again!

Elise said...

Not only is it healthier and easier, homemade tortillas taste so much better!
my husband is allergic to wheat so we typically make corn tortillas and the taste/texture difference is amazing!

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

I haven't tried corn tortillas yet, but I want to after all your comments!

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