Today’s Scratch vs. Store bought post compares home made taco seasoning and the little packets made by Lawry’s, McCormicks, and the like.
1 tablespoon chili powder
Mix all ingredients. 3 T = 1 packet.
The Cost Breakdown:
The packet mix was on sale for $1.25 and made 6 servings, at $.21 per serving.
The homemade version cost pennies; I would guess under $.10 for the entire batch. With the tiny portions of each spice, and with spices purchased from the bulk bins for considerably less than the tiny jars on grocery store shelves, it was hardly worth calculating. For inexpensive spices, try bulk bins at health food stores, Winco (a bare-bones grocery store), or the little packets in Asian and Hispanic grocery stores.
The Taste Test:
I browned ground beef and divided it into two batches, then made one with a seasoning packet and one with the home made mix. Tasting the meat alone on a fork, the home made mix won with me, my husband, mother in law, and son. We all agreed that the seasoning packet was too salty and lacked personality. Mixed up in a taco salad with the other fixings, they were both fine, but the home made mix was still favored as it “stands up to the other flavors” according to my husband.
The Time Factor:
Not much of a factor. Measuring spices took under a minute and was easy to do while the meat was browning. You could mix up multiple batches and store it pre-made if you chose to. I would make it up as the meat browns next time rather than pre-make it.
The store bought mix was very salty and had a much higher sodium level than my version. Also, the store bought mix had dextrose, a sugar, which mine did not, increasing the calories unnecessarily.
Scratch vs. Store bought winner:
With both cost and flavor firmly on the side of home made, the Scratch side wins by a landslide.