Since I’ve started freelancing full-time, my husband has taken over making dinner. Partly because it gives me more time work and partly because I don’t enjoy cooking. My husband is also a whiz at creating meals out of food we already have and making them cost-effective.
I’ve decided to feature more recipes on the blog. Even though I’ve written about how to save money on groceries, I’ve never said what exactly it is I eat.
So here’s our first recipe: slow-cooked pork tacos with mango pico de gallo. This is one of my favorite meals that Sam makes. It’s healthy, filling and combines the crunchy, sweet flavors of the mango pico de gallo with the savory pork. Plus, we usually make pork in big batches that we can freeze which means more pork tacos later!
Here are the main ingredients:
- Flour tortillas: We buy these at Costco and get 44 total. This usually lasts us a month or so – we like our tacos. Cost: $7
- Pork shoulder: Our grocery store recently had this on sale for $1.67 a pound. Pork is one of the cheaper meat options out there, and it’s a staple in many of our dinners. I think our freezer has two more packages of pork shoulder in there. Cost: $7.20 for 4.3 pounds
- Cheese: I prefer to use block cheese and grate it myself, but either option works. I’ve heard that pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt as well. Cost: $2.29
- Mango pico de gallo: Requires a mango, onion, three tomatoes, cilantro, salt and jalapenos (or you can leave those if you’re averse to spicy foods like I am). Cost: $4 for all ingredients
- Avocados: As you can see in the photo, these are mostly used as a garnish. They’re totally optional, but I frickin’ love avocados. Cost: 99 cents
- Total: less than $25 for multiple delicious meals!
You’re probably wondering why we use frozen tortillas. This is something we bought on a whim because they were cheap at Costco. But now we’re devoted converts. Sam cooks the tortillas in our skillet; trust me, they’re much tastier and crispier than non-frozen ones. You do have to defrost them beforehand, which is a pain (or would be, if I were the one cooking).
Pork shoulder is great because you do so much with it. Sometimes we do tacos, other times we do BBQ sandwiches. A full pork shoulder yields enough for several kinds of meals if you’re creative.
This is the recipe I use for mango pico de gallo. I use a whole mango instead of a half, and it turns out great. If you only use half a mango, you can use the rest in smoothies or with yogurt. I really like this recipe because I use all of the ingredients without wasting any of them – I hate buying fresh produce and having to throw part of it away later.
This makes about 14 tacos depending on how many tortillas you have. The pico de gallo is generally good for about 6-8 servings, so I end up making two batches.
This meal costs around $20 total or $1.42 per taco. Prices always differ based on your location, but generally, pork shoulder is a safe bet if you’re looking for cheap meat. If you’re lucky enough to live where produce is plentiful and affordable, then you may pay less than we did.
Look how beautiful those tacos are! I always stare at them for a few seconds before I dig in; they say that you should eat a colorful meal, and this is definitely one of those.
If you want to impress your friends for Cinco de Mayo or just a nice dinner party, pork tacos with mango pico de gallo an easy meal to assemble and something you can prepare ahead of time. Vamos a comer!