Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 07:55 am

Is it cheaper to make or buy salsa, save 62$ with homemade

homemade salsa from scratch
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If you like salsa, you probably put it on your tortillas, potatoes, eggs, or just dip fresh tortilla chips in it. There are a variety of salsas to choose from and many recipes to make at home. The most popular is the tomato salsa. If you have a large family or you must have salsa with almost every meal, I like it on lasagna, then the question of making salsa from scratch at home arises.

I was wondering the same question and found the answer to is it cheaper to make or buy salsa:

Homemade salsa is 41% or 0.07$ per oz cheaper if you compare it to the cost of average salsa price per oz. But if you buy the cheapest tomato salsa in a store, then homemade salsa is only 18% or 0.02$ per oz. cheaper. You could save 62$ a year with homemade salsa if the homemade price is compared to the average store-bought salsa price and 20$ if the price of homemade is compared to the cheapest store-bought salsa. 

Is it cheaper to make or buy salsa?
Cheapest store-bough salsa 16oz Average price store-bough salsa 16oz
Price store-bought $1.92 $2.67
Cost store-bought per oz $0.12 $0.17
Cost homemade per oz $0.10 $0.10
Price homemade from scratch $1.57 $1.57
Difference $0.35 $1.10
Homemade price difference in percentage 18% 41%

While researching the recipes and prices, I discovered some exciting things; read on to learn more.

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Is it worth making salsa at home from scratch and savings?

In general, cooking at home is cheaper than eating out. Check out how to save from 1720$ to 4303$ with homemade food.

Making salsa at home will cost 3.74$ if you make it using the recipe and ingredients in the table below. You can make 14 servings with ingredients included in the recipe, which will total 0.27$ per serving.

salsa in a cup

It is rewarding to make salsa at home from scratch, especially if you are not buying the cheapest store-bought salsa.

Homemade salsa is 0.07$ per oz. cheaper than the average price of store-bought salsa and 0.02$ per oz. cheaper if you compare homemade to the cheapest store-bought salsa. You would pay 1.1$ less for a 16 oz. jar of salsa if you make it at home.

The table shows that if you make salsa at home twice a month, you could save 62$ if you usually buy an average-priced store-bought salsa. But if you always buy the cheapest ones, your savings will be lower. If the cheapest store-bought and homemade are compared, then you could save up to 20$ a year.

Savings per year if you would make 14 servings of salsa twice a month?
Cheapest store bough salsa Average price store bough salsa
Weight for 14 servings in oz 38.1 38.1
Price store-bought per oz $0.12 $0.17
Price store-bought 38.1oz $4.56 $6.33
Cost homemade per oz $0.10 $0.10
Price homemade 38.1oz $3.73 $3.73
Difference $0.83 $2.60
Yearly savings if you make salsa twice a month $19.86 $62.42
Savings saver saver

Cheap salsa recipe and the cost

How the cost for salsa is calculated

The most expensive ingredient in salsa is tomatoes. Tomatoes present the majority of the cost of salsa. There are plenty of different salsa recipes, but for this calculation, I took the one that is the most common and cheap at the same time.

Salsa ingredients cost is calculated on the following basis:

Measurement to grams: I calculated the measurement of each ingredient into grams. This way I could get the sum weight of all ingredients in the salsa recipe.

Average product price: for each ingredient in the recipe, I checked the latest prices online and calculated the average price per ounce.

Price per ingredient: the cost for each ingredient is calculated to match the amount used in the recipe. 

Sum weight of salsa: to get salsa’s total weight, I summed the weight of all ingredients in grams.

Electricity cost: there are no electricity costs included in the calculation.

Time, utensils, and cookware: I did not include the cost of making this recipe or the purchase of cookware and tools into the calculation. 

Cheap salsa recipe and costs

Following is a very common tomato salsa recipe. With the ingredients in this recipe, you can make 14 servings of salsa. The cost per serving is 0.10$ per oz. and the whole amount of which is 38.1oz. costs 3.74$ 

How much does it cost to make homemade salsa from scratch? 
Quantities Quantities in grams Cost
Salsa ingredients
Beefsteak tomatoes 1 1/4 lbs 566 g $2.49
Diced tomatoes 14.5 oz can 411 g $0.58
Green onions 2 23 g $0.16
Red onion 1/3 cup chopped 17 g $0.04
Jalapeno pepper 1 20 g $0.09
Fresh cilantro (about a handful) 1/3 cup 5 g $0.09
Clove garlic, finely chopped 1 large 6 g $0.04
Fresh lime juice 2 Tbsp 28 g $0.18
Chili powder 1/2 tsp 1 g $0.02
Ground cumin 1/4 tsp 0.5 g $0.005
Granulated sugar (optional) 1/2 tsp 0.5 g $0.003
Salt 1/4 tsp 1.5 g $0.01
Pepper 1/4 tsp 0.6 g $0.05
Servings 14 $3.74
Cost of homemade salsa per serving $0.27
Cost per ounce $0.10
SUM weight salsa in grams 1080.1
SUM product weight in ounces 38.1

How to make salsa from scratch

Making salsa is so easy. 

The first thing you need to do is to chop the tomatoes. Including ripe tomatoes in the recipe makes salsa even better. Ripe tomatoes add texture and sweetness to the salsa. Including over-ripened tomatoes will make the salsa too mushy. 

If you like chunky salsa, chop the tomatoes roughly, but if you want your salsa to look more like a sauce or a dip, then you should finely chop all your ingredients.

You should also finely chop onions, cilantro, and jalapenos. If you don’t take the seeds out of jalapeno, your salsa will be spicier. 

Mix all chopped ingredients in a bowl and add the spices and lime juice. Stir with a spoon and serve in cups.

Best tomatoes for salsa

There are countless varieties of tomatoes, sweet and sour, yellow, green, black or red, meaty and juicy. Salsa can be made using almost any tomato type, but if you want to make the best salsa, you should also use the best tomatoes for salsa.

beefsteak tomatoes

Salsa should look like a dip and chunks of tomatoes flowing in tomato water. That is why it is essential to choose meaty tomatoes when making salsa.

Meaty tomatoes include more flesh and do not have as much water as juicy tomatoes. When you cut a meaty tomato, the slice looks like a piece of meat or cheese; it’s firm and at the same time juicy.

Since many varieties of tomatoes are meaty, I recommend you use the following, which are the best tomatoes for salsa:

  • Paste tomatoes – they are a fantastic choice for pasta sauce and salsa. These firm-flashed tomatoes are dense, meaty, and contain little juice.
  • Red or green beefsteak tomatoes – big, thick, and meaty tomatoes, are flavorful, mild, and balanced. These have the most traditional tomato flavor.
  • Grape tomatoes – they are crisp and crunchy and have a firm, meaty texture. They are sweet to tangy and have a great acid to sweet balance.
  • Cocktail tomatoes – they have soft walls and a meaty texture. The traditional tomato flavor compliments the sweetness of the tomato. 

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I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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Homemade salsa cheaper than store bought