Creative Ways to Use Homemade Tortillas for Frugal Families

When it comes to saving money on groceries, homemade tortillas are not only inexpensive, they are also extremely versatile. In this post, I’ll show you how to make four-ingredient tortillas and give you ideas on how you can use them.

What do tortillas cost to make?

I priced all the ingredients at SAMS and did the math.

At the time of writing this post, each of the tortillas costs approximately 6¢ each to make from scratch. Considering that most tortillas in the grocery store are well over $1 per package, these are an excellent way to save money and create the base for frugal, filling family meals.

Tortillas begin with four, basic ingredients: Flour, water, oil, and salt – that’s it.

Watch the video

To see me make tortillas and demonstrate recipes for using them, watch the video below.

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Although a tortilla press will cut down on time and effort, it’s not absolutely necessary. For many years, I rolled my tortillas by hand, but a tortilla press significantly cuts down on both time and effort.

However, Bellemain sent us their cast iron tortilla press to try out and we love it, hands down. It’s well made, super easy to use, and clean up is a breeze.

I always make a double batch of tortillas, which will yield 15-16 tortillas. I have used the same simple tortilla recipe for many years.

Once you’ve finished cooking your tortillas, you’ll have a nice-sized stack.

You can either use them right away or freeze them for later use. You may want to place parchment paper between each tortilla before freezing to keep them from sticking together.

How do you use tortillas?

The nice thing about tortillas is that they are incredibly versatile. Your fillings can be savory or sweet, meaning they are appropriate for any meal of the day, including breakfast.

Start your day by topping a tortilla with crumbled sausage and roll it up for a quick breakfast.

For lunch, use them like bread, creating a “sandwich” filled with barbecue lentil filling or a lentil burger.

Supper can include tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas. Finish your meal with fruit-filled rolled taquitos.

Keep scrolling for some ideas and recipe links.

Crispy Tortilla Strips

To create tortilla strips, simple apply a thin layer of melted margarine, or coconut oil to a fresh tortilla. Sprinkle on the seasoning of your choice. Cut the tortilla into 1/4 inch wide strips using a pizza cutter.

Lay the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch it so the toppings don’t burn.

Garlic and onion powder will make a savory crisp strip to garnish soups.

Cinnamon and sugar strips dipped in a bit of dark chocolate will create a simple, inexpensive dessert.

Tortilla Chips

Using much the same procedure as for crispy tortilla strips, you can create homemade tortilla chips. Apply a light layer of melted margarine or coconut oil to a fresh tortilla. Top with garlic and onion powder. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees (176 degrees celsius) for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned.

I’ve also made my own “Dorito” chips several times. In this recipe there is no oil or salt used in this recipe. My only advice is to make at least a double batch. They are so tasty, they will quickly disappear and your family will be asking for more.

Each of these homemade tortilla chips is a very tasty addition to taco salads.


Tostadas are a quick and easy lunch or light evening meal. Toast a homemade corn or flour tortilla in the toaster oven until crisp. Then add whatever toppings you would like. I generally put a lot of small bowls of toppings on the table and everyone selects what they would like.

Although I use the “empty the fridge” approach to tostadas, pulling out odds and ends of leftovers and adding anything that looks remotely like it would fit on top of a toasted tortilla, here is a list of toppings you are likely find on our table:

  • Finely diced onions
  • Peppers (cut into rings or diced)
  • Tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Taco seasoning
  • Refried Beans
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Cheese
  • Beans
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Hummus
  • Cucumber
  • Leftover rice
  • Fresh Lemon or Lime
  • Diced Mango or Pineapple
  • Raisins
  • Tahini Lime Dressing

Use your imagination and add items to our list that your family would enjoy.


The most natural use for tortillas is tacos. The wonderful thing about them is, much like tostadas, you can use a variety of fillings and flavors. We have used everything from potatoes and various vegetables, to beans and lentils. Cauliflower with a spicy buffalo coating makes a flavorful taco. My boys often ask for my lentil taco filling.

Experiment with your fillings and have fun.


These Broccoli and Black Bean Enchiladas are easy to make and cook in just minutes. You can use a prepared enchilada sauce, but it is actually simple and quick to make enchilada sauce from scratch.

Your Turn

What is your favorite thing to do with tortillas? Tell us in the comments.

8 thoughts on “Creative Ways to Use Homemade Tortillas for Frugal Families”

    • 4 Cups flour, 1/3 cup oil, 1 tea. Salt 1&1/2 cups water
      If sticky add more flour (4 Tablespoons)
      Let Rest 5 minutes
      Divide into 16 equal parts
      Roll or press into tortillas
      Fry for a minute to a minute and a half on each side.


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