The Spice of Convenience | Ready-Made Fajita Spice Mix Versus Make Your Own

Fajita Spice Mix

Yep, we’ve all done it. Picked up the packet of Fajita Seasoning thinking there’s a simple dinner. In fact, I’m not sure I even realised that it was possible to construct your own Fajita Seasoning without a catering qualification from the Acapulco School of Cookery.  But if you are a frequent consumer of the fajita, we thought this might be of interest to you! Bottom line is, it is blindingly simple! Not only that, but there is considerably less packaging and plastic involved!

How to Make Your Own Fajita Spice Mix

To mix your own fajita spice mix all you need is smoked paprika, cumin, chilli and cayenne pepper –  around a teaspoon of each (and some salt and pepper). You don’t even really need to mix it – I just throw it in with whatever I am cooking!

Here’s Jamie Oliver’s recipe for the full spread – homemade guacamole and salsa is a piece of cake too, and so much more healthy! He uses a very similar spice mix to us, but you can mix and match to your own taste! I love cumin, some like coriander! You can also use up any old vegetables that you have if you want to make a veggie version – literally anything!

Compare the Shop

In terms of the shopping side of things, if you were to take four full jars of supermarket own spices and blend the total cost would be £3.80, brand spices £6. The supermarket we are shopping in has slightly larger own brand jars than the branded so for your £3.80 you would get 180g of spice.  The branded spices would give you 140g for your £6.

The homemade blend is also likely to pack a bit more punch than the pre-mix so for the branded mix that should give you nine x 20g servings at 42p, and for the own brand mix, seven servings at 85p.

The Maths

  • 1 x 35g packet of Old El Paso Fajita Seasoning =  89p = £2.55 per 100g
  • 1 x jar of branded smoked paprika, cumin, chilli, and cayenne pepper mixed (150g) = £5.31 per 100g
  • 1 x 35g packet of supermarket own brand Fajita Seasoning = 55p = £1.57 per 100g
  • 1 x packet of own brand smoked paprika, cumin, chilli and cayenne pepper mixed (180g) = £3.80 = £2.11 per 100g

The Bottom Line

The simple truth of it is, there’s not a lot in it cost wise, in fact financially our conscience should be clear grabbing the more convenient packet!  Definitely go for own brand though!  How different can spices be!

But you could have a lot more fun making your own and you can control the salt levels!  That packet of Old El Paso contains a whopping 2.5 g of salt – more than the entire recommended allowance per adult per day in one hit!

Having done both, I would have to say that it’s almost quicker not to use the packet mix though, and of course, you’ve got those spices for lots of other uses as well.

The Waste Not Verdict

  • TIME:  Packet 50/Make Your Own 50 – really not a time saver!
  • COST:   Packet 50/Make Your Own 50 – about the same, although packet mix is probably laced with other ingredients that aren’t actually spices!
  • ENVIRONMENT: Packet 30/Make Your Own 70 – packet mixes often come in kits with lots of packaging. The small paper packets look recyclable but are not as they have a foil coating. Spice jars can be reused and refilled over and over again, and are ultimately recyclable and inert. Even the lids can be recycled if you look hard enough!
  • HEALTH: Packet 20/Make Your Own 80 – salt levels are scary in the packet mix!