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The Disincentive Against Cooking at Home in Mexico City

Published October 10, 2021 in Mexico - 2 Comments

A few years ago, I started a goal of mine to get better at cooking.

Beforehand, I never really had any experience cooking for myself being honest.

Mostly I’d just eat out.

However, after my first year in Mexico City, I began running out of money and stopped eating at nicer restaurants.

So I figured that I might as well learn how to cook to save money.

And, on top of that, I thought that it would be cool to learn how to cook different things that taste good.

At first, I’d have a few chicks I was fucking to teach me how to cook once in a blue moon.

There was one cute chick named Yarely who taught me some basic chicken and rice meal.

She was some petite brown chick at maybe 5’4 ish in height and dark hair to her shoulders.

I remember meeting her for the first time when she showed up from Estado to meet me by Juanacatlan area of Mexico City.

She lived on the outskirts of the city and took an UBER to my place.

When she showed up, I walked outside and saw her by the corner of the street.

Took her in.

Fucked in my bedroom first before going to the kitchen to make a meal.

Since her, my last Mexican ex, whose name was Brenda, showed me how to cook a few things.

But, being honest, I forgot how to cook most of what she made.

She wasn’t a bad cook either.

Though, while I did take on cooking a little more seriously, I got to say that I really don’t cook as much anymore these days.

Mostly because I’m a little more comfortable financially than how I was back then.

But also because I’m a terrible cook….

In which the only things I can cook that actually taste decent are:

  • Some pasta meal
  • Some egg, ham and cheese meal
  • My own version of tacos (not like Mexican tacos but better obviously)
  • Chicken and rice
  • Pork and tomatoes
  • Basic beef with hash browns

You can check out my taco cooking skills in this photo here!

Yeah, it doesn't look that tasty but I promise it is!

Better than any taco you'll find in Mexico. Sin duda.

You don't look convinced....

Outside of all of that, I don’t cook anything else really at home.

I probably should learn how to cook better meals.

But I’m not as encouraged to do so.

In large part because food outside is so cheap that it really doesn’t save me much, if any, cash by cooking at home anyhow.

Let me explain.

Cheap Food in Mexico

Unless you are going to nicer restaurants, then you can find cheap as fuck food that tastes great anywhere in Mexico.

Let me show you some examples here in all of these photos below.

First, you have these tacos here that you can find in Pachuca. They sell at about 25 pesos each or a 1.25 each.

Big as fuck!

And you only need two to be happy. I was just hungry as fuck that day.

So a big ass meal for 2.50.

Second, you have these chilaquiles with chicken here. I had some today even (but they were beef). They only costed 50 pesos or 2.50 USD.

Third, you have these gorditas that only costed 44 pesos or less than 2.50 USD for 2 of them.

Fourth, you have this huarache here for 40 pesos or 4 USD.

Fifth, you have these tacos here. You can get 10 of them for 70 pesos more or less or 3.50 USD. If you go by Metro CU area, you can 10 tacos for 40 pesos actually at one spot I know. Each taco being small but it adds up.

And for 40 pesos in that area or 2 bucks? That’s cheap as fuck!

Sixth, you have these 2 hotdogs that can be had for 70 pesos for both or 3.5 USD.

I can go on and on…

If you want a big ass torta, it’ll normally be around 40 to 50 pesos or around 2 bucks.

What about a hamburger?

It varies by the cost but normally 35 to 70 pesos.

Though there’s one place nearby in Lindavista that I go to that offers a double meat hamburger with double cheese and double bacon with ham and pineapple.

All included with a SHIT TON of French fries that could serve 2 people.

I’ve had it twice now from them and I always have to leave some of the French fries to eat later because it’s so much food.

How much for that?

Only 100 pesos or 5 bucks.

And outside of street food because most of the above outside of the hamburger is street food if we’re being honest…

What if you want pizza?

Well, Little Ceasers has a great large pepperoni pizza option for 79 pesos that can be used for 2 meals.

There’s also pastes!

Pastes are these meat filled pastries from Hidalgo that can cost usually around 15 to 18 pesos a piece.

I usually get 3 at a time because that’s enough.

So roughly 2.50 bucks for a meal of those also.

What about Chinese food?

If you want a SHIT TON of Chinese food with 3 Chinese fortune cookies, it’s always costed around 4 to 5 bucks at most cheap Chinese spots I’ve seen in Mexico City.

And I can go on and on…

The point being?

Is There a Price Benefit to Cooking at Home?

It’s almost counterintuitive, right?

Back home in the US, eating out is usually seen as more expensive than cooking at home.

Granted, those with limited time go for fast food and all.

And fast food isn’t always that expensive though it does seem to be more nowadays than how I remembered it anytime I’m back home.

Anyway, in Mexico, it’s sometimes difficult to motivate myself to ever cook at home.

Mostly because my cooking skills are so shit and it’s less work overall to just get some tasty as fuck food outside that’s cheap as hell.

It’s so cheap to get food outside that tastes good that I wonder how do they even make a profit?

I genuinely have asked myself how some of these folks even make a profit because it’s ridiculous.

Like those chicken chilaquiles you saw in that photo above?

Just the amount of chicken they put into it would cost me 2 bucks to buy at the supermarket.

Not counting the sauce, the chips and the little box they put it in.

And not counting the small piece of bread they would’ve given me but I declined it.

All that together and how do you make a profit when you only charge 2.50 USD for it?

I genuinely have no idea.

Even if they do make a profit, it has to be so insanely low that you would wonder if it’s even worth it working at those prices?

Like if they do make a profit, what is it? 10 cents?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Anyway, because it’s so easy to get cheap food that is much tastier than what I can cook at home, it’s easy to convince myself to not even try cooking at home most of the time.

Unless it’s pasta – I can cook pasta pretty well.

A More Common Issue in Mexico?

And, if we’re being honest here, I do think it’s mostly a Mexican thing.

If I was living in Colombia or Bolivia, then I’d definitely be cooking at home more because cheap and tasty food in the street would be less abundant given I don’t like Colombian or Bolivian food very much.

And, based on my experience elsewhere in Latin America, I really do think that the abundance of cheap and very tasty food is so much more common here than in just about any Latin country.

Any that I’ve been to anyway.

Why Cook at Home?

Still, you can argue there is some benefit to still cooking at home in Mexico.

That being if you are vegetarian perhaps.

I’m not but I knew a guy named Alex who was and he found it difficult to find good Vegetarian options.

Which is weird because Mexico City does have them!

Anyway, that’s what he said.

Or if you want to eat healthier.

Sometimes I motivate myself to cook at home more often because of that last bit.

But then I lose interest after 2 weeks of cooking at home because my taste buds are angry at me for cooking so badly while I could’ve gotten better food outside at the same price.

Someday, I’ll learn how to cook better.

But that’s all I got to say for now.

Drop any comments below in the comment section.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,



Dazza - October 10, 2021 Reply

You live in avocado central! You can have some avocado on toast – proper millenial style – get some sourdough bread – toast it, butter it, mash your avocado with some tahini, salt and pepper it and you have an amazing breakfast!

Or do what they do in Peru, fry an egg, mash some avocado (or slice it… up to you but I like mashing it…) get some pan frances (I don’t know if you have it there – let me check…) or some crunchy bread – butter it and fucking put the fried egg and avocado with a squirt of mayonaise! Easy to do and cheap as chips!

I am a pretty good cook, here in China eating out is actually cheaper than buying groceries, saying that, vegetables are dirt cheap as are things like eggs and chicken breasts (70 cents for a chicken breast – not even that…) so knowing how to cook is always a good skill to have even if it’s because you can’t be arsed to go out on those days.

    Matt - October 11, 2021 Reply

    True. We do have plenty of avocados. I’ve never been big into avocados though. The American in me would simply add more cheese and bacon if I wanted to make anything tastier lol.

    “Here in China eating out is actually cheaper than buying groceries.” It almost feels that way in Mexico City. At least if you stick to street food or very simple mom and pop restaurants where food can be bought for 2 to 3 bucks also. At that point, is it cheaper to buy groceries? Maybe I’d somehow save 10 pesos but I doubt it and the 10 pesos doesn’t factor in having to buy the groceries, cook them, clean, etc. But there is a benefit to cooking and I should learn how to do it better.

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