The Best Breakfast Burrito in Colorado

I lost my shirt last night playing poker. $20 well spent not laboring over calculating odds or even paying much attention to the flop. Just a night with a bunch of guys, drinking beer, pushing the envelope and laughing hysterically into the night.

But a question came up a few hours into our game, “who has the best breakfast burrito in Colorado?” In my experience the name “Santiago’s” is as synonymous with breakfast burritos among Coloradoans as kleenex is with facial tissue. My opinion? Santiago’s is maybe the most humdrum burrito experience I ever had – though I’d only tried them once.

Now, I’m not a Colorado native, so I didn’t grow up on the infamous “green chili” (I hadn’t even heard of such a thing until over a year after I moved to CO). So I guess it would be fair to say that I don’t “get” green chili (am I even spelling it right? Chile, chili, chilly…?). I’d describe much of the green chili I’ve ever eaten as spicy tasteless thickened brown water with a hint of salt – but of course there is the flavor of chili peppers – which I have to admit, does almost nothing for me. Green chili is obviously a part of the culture and heritage of Colorado. Much in the same way that an outsider traveling to Holland may not “get” what all the fuss is about over the raw herring. Or, how a first time American missionary to Thailand just doesn’t understand the appeal of slurping down a bowl of fresh fried grasshoppers, I, a foreigner in Colorado, don’t “get” green chili.

I admit that I’ve not eaten even a small fraction of the breakfast burritos available in the entire state. Of the burritos I’ve tried I say with confidence that the best breakfast burrito comes from a small chain called Los Arcos Express. I boldly made my case to all at the poker table that they needed to try one, “It’s the best breakfast burrito there is. WAY better than Santiago’s!” I stated proudly. This statement was met with jeers, boos, resentment, projectile vomiting and before I knew it I had been knocked out cold and drug out into the back yard. When I came to, I stumbled back inside to the poker table and reaffirmed my position to the crowd. We all agreed that what needed to happen was a knock-down, drag-out, side-by-side comp-ar-is-on of the breakfast burritos. Santiagos vs Los Arcos Express.

Today for breakfast I stopped at both on my way into work. My goal was to order the same style burrito from each restaurant so I could accurately compare them. Much to my chagrin Santiago’s doesn’t let you choose what type of meat you want, you have to eat whatever the chef chose to prepare that day (ie, whatever had been sitting around longest in the walk-in). I ended up having a bacon breakfast burrito from Los Arcos Express and a sausage breakfast burrito from Santiago’s.

The Los Arcos Express bacon breakfast burrito (LAE BBB) costs $3.21 after tax and contains potatoes, scrambled eggs, big chunks of bacon, cheddar cheese and of course, green chili. The ratio of ingredients is potato>green chili>cheese=egg=bacon. The result is a gooey volcano of cheesy potatoes made molten by the presence of the green chili. Huge chunks of bacon abound, switching up the texture in almost every bite from creamy, to crunchy to chewy – and it is bliss. The flavor combination, impeccable. Even the construction of the burrito is flawless, like a little mummy. All the ingredients stay inside the tortilla, making for a very easy and clean morning commute snack. The rub? I am not a good judge of green chili. And I will say this: I taste the flavor of “green chilis” to be far more apparent in the offering from Santiago’s. I will add one caveat regarding the LAE BBB: the quality does vary from day to day. On occasion I get a LAE BBB that is severely lacking in the green chili department. When this happens you end up with a dry, starchy tube sock of nastiness. Do not be quick to judge LAE if you get one of these. Just let them know that you need it remade and you’ll be all set.

The Santiago’s breakfast burrito costs $2.10 after tax and contains eggs, cheese, mystery meat (chefs choice) and again, green chili. The ratio of ingredients is egg>green chili>cheese. Notice I left out where the meat lies in the hierarchy of ingredients? That’s because I could not detect even a hint of meat in the burrito. I could not taste, smell or even see any meat whatsoever. The eggs are abundant and somewhat bland if you get a bite that has not been properly smothered by the green chili. I will say that their burrito achieves the same molten effect with the combination of the cheese and green chili, which I did enjoy. There is no variety of textures to experience, it’s pretty much just the flavor of bland eggs, green chilis and cheese. The construction was flat out awful, with the tortilla open at both ends which made for a very messy and therefore dangerous drive as I completed this post, driving down I-76, texting from my cell phone with green chili all over my steering wheel (come on folks I’m kidding! The green chili was mostly on my lap).

I wish I’d had the foresight to snap a picture of each, because even the look of a Santiago’s Burrito cannot compare with the cornucopia of ingredients tucked away, waiting to be discovered by your taste buds in the LAE BBB. If you think Santiago’s is the best there is, I’m truly excited for you to try the LAE BBB.

 

I’m Back!

After a 7 month employment stint with Prospect Marketing Group (aka business leader, in touch today, opportunity world, castle advertising etc..) I, the Thrifty Guru am back to working from home. Yes, today I got a call from PMG CEO Eran Salu’s partner Mike Plotnik who informed me gently, but sternly that PMG has decided to part ways with me. It was a very educational experience working with PMG, I’ll miss being on salary, but I won’t miss the 16 hour work days!

I need to take some time to fully digest everything that has transpired over the last several months and then I’ll bring you the full story of my employment with PMG – it’ll be an “after the fact review” of sorts. Stay tuned.

 

Tax Season Tips & $10 FREE!!

befrugal bonusIt’s that time of the year: tax time! Some look forward to getting a refund, others dread filling out the forms. Regardless of your situation, there are ways to save on your filing and get ahead. BeFrugal.com founder Jon Lal shares this advice:

-Take the time to properly file your taxes. A few minutes of looking for deductions and gathering receipts can yield big savings.

-If you receive a refund check, use it to pay off any existing debt. If you are debt-free, save or invest your refund check.

He also has great savings offers for filing your taxes:

1. Save 50% Off All Services at One Price Taxes (offer expires 12/31). Plus, earn 15% Cash Back for more savings!
2. Free Federal Taxes are Done Online with no expiration by TurboTax .
3. Get 15% Off H&R Block At Home Online Products at H&R Block (offer expires 3/15). You can also earn $0.80 Cash Back for free.

BeFrugal.com offers free coupons and Cash Back, with an average rate of 5% at 2000+ online stores.

BeFrugal.com Members

For even more savings, sign up for a free account now and get a $10 bonus. Hurry! The $10 bonus offer is only available for a limited time.

To get the most savings, be sure you sign up for BeFrugal’s free Cash Back and activate your account before you click to use the coupon offers above. This way, you’ll earn Cash Back, save big from using these deals and score your $10 bonus if you just signed up for a new account! <

 

Amazon Free Ebooks

Right now you can download a free classic ebook from Amazon.com.  You can download free classic ebooks from Amazon.com, such as Pride and Prejudice, The Importance of Being Ernest.

Thank you to Bargain Blessings www.bargainblessings.com
for information about this freebie.

But, wait, there’s more!  When I went to Amazon.com, I searched in their search bar for “free ebooks” and many many more came up for free downloads.

Don’t forget to take advantage of this deal.  We downloaded a free ebook reader for our computer, so we can get the deal even though we don’t yet own a kindle or any other type of reader.

Hope many of you take advantage of free literature!  Never in history have people had it so good.  :)

 

Ebates

Want a way to save more money?  I know I did.  So I tried.  Guess what.  It Really works! 

Say you want to order something from Groupon.com or Kohls, Vistaprint, Netflix, Target, try to go through Ebates.com .  This website gives you a % back of their % that they earn from advertising for different websites.

I bought some math materials off of Amazon and received a check for about $6 back and then later in the mail because of their special promotion, I received a $10 gift card to Target.  It was completely unexpected especially since I received the gift card even though I signed up before their promotion.

Vistaprint is great for creating your own personalized business cards, address return stamps, etc.  You could use their website to get great deals on freebies and use Ebates to get to their website for more $ back.

Hope this helps some of you who do online shopping!  I know it helped me more than I was expecting.

 

Valentines Day Colorado Deals

QDoba Valentines day deal

A Chipotle clone.

I’ve been on the prowl for fun Valentine’s Day themed deals around town and the only one I can seem to find is an awesome deal from QDoba:

QDOBA
Burrito usually $7
Kiss your spouse at the register for a BOGO
Final price: $3.50 each

Not a bad deal for an amazing burrito. If you want a tip from the thrifty guru, get your burrito with queso!!

UPDATE:
Now through March 5th Burger King is offering a BOGO on their mouth watering, crispy, delicious chicken sandwiches. My fave is the American!

Caribou Coffee BOGO

Valentine's Goodness.

UPDATE 2:
Caribou Coffee has also jumped on the BOGO bandwagon! Show the image to the right for a coffee Valentine’s BOGO!

Save wisely and live happy,
-TG

PS if you know of any other great Colorado deals, please do let me know in the comments below!

 

King Soopers Coupon Deal

Knorr

These make a nice quick meal!

I hope to have some more coupon deals for you soon, for now I just found a killer deal on Knorr pasta and rice sides.

King Soopers

Knorr Pasta or Rice Sides
Normally $1.19 each
On sale for $1 each
Use the $.50 off 2 coupon from the 1/29 redplum King Soopers will double to $1 off 2
You can also find Knorr coupons on BrandNameCoupon.com
Get $.25 back in register rewards per item
(the wife just informed me that this is actually called a “catalina” not a register reward. So yes, the $.25 for each item will print as a catalina :)
Final Price $.25 each

 

DIY Frozen Hashbrowns w/ recipe

hasbrowns

They cook up golden brown and delicious.

A big part of thrifty living is creativity. Today’s recipe isn’t creative necessarily but it took a bit of vision on my part. Albertsons had 10 lb bags of potatoes on sale for $2 per bag. Naturally, I bought 3 bags. As the cashier rang me up she asked, “How are you going to eat 30 lbs of potatoes before they go bad?”. Below was my answer:

If you can find a good deal, frozen hasbrowns cost around $1 per lb. IMHO, that’s not so bad when you consider the work it takes to bring a potato from its natural state to hashbrown status. But doing the work yourself often makes things taste better and cost less. Read more »

 

Andrea’s Couponing Testimony

Back in September 2011 I lost my job.
So my husband and I put ourselves on a very strict budget.
As I’ve mentioned to some of you, he likes to shop at Vitamin Cottage for about 80-90% of our food. The other food and toiletries I get at King Soopers.

We agreed that he would get a $75/week budget and I would get a $25/week budget. (Before, there was no budget, we both just bought what we wanted)
So on my first trip with $25, I came home with:
1 lb of butter
1 lb of cheese
1 small jar of peanut butter
a box of teabags
2 lbs of apples
1 lb of ground beef.
And I OVERSPENT by $5!
(Count them – 6 items for $30!!) All those items could fit in ONE grocery bag!

I was so discouraged, our fridge looked so bare and we started eating much of the older food in our pantry (which was a good thing so it didn’t go to waste). This went on for about a month. :(

One day when my friend Rachel T. and I got together for our weekly playdate, she happened to bring along her coupon binder and backpack full of coupons she needed to clip and file. I asked her about it and boy did she have plenty to tell me! I had my objections of course! That we eat primarily organic foods…that the things I use never have coupons…wouldn’t it take a long time? She answered those myths quite easily.

Today, if came home with 3 FULL bags full of groceries and I only spent $30. Yes, $5 over my budget (but hey, I got a job again, so it isn’t as big of deal!) Here is what I bought:
2 bags of chips (organic)
3 packages of paper plates
4 jars of Ragu pasta sauce – that I will be donating to a family in need
1 bottle of Safflower oil (organic)
5 packages of UP2U gum – donating, and I got if for FREE with a coupon
1 box of store brand rice
4 pouches of bumblebee tuna
2.5 lbs of bananas

3 lbs of apples
1 pint of ice cream (organic)

That is 23 items! for the same price as what I paid in the first list.

You might notice that the 1st list is more healthy than the 2nd list.

But you know what? I’ve already stockpiled peanut butter, teabags, meat, butter and cheese (using coupons of course!)
Now I can spend money on other items to compliment our meals, add a little change to our diets and fun to snack time.
Not to mention I get to donate to a family in need.

I felt the need to share my story. I hope you get something out of it.

About Andrea:  She is a mother to two, wife, and of course a coupon-fanantic.  Her passion for couponing shows in her everyday life.  She teaches couponing classes and is an administrator of the facebook page Colorado Coupon Ladies.  If you have any questions concerning organic living, couponing or more, leave a comment for Andrea.
Thank you Andrea for your Coupon Testimony!  We hope this inspires our readers to look into the advantages of couponing.

 

Coupon Exchange – Thornton, CO

Some of you have been asking when we are going to get together again.  If you want to come this Wednesday morning, shoot me an email at thriftryrachel@thethriftyguru.com .

We get together, talk over the deals, give our unused coupons away, and send expired coupons to the military.  (We collect a .25 – 1.00 donation for shipping costs, if you’re interested.)

It’s a lot of fun.  Niki (http://777online.wordpress.com/) calls it the “new quilting bee”.  :)

 


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