Momma Told Me: My Confession- I Hoard Fast Food Packets

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My Confession- I Hoard Fast Food Packets

Taco Bell bottled sauces
Momma Told Me: Waste not, want not.

A few weeks ago I attended the baby shower of my younger cousin, staged at her fiance's mother's house. The event was fairly extravagant, with full catering by an authentic Mexican cuisine locale. To appease those with less authentic tastes, the catering unit had several dozen Oscar Meyer wieners in a roasting pan alongside some buns. After consuming one of every variety of carne taco, Sabrina, as children tend to do, spotted the less refined hot dogs and demanded one. We got back into line, myself meagerly offering an apology and a "She just wants a hot dog" to all of the judging eyes who had already watched us heap food on a plate once before.
I have a secret condiment stash.
Taco Bell bottled sauce and packet mssages
At long last the man behind the chafing dishes handed us a hot dog, okay two hot dogs, with a bemused grin and we proceeded to the end of the table where condiments stood on display. Failing to locate the ketchup, I wandered into the house of a stranger until I spotted a woman I recognized as one of the hosts, and inquired if there was ketchup in the kitchen. Frazzled, she threw the refrigerator doors open, and with an exasperated sigh asked her husband to run to the corner store. Though I was adamant the day would not be ruined if ketchup was not found, this matriarch wandered over to her kitchen counters and began throwing up drawers until she found 'the' drawer.

As this affluent, somewhat snobbish, individual pawed through a drawer full of leftover condiment packets and sealed fast food utensils I found myself grinning inside. Here I was so terribly out of my element, only knowing 4 guests among 200, and it seemed we were not such strangers after all. Does everyone have a drawer like this? She frantically piled packets of ketchup from every major fast food chain in my hand, and sent me on my way, back out to the patio. A hot dog, or maybe two, was saved in that instant, but I also found a bit of sanity that day too.
Secret Taco Sauce: Taco Bell Mild + Ranch
Savory Ground Beef Tacos
It seems, whether you have a full on grotto in your backyard, or live in a 2 bedroom apartment, the need to accumulate these tiny packets is universal. Whether it's a 'waste not want not' compulsion, or a somewhat perverse frugality, fast food chains seem to be on to us. But there is a glimmer of hope, for all of us who stockpile hot sauce like it's Grandma's Secret Recipe- Taco Bell seems to have had a light bulb idea. They now market all 4 of their main sauces, Mild, Hot, Fire, and Verde Salsa in 7.5oz bottles. That's right, America, you can find a bottle of authentic Mexican Fast Food gold in a grocery aisle somewhere near you. No longer must you tear tiny packets until your fingers bleed to make Aunt Lucy's famous enchiladas, pick up the bottle and let the sauce flow!
Savory Ground Beef Tacos With Taco Bell Bottled Sauce
Now, I, personally, don't go into restaurants and take sauce for my collection- I'm more of a casual, practical, hoarder. That is to say that I will not waste, or throw away, excess packets. This, in the past, has been problematic when recreating Momma's special 'secret' taco sauce. For as far back as I can remember her secret ingredient, in her ranch taco sauce, was Taco Bell Mild sauce. No other brand will do, according to her. And on many family taco nights I have pulled every last packet out of that secret sauce bin, just hunting for one more Mild packet. At long last, my life has got just one iota simpler; thank you Taco Bell.

What Daughter Says: I'll still be keeping my secret stash in order....but I'm grateful to have my secret ingredient in slightly larger portions.


  1. You know it's true. We do all do this. I wonder how OLD some of them are. The Taco bell seasoning is one I would buy for sure. Would be great for taco salads.

  2. I do the same thing, I actually have sugar packets in my jacket pocket and have pizza hut cheese in my fridge.

  3. I must be the odd one out on this. I don't do this. I even toss the ones that come with Chinese Take Out.

  4. We do it too-we should start and organization! :) Seriously, I try to keep a little baggii of salt and ketchup and other things in my car too, "just in case."

  5. @Brutus, I sometimes keeo some in my glove compartment, because the fast food places around here are notorious for giving one sauce for 20 nuggets, or no ketchup with fries, unless you ask.

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