Is Baking Your Own Bread cheaper?
In a budget-conscious economy there are certain things that are still cheaper to outsource. Knitting a sweater costs more than buying one and brewing beer costs more than picking up a six pack. However there are still times when creating something from scratch can equal savings. Baking bread is one of those times, but only when done in bulk.
To buy flour, yeast, and salt which are the bare minimum of ingredients needed – it costs more than one loaf of bread. But once purchased, those ingredients can be stretched to multiple loafs, which is when the savings begin to appear.
For example, when breaking down the price of bread it's important to tally up the cost of all the individual ingredients. Two pounds of yeast can cost about $9. That's enough yeast for approximately 125 loafs of bread, breaking down to about $0.07 per loaf.
A five pound bag of flour costs about $5. With bread recipes generally calling for about five cups, that ends up being $1.25 per loaf of bread.
Next there's a pinch of salt - less than a penny - and warm water, which is free. A squirt of honey or a pinch of sugar helps to activate the yeast and adds another few pennies to the total cost.
Those are the only basic ingredients needed for bread and they total less than $1.40 per loaf without using any coupons or searching for sales. Additional ingredients such as herbs, cheese, olive oil or butter can be added to loafs of bread for added taste and added cost. Then again, fancy loafs cost more than basic loafs in stores as well, so any cost added to homemade bread should also be calculated against prepared bread.
All frills aside, a basic loaf breaks down to be about a dollar cheaper than a store bought loaf. And while a bargain shopper might be able to find bread for less than $1.40, they would also likely be able to find ingredients at lower than listed prices as well.
Of course homemade bread dough has the added benefit of being made without any preservatives and an experienced baker learns to customize the ingredients for maximum taste.
In addition, basic bread dough can also be used for other recipes, such as pizza, which can multiply the savings. The one variable not taken into account in this budget is time - for some people the time it takes to bake bread makes the higher cost of buying store bought more than worth it. For those who have the time however, homemade wins.
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There is nothing more irresistible than a man or woman who can cook.