So, a week or so ago some friends and I were talking about bread (I am not sure why honestly, I just remember we were) and the cost of buying or making came up. I am on a kick of making homemade bread – I like being able to control the ingredients, know what is in my food exactly, and I think it’s more cost effective – and since I have a bread machine it take little effort on my part.
So, one of my friends asked me about the cost compairison, and I honestly admited that I’d never done the math – so, now I’m currious. I decided to do the math, and share with you. I also decided to go with prices from either Amazon or brand specific websites (where I could, otherwise sites that displayed close to what I would have paid for the same/similar product) as I figure they will reflect a more national average than my grocery store receipt since San Antonio has a fairly low cost of living than other parts of the country – especially on food, and if you buy store brands like I tend to on several items.
So – here is the recipe I have in my breadmachine right now – it makes a two pound loaf which I cut in half then slice each half into about 10 or 12 peices, so I get 20 to 24 slices of bread per loaf. We had been buying Oroweat brand breads at Costco or less expensivly at HEB each loaf on average had about 18 peices depending on the type we bought at any given week.
Egg-enriched white loaf
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter (I couldn’t find anything even close to what I pay online so just go with me on this one)
1.5 tsp easy-blend dired yeast
OK, here’s some basic facts for you (I promise, they are as accurate as I could find, go with me on this too)
There are 20 cups of flour in a 5 pound bag
There are 180 tablespoons in a 5 pound bag of granulated sugar
There are 36 teaspoons in the jar of yeast that I buy
There are 156 teaspoons in 26oz of salt (the size container I buy)
There are 8 tablespoons of butter to a quarter pound so 32 tablesspoons of butter to a pound
So, if 5 pounds of flour is $5 and has 20 cups, that makes each cup $0.25 or six cups $1.50
Water is free, get it out of the tap
Eggs (mine were free, came from the chickens in the back yard) are $6 per dozen if you get farm fresh that makes them $0.50 each or $1.00 for two.
Sugar is $6.50 for five pounds, making each tablesspoon roughly $0.04
Salt is $4 for 26 ounces, making each teaspoon about $0.03 and our two teaspoons aproximatly $0.06
I spend about $3 per pound of butter which has 32 tablespoons in it, making each tablespoon about $0.09 and our two tablespoons about $0.18.
Yeast is $6.99 for 40z making each teaspoon about $0.20 and our 1.5 teaspoons $0.30
All together that makes the full loaf of bread about $3.08.
So I guess my homemade bread is fairly comperable (at national average prices) to a loaf of good quality bread. However, since my eggs were free that takes the prices of my loaf down to $2.08 and therefore less expensive for us personaly. Also, since I buy some of these ingredients in bulk at Costco I’m able to get them for less than the prices listed on the web, even without the fact that food tends to be less expensive here than the national average anyway. Therefor – I’m calling it more fiscally responsable to load up my bread machine and make a batch than it is to buy it. Extra bonus, quality ingredients, no perservitives (seriously, do you know how long a loaf of bread can sit on a shelf before it grows mold – do you know how that’s possible?), and no hidden ingredients. That makes it a healthier choice for us – at least as far as I’m concerned. 😀
When it comes out of the machine, I’ll add a picture of my loaf too so you can see it. 🙂