Growing up, going to Grandma’s house was always special. First, because she lived so far away, these trips only happened once a year. (They lived in Canada to our home in Texas, for many of our growing up years, before moving to Kansas.) Two, because she’s Grandma and it’s always fun to see Grandma (and Grandpa)! And three, because she always had homemade bread (and treats) waiting for us.
Homemade bread tastes delicious. It’s also much healthier for you – with no artificial ingredients. This year, I’ve decided to go back to doing what our Grandmothers did and baking homemade bread for our family. Like I mentioned, not only does it taste better and is healthier, but it will save us substantially!
I’ve always known it would save us money, but to show myself (and my husband) how much, I’d like to share these calculations with you. I was pleasantly surprised and I hope you will be, too!
First, I use Betty Crocker’s classic white bread recipe which makes 2 loaves. You can find the recipe here. It’s easy to follow with basic ingredients and always turns out nicely. I’ve tried other bread recipes, but this is the one my Mom used and I keep coming back to it. Even if you haven’t made bread before, Betty Crocker explains it nicely so anyone can make bread. I am sure you will save money using most bread recipes, but this is the one I used for my calculations.
Second, I estimated slightly high on my ingredient prices. My stock-up prices are below what I listed so if you can buy your ingredients cheaper, you will save even more. (If you’re interested, you can download a free printable of my stock-up prices for additional savings.) It is clear that even without sales or coupons, you are still saving money baking your own bread.
I will try to make this as clear and yet detailed as possible. Here are the calculations as I figured them.
Flour. The recipe calls for 6-7 cups flour. Flour costs $1.99 for 5 pounds which is around 18-19 cups of flour. A bag of flour yields 3 servings for this bread recipe. Flour costs $0.67 for this recipe.
Sugar. The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons sugar. Sugar comes in 4 pound bags at $1.99. 4 pounds equals 8 cups which equals 128 tablespoons. A bag of sugar has 42 servings for this bread recipe. Sugar costs $0.05 for this recipe.
Salt. This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon salt. I buy salt in 3 pound bag for $0.75. 3 pounds equals 80 tablespoons. Salt costs $0.01 for this recipe.
Shortening. This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons shortening. Estimating high, a 48 ounce container of shortening costs $5.00. 48 ounces equals 113 tablespoons or 56 servings for this recipe. Shortening costs $0.09 for this recipe.
Yeast. This recipe calls for 4.5 teaspoons of yeast (or 1/2 ounce). I buy my yeast in bulk which is a huge source of savings! If you bake, buy your yeast in bulk where 16 ounces costs $3.99. 16 ounces has 32 servings needed for this recipe. Yeast costs $0.13 for this recipe.
Water. Finally, this recipe calls for 2 and 1/4 cup water. Since we all have water from our facets, the cost is quite minimal. Therefore, I estimated the cost of water as free or $0 for this recipe.
Total cost for this recipe is $0.95 or $0.48 a loaf.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I know of no place where I can buy good quality bread at this price! A cheap loaf of bread is at least $1. If you’re looking for higher quality bread, you will pay at least $2 but can pay up to $5.
If your family eats 2 loaves a bread a week at a mid-point price of $2.50, you will be saving $4 a week just by switching to baking your own bread. Yes, there is a time element involved but it’s really not very hard to bake bread. I have the time to bake bread because I am trying to save my money. Besides, if you make this switch, in one year’s time, you will save over $200! That’s a lot of savings!
Maybe you don’t eat 2 loaves of bread each week. You will still save money. I recommend baking the two loaves as recipe instructs and freeze one (after it is fully baked). Then, when you need fresh bread, pull it out of the freezer and you are ready to go! Bread freezes very well. On the other hand, if you eat more bread, you will save more money!
If you have a bread machine, you are still saving money – and have even less of the time element with which to deal. I bought my most recent like-new bread maker for $10 at a garage sale. It’s very handy for making bread when I just want to toss in the ingredients and be done.
I am so excited by this savings tip because I get to eat delicious, homemade bread and save money at the same time! Do you make your own bread? If not, will you give it a try, knowing how much it can save?