There is a general idea that making things on your own will significantly reduce costs. While this is applicable in very many cases, can we place bread-making in the same group?
After all, you will need to purchase a bread maker, if you don’t like it or you don’t have time to knead the dough on your own, and the ingredients necessary for making the bread.
Besides enjoying the incredible taste and flavor of home-baked bread, let us see if doing so will also help you save money.
Taking a look at prices and costs
The only way to determine whether it is cheaper to make bread than to purchase it is by taking a look at the costs involved in both cases.
Yes, it may seem that you are spending more money when you’re shopping for the supplies needed to make bread, but remember that you’ll make more than one loaf of bread this way. Still, are these costs justified?
Let us take flour first, which is the most important ingredient in bread making. A 5 lb. bag of flour should be around $3,54, which means that you will pay $0.19 for each cup of flour you will use.
If you cut costs in this section, you can do so, if you buy wheat berries and choose to grind them yourself. You can do this with the help of a wheat grinder, which will trigger additional costs if you have to purchase one.
Of course, you buy such machines once in a couple of years, so most certainly it is an investment worth making if you plan to use it rather often. A pound of wheat berries is available for approximately $0.45.
One pound will contain about 2.24 cups of wheat berries. Each cup of berries will generate 1.5 cups of wheat flour. Thus, in the end, you will pay just $0.13 for every cup of flour you make on your own.
Yeast is another very important ingredient. Now, the price of yeast depends very much on the brand and store you choose to make this purchase.
You can find one lb. of yeast at $7.69, although it is possible to find cheaper yeast if you keep an eye on special offers, discounts, and more affordable brands. One lb. of yeast will provide 48 tablespoons of yeast, meaning that one tablespoon of yeast will cost $0.16.
Bread dough will require fats as well, so vegetable oil is a must. You can use any kind of vegetable oil you prefer for the making of your bread.
But, for this example, we will use regular canola oil, the kind most people use. 48 ounces or 96 tablespoons of canola oil sell for the approximate price of $1.88. Thus, 5 tablespoons or a third of a cup of canola oil, which is about the amount you need to make a loaf of bread, costs $0.10.
You will also need some salt, which costs $0.02 for each tablespoon you use, considering that salt is sold at $0,50 for one pound. Sugar or honey is also required, as the yeast needs to be activated and fed with sugars in order to make the dough rise right.
You can use plain sugar, brown sugar, or honey, depending on your preferences. However, the final cost of your homemade loaf of bread will be according to the selected ingredient.
Brown sugar, if you want to choose a healthier and not that expensive version, costs $1.28 for two lbs., which means that half of a cup will cost $0.05.
Are you curious to see the results? Well, making a loaf of bread with the previously mentioned ingredients will cost you just $0.73. Of course, you will need water as well, but that was not mentioned because it runs for free at your kitchen’s tap.
What’s the price difference between homemade and store-bought bread?
Generally speaking, homemade bread should be cheaper than store-bought bread. But, the truth is that the price differs based on the ingredients you use to make bread at home and the kind of bread you buy from the store.
As you already know, the price of store-bought bread differs a lot, depending on the ingredients that were used and their amount. An affordable loaf of bread will go around $1 or $0.99 in the store, but it won’t be too consistent.
In order words, it will feel like a sponge, with more air than wheat flour. In order to buy bread loaves of the same quality as the ones you produce at home, meaning the same consistency and nutritional value, you will have to pay anywhere between $3 and $5.
In this case, it is easy to see that homemade bread is much cheaper than the one you find in stores.
Besides financial resources, you will have to think about other aspects when making bread at home
Yes, making bread at home can be more affordable, if you don’t buy expensive ingredients. And with the ingredients you use, you can make more than one loaf of bread, so the costs are justified.
However, you will need to have time to prepare the dough, leave it to rest, shape it, and bake it. You can use a bread maker to make things easier, but if you don’t have a bread maker at the moment, you will have to purchase one.
This will add to your monthly costs, but once you will get one, you’ll be able to make bread as often as you want. Ideally and if the budget allows you, try to invest in a good quality bread maker because cheap ones can break down rather quickly.
Whatever tool you have to buy for bread making, like a bread machine, will return its investment in time.
This means that even if you pay for something more in one month, in order to purchase what you need, being able to prepare bread at home and reduce costs while doing so will justify the costs generated by getting a bread maker.
Of course, if you aim at eating healthier and enjoying bread of higher quality, homemade bread is the answer. In this case, you are in control of the ingredients that are used for the making of the bread.