I've been a bread-baker for a long time; I've been cranking out homemade loaves for well over a decade now. We eat store-bought bread so infrequently that my kids protest whenever I pull out one of those purchased-on-sale-and-stashed-in-the-freezer emergency loaves for those times when I fall behind on my breadmaking schedule. They're so used to the freshly baked goodness of a homemade loaf that the store-bought stuff is vastly inferior in their eyes.
So, making your own bread is definitely worth it just from a quality perspective. Heck, it might even be worth it just because of the way it makes your house smell! That being said, there's no denying the financial advantages of home baked bread. I've always known that making my own bread saved a lot of money, however until recently I hadn't bothered to calculate the exact savings.
Here's the cost breakdown for a batch of my Whole Wheat Refrigerator Dough (which makes 3 loaves of bread):
5 tsp yeast (purchased in bulk) = 28.8 cents
1/2 cup sugar = 11 cents
1 cup mashed potatoes = 12.6 cents
1/2 cup canola oil = 24 cents
1 egg = 17 cents
3 tbsp ground flax seed (purchased in bulk) = 5.5 cents
1 1/2 tsp salt = 1.4 cents
4 cups whole wheat flour (purchased in bulk) = 33.6 cents
3 1/2 cups white flour (purchased in bulk) = 30.8 cents
Total cost for a batch = $1.65, or 55 cents per loaf.
In comparison, a loaf of decent-quality bread costs $1.99 on sale, and it doesn’t go on sale for that price very often. Since our family of four generally goes through the equivalent of 6 loaves of bread per week (or 24 loaves a month), it’s difficult to stockpile enough in the freezer to get us through from one sale to the next (plus I’d rather dedicate that freezer space to other items).
Monthly cost savings of making my own bread:
24 loaves of sale priced bread @ 1.99/loaf = $47.76
24 loaves of homemade bread @ 0.55/loaf = $13.20
$47.76 - $13.20 = $34.56
Now, if you have a very large grocery budget you might not find that a huge savings. On our modest grocery budget of $375 a month, a nearly $35 savings per month on a single food item is huge - that's nearly 10% of our total budget!
Making bread using my refrigerator dough method is easy and convenient, and for our family it is well worth the minimal effort involved. It's also an activity I enjoy doing, and it even makes a great gift.
Do you make your own bread? If not, have I convinced you to give it a shot?