Author Topic: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?  (Read 21445 times)

drudgep

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Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« on: February 28, 2016, 09:50:25 PM »
Hello all! Does anyone make their own bread and find it to be less expensive than buying bread at the store?

Thanks!

Al1961

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 10:15:56 PM »
I only eat fancy schmancy artisan sourdoughs, so yes, my homemade stuff is considerably less expensive that what you get from the local woodfired hipster bakery down by the marina.

I don't think I can make bread as cheap as the mass market stuff at the grocery store, but that's not the market I'm competing against. I won't eat that tasteless crap any more.

Al

lthenderson

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 07:29:56 AM »
Cheaper.... no. Tastier.... most definitely!

merula

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 08:08:36 AM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

Axecleaver

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 08:29:52 AM »
You can at least get it competitive, you just need to find cheaper ingredients. Yeast in particular can be super expensive. Use half the yeast and let it rise for twice the amount of time - makes a much more complex and tasty loaf.

Before I went low carb I used to make a whole wheat/oatmeal bread that ran me about 60-70 cents a loaf.

jim555

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 08:54:10 AM »
I have a bread machine.  Don't use it any more.  Too easy to eat an entire loaf and get fat.  It was cheaper to make it.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 04:56:42 PM »
It will heavily depend on the type of bread, fancier breads it is definitely cheaper to make (though more labor intensive), but a sub-1-dollar loaf of wonder bread . . . nope.

G-dog

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 06:00:37 PM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

What about the cost of your time, and the energy used to bake? Any other costs? I am just wondering if ingredients alone is essentially all of the costs.
I use a no knead recipe, so not much hands on time. Even with kneading I use a stand mixer (so some electricity cost as well as my time for that part).

Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 07:24:38 PM »
Yep. We've fired back up the bread machine and cut our grocery bill a bit. Larger containers of yeast are key. Plus we get healthier bread, and I'm also not buying French bread or buns anymore because we like the homemade better.

Syonyk

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 10:58:26 PM »
It uses less than half a kilowatt-hour of power per loaf (typically), so... another $0.04 in power?

I don't use one right now for the simple reason that we don't eat enough bread to justify it.  The bread goes bad in a few days if not eaten.  Once this changes in a month or so, I plan to very much go back to making our own bread.  It's tastier, healthier, and I know exactly what's gone into it.

Personally, I view bread that lasts a few days before getting moldy as a feature, not a flaw.  It means it's not loaded with preservatives.  And the remainder will feed the compost pit just fine.

G-dog

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 07:22:02 AM »
Thanks for the electricity estimate. Even with varying costs, that is a starting ballpark estimate.
It seems that if you are buying the cheapest available loaf, it may be very negligible cost difference. But, like someone noted up thread, if you enjoy an artisan style bread - big savings, and often better product (no preservatives, better flavor, texture, etc.).
I bake bread frequently, but haven't yet made it a consistent 'daily' practice. Partly because fresh homemade bread is so good that we eat too much of it! At least the first few days...

merula

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 08:36:31 AM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

What about the cost of your time, and the energy used to bake? Any other costs? I am just wondering if ingredients alone is essentially all of the costs.
I use a no knead recipe, so not much hands on time. Even with kneading I use a stand mixer (so some electricity cost as well as my time for that part).

As someone else noted, no-knead and electric mixers mean that it's really not that much of a time suck. My energy costs are further reduced because I have a gas oven and gas is paid through my condo association. I pay the same dues whether I bake or not.

I would compare it to eating homemade burritos versus Taco Bell $0.29 burritos. (Assuming Taco Bell still has $0.29 burritos. I haven't eaten at Taco Bell in many years.) If you make everything from scratch, you probably won't save all that much money, but the quality will be orders of magnitude better.

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 09:44:17 AM »
I've hauled my breadmaker out and have been using that again.

Yeast from Costco is super cheap - $4 for an infinite supply. I have whole grain wheat that was free to me, thanks to the Y2K stockup folks who gave away 5lb cans of wheat on craigslist when the world didn't end). I didn't even know before that that canned wheat was a thing, but in the form it seems to stay good forever. I just grind that up in my vitamix from craigslist as needed.

In the breadmaker I have to pay for the electricity, but if I were baking in my gas stove the cost is free in winter - because I'm already paying for gas heat whether it comes into the house through the official heaters or the oven.

Mtngrl

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 08:47:55 AM »
The bread we were buying at the grocery store was $3 to $4 a loaf and we ate about one loaf a week. I can make a loaf of whole wheat bread (a mix of white flour from Costco and whole wheat Bob's Red Mill flour) with Costco yeast (as someone said -- $4 for a supply that lasts at least a year) for about 50 to 60 cents a loaf. I use a KitchenAid mixer to knead the bread. I have been making it so long now that the recipe is automatic and I can mix it up between doing other things, so I don't consider it a big time sink. I bake two big loaves at a time, slice them and freeze them in half-loaf portions to thaw as needed. Definitely cheaper and so good! A humble PBJ is elevated by the addition of homemade bread. Savings -- about $10 a month, or $120 a year. Plus, once you start making bread, it's very easy to move on to homemade hamburger buns, French bread, pizza dough and rolls -- which will also save you money.

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2016, 08:20:36 AM »
I have similar costs to others making wheat bread: about $0.70 per loaf. I don't have any special equipment and knead it by hand/bake it in a bread pan. I'm not as fond of no knead breads but my mom has a recipe she likes and uses it to make all her bread. She probably spends $0.50 per loaf (uses all white flour instead of a mix of white/whole wheat).

I also make gluten free bread and it runs maybe $1.50 or less per loaf for a mix of gluten free certified whole grains. This is about 1/12 of the price I would pay for a similar size loaf at the store.

Since I have significant freezer space, I make 4-5 loaves of each at a time. This means I only bake each kind once a month. I can mix, raise and bake that much all at once. I made the gluten free bread yesterday so I won't have to do that again until April. Bonus, not only is it less expensive, but we think it tastes way better.

nereo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2016, 08:42:55 AM »
our numbers are even more favorable for our basic no-kneed quick loaf breads-

For a generous 1lb loaf
27 worth of flour (1 lb flour @ Costco for $5.95/22lbs)
15 worth of yeast ($4.95 @ Costco for $4.95/2lb brick)
~2 for salt (this is probably an overestimation - 1 tablespoon's worth.  a 3lb box of kosher salt is under $2)

total = 44/loaf.

I'm also going to estimate power consumption at $0.00 during the winter.  We life in a cold environment and any heat generated by our electric oven just offsets what our baseboard heaters would consume.  As another poster said, power consumption is probably around 5 based on our electricity rates. We also often bake our dinner along with the bread at the same time.

we do make other bread types that are considerably more expensive, including a cheddar-ale bread that probably costs closer to $3/loaf.

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2016, 09:07:58 AM »

our numbers are even more favorable for our basic no-kneed quick loaf breads-


I have a strong aversion to knees in my bread also. 

music lover

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2016, 10:31:34 AM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

That's not really a fair comparison. Flour, water, yeast and salt is not "fancy loaf" bread, it's just plain old regular bread.

nereo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2016, 11:00:12 AM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

That's not really a fair comparison. Flour, water, yeast and salt is not "fancy loaf" bread, it's just plain old regular bread.
At it's core, bread is just flour, yeast, salt and water.  With those ingredients you can make everything from baguettes to sourdough loafs. In this case the "fancy" moniker is the same as 'artisan.'   These types of loaves sell at a boulangerie/bakery for $4-6/loaf.  Sure there are thousands of variations where you can use everything from eggs to garlic, but the term 'fancy' doesn't equate to  'number of ingredients'.

"non-fancy" would be things like loaves of wonderbread

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2016, 11:20:30 AM »
It's cheaper if you buy fancy loaves, which run ~$4. I can buy a whole bag of flour for less than that. I'm not sure it's cheaper than the cheapest loaf you can get. I make the nytimes no-knead recipe about once a week. It takes about 5 minutes in the morning to toss the flour, water, yeast, and salt together, and then I let it sit all day to rise. It takes 70 minutes to bake (~30 to let the pot heat up in the oven, 40 to bake the bread). It's easy, and it turns out great.

music lover

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2016, 11:28:03 AM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

That's not really a fair comparison. Flour, water, yeast and salt is not "fancy loaf" bread, it's just plain old regular bread.
At it's core, bread is just flour, yeast, salt and water.  With those ingredients you can make everything from baguettes to sourdough loafs. In this case the "fancy" moniker is the same as 'artisan.'   These types of loaves sell at a boulangerie/bakery for $4-6/loaf.  Sure there are thousands of variations where you can use everything from eggs to garlic, but the term 'fancy' doesn't equate to  'number of ingredients'.

"non-fancy" would be things like loaves of wonderbread

Non-fancy is also $0.99 or $1.49 loaves of regular or whole wheat bread.

My point was that it's an unfair comparison to put homemade bread against only the more expensive alternatives when far less expensive alternatives exist.

nereo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2016, 12:50:29 PM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

That's not really a fair comparison. Flour, water, yeast and salt is not "fancy loaf" bread, it's just plain old regular bread.
At it's core, bread is just flour, yeast, salt and water.  With those ingredients you can make everything from baguettes to sourdough loafs. In this case the "fancy" moniker is the same as 'artisan.'   These types of loaves sell at a boulangerie/bakery for $4-6/loaf.  Sure there are thousands of variations where you can use everything from eggs to garlic, but the term 'fancy' doesn't equate to  'number of ingredients'.

"non-fancy" would be things like loaves of wonderbread

Non-fancy is also $0.99 or $1.49 loaves of regular or whole wheat bread.

My point was that it's an unfair comparison to put homemade bread against only the more expensive alternatives when far less expensive alternatives exist.

If you're saying that, when going to the store to buy "bread" you buy the cheapest option available (e.g. a 99 of pre-sliced wonderbread) regardless of quality or taste, than sure.

But personally I don't view it that way.  If my choice is cheap, shelf-stable (additives) bread or no bread at all, I'd go with no bread. 

The quality of a home-baked loaf is on level with what's sold at most bakeries/boulangeries.  Ergo, for an apples-to-apples comparison, I compare those two.

music lover

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2016, 01:13:29 PM »
My bread recipe, and the corresponding prices, are below:

8 cups flour - $0.80 (5lb bags of flour for $1.82 at Target)
2 tablespoons yeast - $0.15 (1lb sealed packages of fresh yeast at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp salt - $0.01 (regular iodized salt, $1.50 per can)
Water

So, that's $0.96 for a loaf of bread that's equivalent to the $5-6 fancy loaves. And yeah, you can buy loaves of bread for $0.99, so maybe it's not significantly cheaper than those, but it is more bread and way tastier.

That's not really a fair comparison. Flour, water, yeast and salt is not "fancy loaf" bread, it's just plain old regular bread.
At it's core, bread is just flour, yeast, salt and water.  With those ingredients you can make everything from baguettes to sourdough loafs. In this case the "fancy" moniker is the same as 'artisan.'   These types of loaves sell at a boulangerie/bakery for $4-6/loaf.  Sure there are thousands of variations where you can use everything from eggs to garlic, but the term 'fancy' doesn't equate to  'number of ingredients'.

"non-fancy" would be things like loaves of wonderbread

Non-fancy is also $0.99 or $1.49 loaves of regular or whole wheat bread.

My point was that it's an unfair comparison to put homemade bread against only the more expensive alternatives when far less expensive alternatives exist.

If you're saying that, when going to the store to buy "bread" you buy the cheapest option available (e.g. a 99 of pre-sliced wonderbread) regardless of quality or taste, than sure.

But personally I don't view it that way.  If my choice is cheap, shelf-stable (additives) bread or no bread at all, I'd go with no bread. 

The quality of a home-baked loaf is on level with what's sold at most bakeries/boulangeries.  Ergo, for an apples-to-apples comparison, I compare those two.

I'm not talking about additive added wonderbread...I'm talking about the plain old regular/generic bread that is baked in many grocery stores that is often available for $0.99 or $1.49, which is more or less the same as homemade. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison.

Perhaps that type of bread is not available where you live?

merula

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2016, 06:18:23 AM »
I'm not talking about additive added wonderbread...I'm talking about the plain old regular/generic bread that is baked in many grocery stores that is often available for $0.99 or $1.49, which is more or less the same as homemade. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison.

Perhaps that type of bread is not available where you live?

I've never seen any grocery-store-bakery bread less than $3/loaf. I'm not even sure what this would be.

acroy

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2016, 06:38:49 AM »
The 'home made' bread has to include the cost of ingredients, energy, and cost of the machine. And your time/cleanup (if you want a super good analysis).

We gave up on making our own, but leverage 2 things:
1) the 'day old' bread store for 'bulk' cheap wheat bread; we average something like 40c/loaf there. It's not fancy but nutritious.
2) the markdown rack at the local Kroger. This is where we get the fancypants $5 loaf for $1.5 for the adults to enjoy with some overpriced cheese :)

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2016, 11:41:31 AM »
I'm not talking about additive added wonderbread...I'm talking about the plain old regular/generic bread that is baked in many grocery stores that is often available for $0.99 or $1.49, which is more or less the same as homemade. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison.

Perhaps that type of bread is not available where you live?

I've never seen any grocery-store-bakery bread less than $3/loaf. I'm not even sure what this would be.
ditto.  music lover, you might have much cheaper bread than anything i've been able to find.  As merula said, grocery store non-sliced bread all seems to be in the $3-4 range.  I wish i could find fresh baked loaves for <$1.
regardless, I make bread because i like it.  I certainly won't become rich saving somewhere between 50-$3/loaf a couple times a week.

Quote
The 'home made' bread has to include the cost of ingredients, energy, and cost of the machine. And your time/cleanup (if you want a super good analysis).
cost of ingredients ~45
cost of electricity 0 in the winter, 4/loaf during summer
cost of equipment .... um... besides my hands I use a $10 bowl and a $2 wooden spoon.  They last for years and are used for lots of other cooking.  No idea how to break this down fairly... maybe another 2?
time/cleanup.  That's probably a significant cost.  5 minutes when baking 2-3 loaves.  If I 'pay' myself $20/hr then I'd have to budget 33/loaf.  That of course assumes that I'd be doing something productive with my time if I wasn't washing the bowl and spoon.

As said above, I certainly won't get rich baking my own bread - it probably saves me maybe ~$20/mo over buying similar loaves from the store.  But I enjoy it, love the way it makes the house smell and the fact that it saves money is a double-bonus.

music lover

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2016, 04:55:08 PM »
I'm not talking about additive added wonderbread...I'm talking about the plain old regular/generic bread that is baked in many grocery stores that is often available for $0.99 or $1.49, which is more or less the same as homemade. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison.

Perhaps that type of bread is not available where you live?

I've never seen any grocery-store-bakery bread less than $3/loaf. I'm not even sure what this would be.

I live in Canada...I just assumed bread would be just as cheap in the US. A major grocery store where I live (Superstore) sells their own white and whole wheat unsliced bread for $0.99 or $1.49 (it varies), and also 4-loaf bags for $4.99, and sometimes French loaves for $0.99. The "fancier" store baked breads are $3 - $4 a loaf.

I used to make my own bread, but don't bother any more since it's so inexpensive to buy.

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2016, 05:04:14 PM »
It depends on which kind of bread you buy. We usually buy artisan breads which is about $5 or so per loaf, so I think it's cheaper making our own bread. My wife also makes Danish rye bread which we haven't been able to find any local stores. 

TomTX

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2016, 09:03:04 PM »
I'm not talking about additive added wonderbread...I'm talking about the plain old regular/generic bread that is baked in many grocery stores that is often available for $0.99 or $1.49, which is more or less the same as homemade. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison.

Perhaps that type of bread is not available where you live?

I've never seen any grocery-store-bakery bread less than $3/loaf. I'm not even sure what this would be.
HEB sells a loaf of in-store-baked French bread for $0.99-$1.50 depending on the store here in Texas. If you go in at the right time, it will still be warm.

If it's not warm, just leave it on the dashboard for a few minutes when you go home. ;)

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2016, 04:47:17 PM »
Definitely cheaper to make my own no-knead bread.  I bought yeast in bulk and store it in the freezer.  No knead uses very little yeast, fats, or fancy ingredients.

Less than $1 per large loaf of "ciabatta style", versus $1.99 for the commercial cheapest pre sliced stuff at Superstore (bread became weirdly expensive out west a few years ago, which trigger my foray into home baking).    Here, you can get some pasty instore "bagettes" for 99c, but they are stale within the day, so you need to buy them every day, and still not that great tasting.

It will cost me about $3.50 in ingredients for a fancier loaf, like Pumperknickel "black" bread I made, but that compares to a $12 loaf here.

Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2016, 05:10:23 PM »
I just lost a long post, darn it. But the upshot is I calculated this weekend, and my 1.5 pound multigrain loaves run us $1.46 apiece with sunflower seeds or $1.15 without (I use them unless I'm out of sunflower seeds because yum). It's my own recipe, made in a bread machine, and I make two loaves most weekends. It's all the loaf bread we eat.

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2016, 10:45:38 PM »
Cheaper.... no. Tastier.... most definitely!

This.

My wife makes the best bread!!

Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2016, 04:45:18 PM »
 Someone sent me a PM asking for my bread recipe from the lost post above, and I've replied to that, but I thought I'd post it here in case anybody else was interested.

 Multigrain bread recipe:

This is still a little heavier on the all-purpose flour than I like, so I'll probably start adjusting it to up the whole wheat content.

 Ingredients with cost where I live

1 1/3 cup water at 80
 2 tablespoons olive oil $.20
2.5 cups all-purpose flour $.38
 1 cup whole wheat flour $.24
1 cup oats (rolled or quick) $.09
 1 1/2 teaspoons salt $.01
4 teaspoons sugar $.02
1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels (unsalted, or rinse off the salt and drain well) $.31
 1 1/2 teaspoons fast or bread machine yeast $.21

In a bread machine, load the first two (wet) ingredients first, then all of the dry ingredients, yeast last. I use the standard cycle on my bread machine for a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

 A note on "creating" a bread recipe: the secret is to just do it slowly, one loaf at a time. Basically, I started with a plain white bread recipe that I knew worked  and started changing it up, one variable per loaf. I cut out butter and subbed in olive oil, cut way down on the sugar,  cut out milk because I didn't want to depend on having it on hand to make bread, and started changing white flour over to oats and whole-wheat flour a little at a time. Once I had a basic loaf I liked, I added sunflower seeds.  On the next loaf after I use up the premade mixes I put together for the pantry, I think I'll drop the white flour by half a cup and add half a cup of whole wheat. If that works, that's my new baseline loaf, and I'll try dropping  another half cup of all-purpose flour from it In favor of more oats.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 04:47:39 PM by Rural »

ender

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2016, 04:52:48 PM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!

MoonShadow

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2016, 05:04:50 PM »
Hello all! Does anyone make their own bread and find it to be less expensive than buying bread at the store?

Thanks!

I make my own breads sometimes in a bread maker.  Never has it been cheaper than a mass produced one, even if I don't amortize the cost of the breadmaker.  It's really good bread, though. 

You might be able to do it if you run the breadmaker daily, and buy your ingredients in massive wholesale bulk packages, and don't care about the extra labor time, but I doubt it even then.  Might save on the cost of gas, buy not needing to drive to the store if you are out of bread.

ender

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2016, 05:12:47 PM »
Also another trick to making bread.

If you don't use a breadmaker, make batches and freeze the bread. It's not that much more work to make 4 loaves instead of 1 and you can freeze the remainder. You spend a little more time, nearly no more energy, but get 4x the bread (or however many bread loaves you make).

Beardog

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2016, 05:25:35 PM »
Day old fancy-pants bread isn't cheaper than making your own, but it's pretty cheap by Boston area standards (about $2.5 - $3/loaf) and it tastes great! 

elaine amj

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2016, 06:59:07 PM »
I'm not talking about additive added wonderbread...I'm talking about the plain old regular/generic bread that is baked in many grocery stores that is often available for $0.99 or $1.49, which is more or less the same as homemade. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison.

Perhaps that type of bread is not available where you live?

I've never seen any grocery-store-bakery bread less than $3/loaf. I'm not even sure what this would be.

I live in Canada...I just assumed bread would be just as cheap in the US. A major grocery store where I live (Superstore) sells their own white and whole wheat unsliced bread for $0.99 or $1.49 (it varies), and also 4-loaf bags for $4.99, and sometimes French loaves for $0.99. The "fancier" store baked breads are $3 - $4 a loaf.

I used to make my own bread, but don't bother any more since it's so inexpensive to buy.


I also buy the 99 cent loaf of Italian/French crusty bread from the Superstore here in Canada. Its yummy, fresh baked, and pre-sliced for convenience. Much cheaper than Wonderbread which is $2-3 here!


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Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2016, 09:47:10 PM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2016, 09:57:15 PM »
Hello all! Does anyone make their own bread and find it to be less expensive than buying bread at the store?

Thanks!

I make my own breads sometimes in a bread maker.  Never has it been cheaper than a mass produced one, even if I don't amortize the cost of the breadmaker.  It's really good bread, though. 

You might be able to do it if you run the breadmaker daily, and buy your ingredients in massive wholesale bulk packages, and don't care about the extra labor time, but I doubt it even then.  Might save on the cost of gas, buy not needing to drive to the store if you are out of bread.


I don't know. I can get a loaf of white for less than my $1.46/$1.15 loaves, but not by much ($.99 to $1.09), and I can't get anything with any whole grains at all for less than $2.00. Plus the store brand white bread is only a one pound loaf and mine's a pound and a half. I did have access to a day- old store, and I couldn't beat that, but it closed. Also it costs me almost the price of my homemade loaves to drive to the store, as you mentioned.


It isn't that much work. When I make one loaf, I go ahead and measure out three more sets of the dry ingredients. Takes 10 minutes to set up the four, no more than 3 minutes to make another loaf from one of the mixes. Slicing is a pain, I'll grant that.


My bread machine was a gift sometime before 2003 (based on the first apartment I remember moving it to) but even if I'd paid for it myself, surely it's fully depreciated by now. When it dies, I'll replace it at a thrift store. Haven't seen fewer than three at a time in any thrift store in years.

Knapptyme

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2016, 10:50:33 PM »

Quote
The 'home made' bread has to include the cost of ingredients, energy, and cost of the machine. And your time/cleanup (if you want a super good analysis).
cost of ingredients ~45
cost of electricity 0 in the winter, 4/loaf during summer
cost of equipment .... um... besides my hands I use a $10 bowl and a $2 wooden spoon.  They last for years and are used for lots of other cooking.  No idea how to break this down fairly... maybe another 2?
time/cleanup.  That's probably a significant cost.  5 minutes when baking 2-3 loaves.  If I 'pay' myself $20/hr then I'd have to budget 33/loaf.  That of course assumes that I'd be doing something productive with my time if I wasn't washing the bowl and spoon.

As said above, I certainly won't get rich baking my own bread - it probably saves me maybe ~$20/mo over buying similar loaves from the store.  But I enjoy it, love the way it makes the house smell and the fact that it saves money is a double-bonus.

My wife bakes bread for these reasons. Initially, however, it started from a health perspective. Non-fancy loaves are full of crap ingredients (unecessary sugar or sweeteners being a major factor), and I ate them up. Even store bought "fancy" loaves are chock-full of garbage preservatives. Yes, hipster artisan bread might be expensive to buy regularly but it certainly isn't that expensive to make. Plus, I love to brag on her badassity to learn a new skill and be healthier at the same time.

To be clear, we're talking sourdough starter--no commercial yeast, and no bread-making machine.

Side note for longevity of these loaves--slice them the day they're baked once they've cooled and then freeze them. Lasts indefinitely and a minute in the toaster freshens them right up. It doesn't beat it when it's fresh, but it was always sad if they went to waste.

nereo, keep up the badassity by baking bread!

WTPF

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2016, 05:01:35 AM »
There are so many other benefits to making your own bread. In our case, we use a bread maker and it takes less than a minute of effort to put a loaf on the night before... just yeast, bread flour and water all easily measured with the bread pan on a set of electronic scales. The benefits, is waking to the beautiful smell of fresh bread in the morning. No more dashing off to the bakery in the cold to get an equivalent fresh loaf not to mention the inconvenience. It's also saving us money as we've been packing lunches for the whole family. Nothing better than the crusty edge of the loaf, still steaming hot, a generous spread of butter (not margarine) and then drizzle with honey or alternatively a generous topping of avocado and some cracked pepper. That's a great incentive to get out of bed in the morning (oh.. and the hot steaming cup of coffee too of course)

ender

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2016, 07:17:10 AM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

It comes in 2 one pound sealed bags. Normally open one and put it in a mason jar in the fridge. The other you can store in a pantry until you need it.

I've never had a problem with it going bad even after months (or years?) in a fridge. Which seems crazy now that I think about it.

Allie

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2016, 12:52:22 PM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

Our Costco has the 2 lbs in a single, giant vacuum sealed bag.  If you stick it in a tupperweear in the freezer, it will stay viable for years. 

I make all of our breads and such.  We do whole grains and fancy stuff sometimes, but the average sandwich is a sweeter white bread and dinner or soups are accompanied by crusty white.  I can get most of our baked goods costs down to 1/2 the grocery store sale price by buying in bulk and planning ahead to allow for long, slow rises and shared oven use. 


Mrs3F

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2016, 01:06:38 PM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

It comes in 2 one pound sealed bags. Normally open one and put it in a mason jar in the fridge. The other you can store in a pantry until you need it.

I've never had a problem with it going bad even after months (or years?) in a fridge. Which seems crazy now that I think about it.

We also use the mason jar in the fridge method.  We don't make a ton of bread, but do make lots and lots of pizza dough.  Even with lots of baking, 2 pounds of yeast lasts over year, but I've never had any issues with it not working. 

Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2016, 06:45:56 PM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

It comes in 2 one pound sealed bags. Normally open one and put it in a mason jar in the fridge. The other you can store in a pantry until you need it.

I've never had a problem with it going bad even after months (or years?) in a fridge. Which seems crazy now that I think about it.

We also use the mason jar in the fridge method.  We don't make a ton of bread, but do make lots and lots of pizza dough.  Even with lots of baking, 2 pounds of yeast lasts over year, but I've never had any issues with it not working.


Good to know, and thanks to all who posted about it. I had one of the little grocery jars turn on me in the fridge once, so I've been cautious since. It wasn't horrible, but didn't rise right, either.

Goldielocks

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2016, 11:39:46 AM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

It comes in 2 one pound sealed bags. Normally open one and put it in a mason jar in the fridge. The other you can store in a pantry until you need it.

I've never had a problem with it going bad even after months (or years?) in a fridge. Which seems crazy now that I think about it.

Freezer,  seriously,   mine is 3 years old and going strong.  Dry yeast holds well in the freezer.

Rural

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2016, 12:40:44 PM »
You can buy yeast absurdly cheap at Sam's Club/Costco, too.

We get two POUNDS of it for under $5 at Sams. Put one bag in a mason jar and the other is sealed and just open whenever.

Whatever you are doing, don't buy yeast from grocery stores in the little cans!


Can, but as you'll see from my price above, I buy little jars at the grocery. People who don't have to drive 50 miles each way to a warehouse store shouldn't, though.


Should I ever have the chance, let me ask: how do you store 2 pounds so it stays viable?

It comes in 2 one pound sealed bags. Normally open one and put it in a mason jar in the fridge. The other you can store in a pantry until you need it.

I've never had a problem with it going bad even after months (or years?) in a fridge. Which seems crazy now that I think about it.

Freezer,  seriously,   mine is 3 years old and going strong.  Dry yeast holds well in the freezer.


Do you thaw prior to using it? Keep a small portion in the refrigerator?

whiskeyjack

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2016, 05:52:24 PM »
I also store yeast in the freezer.  It doesn't freeze into a block - the grains stay nice and loose - so I just toss it directly into the water when I'm ready to use it.

Also thanks for the recipe :)

MoneyCat

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread?
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2016, 06:04:44 PM »
It costs me about $0.50 per loaf to produce wheat bread in my bread machine. The best value of that machine, though, is making pizza dough for homemade pizza for Netflix night on weekends. That saves us about $13 per pizza night.