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Discussion Starter #1
Okay I am sitting here making a grocery list and want to go as cheap as possible...



So I am scrutinizing everything....has anyone ever compared and broken down whether homemeade bread is cheaper than boughten bread..?

Bread in my area for a fairly good loaf is $2 a loaf because one loaf would cost anywhere from 1.99 to 3.99 so i usually buy the good stuff at 3.99 a loaf because there are deals for b1g1free...The cheap bread at 1.99 a loaf never has a b1g1free...

So can i make a loaf of homemade bread for less than $2 a loaf....after buying all the necessary items.
I know that most of the necessary items are items i probably already have but if i started making 6-8 loaves of bread a week i would use more of this stuff thus I would have to replace it more often.

Any ideas... thanks so much and I am so glad that I have found this site...
 

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It really depends on pricing in your area -- there's a basic sandwich bread (white) recipe in the food section that calls for 1/2 c sugar, 2 T yeast, 1 T salt, 1/2 c butter, 10 c flour.

there are 2 1/4 c sugar in a pound, so if you have a 5 lb bag for 2.50, 1/2 c would cost 11 cents. 3 3/4 c of flour per pound, approximately 2 packets of yeast if you don't buy in bulk and 1/4 of a pound package of butter (or margarine if you'd rather go that route).

With my prices, I can make this recipe for about $2.75 and it makes 3 loaves, so I'll say it's possible. You'll need to do a bit of math with your prices and see how it works out for you.
 

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I think it would help to know how many people you are feeding.

Personally I like to make my own bread with a breadmachine. The cheap bread at the supermarket just is not filling to me, so you end up eating more. The higher priced bread still seems to have a bunch of ingredients I would rather not eat.

Are there other food items you could replace the bread for? Such as, instead of toast for breakfast how about oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, grits, etc. How about make bisquits.

6-8 loaves seems like a lot of bread in one week. But then again not sure how many you are feeding. Also depends on the type of bread you are baking. I can usually make french bread with very little ingredients.

Grainlady would be a good person to ask since she also buys her baking supplies online in larger quantities.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
okay thanks for the reply...

I possibly could get away with 4-6 loaves a week after I start getting this stuff all figured out....
$2.75 for three loaves of bread is a great deal...we have used a breadmaking machine in the past however always have an air pocket in the bottom of the loaf of bread. Dh stated we could use it to mix the bread up and then cook it in the oven.. etc

Anyone have an easy white bread recipe they would be willing to share...

Thanks!
 

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Economical baking

A few years ago, I figured out the exact cost of baking vs buying my bread, and it cost me 1/3 the amount to bake my own bread, compared to buying it.
However, in the past year or so, flour, oil, yeast, milk & eggs (not sugar) have all gone up in price, but so has the store-bought bread, sometimes as much as $3.75 per loaf. So, it is still much cheaper to bake bread; most recipes are for 4 loaves of bread, so by the time I use up 12-13 cups of flour to make my batch of bread, plus the other ingredients, it's still a real savings. Also, my heat is part of my rent, so the cose of baking it at 375 degrees for 40 minutes doesn't really affect me.
I watch for sales on baking ingredients, and buy them then, with coupons if possible. I keep a stockpile of the basics, but not too much because quality and taste will deteriorate over time.

Baking is time-consuming, but very economical compared to buying baked goods. It is also better-tasting and healthier because you use only basic ingredients and have no extra chemicals, preservatives and other additives in it. Even the containers you bake with are safer; since the food touches the pans for the minimum amount of time, and then is removed for consumption or storage. Consuming store-bought baked goods that have been baked and/or sold in aluminum and plastic pans and stored for long periods of time in these containers will increase the consumption of metals and toxins which leach into the food.

I think the biggest hurdle to home-baking is getting through the trying stages of disorganization :shake:, recipe-testing :read: and the clean-up. :(
But if you persist through this extra work and stress, you will find that you develop efficiency and skill, and in no time at all you're cooly and calmly turning out all kinds of wonderful baked goods for a fraction of the cost, with their own delicious homemade taste and nutrition. :smball:

I baked for my local Farmers Market for 5 years, and that was the way I earned my entire summer's income. At the start of every season, it would take me a couple of weeks to get back into the rhythm of efficiency and stamina, but after that, it was just a matter of a few days of work.
:bath:
 

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There are work sheets for figuring cost of homemade bread, which you will need to work out because your ingredients will be different from recipe to recipe in order to compare it to like-kinds and like-sized loaves of commercial bread.

Column 1 - List all ingredients in the recipe.

Column 2 - Quantity used in the recipe. When it comes to the recipe amount for flour, this is a good - or bad - guess because of the variables in flour (gluten content, moisture) - flour amounts may actually be more or less than the recipe amount.

Column 3 - Quantity purchased to make the recipe (5-pounds flour, 25-pounds wheat, 42-ounces quick oats, 1 pound salt, 1-gallon of milk, 1-pound butter, etc.)

Column 4 - Purchase price of each ingredient.

Column 5 - Number of units purchased (such as 20 cups of flour)

Column 6 - Price Per Unit (Col. 4 divided by Col. 5)

Column 7 - cost of Amount Used (Col. 2 divided by Col. 6)

Total cost of Ingredients (does not count energy and time costs):

Number of Loaves and weight of each (the weight is calculated by the weight of the dough, not the baked bread):

Cost per loaf (homemade):

Cost of the same size store-purchased bread:
---------------------------------------------------------

Cost of ingredients is just one thing to consider when making homemade bread. The control of the ingredients you use is also a value to consider. I use ingredients you can't find in commercial breads in order to increase nutrition, increase fiber, lower glycemic impact. I use ingredients that help keep the bread fresher longer. Some of the unusual ingredients in my breads include: chia seeds, coconut oil, high-maize resistant starch, agave nectar, freshly-milled flour from whole grains/seeds/beans, flaxmeal, multi-grain cereal blends, ascorbic acid, homemade kefir, etc.

Because I've made our breads and all baked goods for years, we no longer find it a "treat" that is quickly devoured. I'm a stickler for serving sizes and we consume 4 servings of breads/grains/cereals per day, of which only a portion is sliced bread. We typically use one 1-pound loaf of bread per week. I've cut enough bread over the years that I do a pretty good job of cutting slices that weigh 1-ounce, which is equal to 1-serving. Small loaves I cut in thin 1/2-ounce slices. I scale (weigh) the dough for burger buns, hot dog buns, dinner rolls, etc., and I know there is 1-1/2 servings of bread in a small burger bun, and 2-servings in a large bun. My English Muffins equal 2-servings of bread. All this comes from years of baking and teaching nutrition classes.

Using wheat that cost me $5/25-pounds and making an enriched loaf of 100% whole wheat bread, I can make a 1.5-pound of bread for around 50-cents.
 

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Do you have bread stores or grocery salvage stores in your area? Before I started baking my own bread products, I would go to the Sara Lee bread store every two weeks. I would put some in the freezer. I easily saved over 50% off the price of bread at the grocery store or WalMart AND I bought better quality bread.

I recently checked out the bread prices at my grocery salvage store (just out of curiosity). Oro Wheat 12 grain bread was 50 cents a loaf!
 

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When I bake, I use the single-rise yogurt bread recipe in _Make Your Own Convenience Food_ by Germain and Germain.

I've posted the recipe before, although not in the community cookbook. This is the bread that we give away as Christmas bread every year.

I've made it with sourdough, 1 T commercial yeast (that I already had, outdated), and home made yogurt when things were really tight here. The recipe makes 2 loaves.

The biggest reason I love this recipe is because it's a single rise bread. It takes approx. 1.5 hours from start to finish.

Yogurt Bread

In a 4 qt bowl or dough mixer put: 2C wrist-warm water, 2T honey (or sugar or molasses), 1 1/2T (4 1/2 teaspoons) or 2 packets dry yeast


Stir to dissolve. Let sit 5 minutes until foamy.

Then add:
1T salt, 1C plain yoghurt

Mix throughly.

Using a heavy spoon, stir in (or use a bread machine a dough hook, etc.)

approx. 7 1/2C unbleached white flour

(until the forming dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.)

Now scrape the dough down onto a floured board. Dust with flour as needed and knead for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough feels smooth, satiny, and pops back when poked with your finger.

Cut the ball of dough in 1/2. Knead each 1/2 for a few seconds, shape it into a loaf. Put it into a greased bread pan. (Make sure you grease the pan first, or the bread’s impossible to get out!)

Cover with a clean cloth or waxed paper and let rise until dough comes to the top of the pan (about 30 mins).(See note.)

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, about 40 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.

Note: Except in the dead of winter when my kitchen is at its coldest, I NEVER cover the bread when it’s rising, I just let it rise. It would probably rise a little more, but not a lot, I wouldn’t think.
 

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with flour being around $1.50 or less for 5 pounds around here, I can make a loaf in the bread machine for cheap. I bought 2 pounds of yeast at sams for about $4 last year. I can make the 3 loaf sandwich bread recipe that is on here for about $1 or so. So that's about $.33 each. I know there are no extra preservatives and it's delicious. I throw the extra 2 loaves in the freezer. Because there is 5 of us, we go thru quite a bit of bread, so this saves us money. I buy extra loaves at aldi's for l ess than $1 and throw them in the freezer for "just in case".
 

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As a Costing Manager I agree with everyone’s accounting so far. I would suggest you add cost for the actual cooking (i.e. electricity) and put some value on the active and passive time you must spend. You should also factor in some cost for wear and tear on your equipment and the purchase of new equipment.

Also, before you go all out you need to find a recipe your family likes as this may be a deal breaker.

I have the bread machine and the nice mixer. I would suggest using the bread machine to make the dough and then cooking in the oven. Also, keep in mind that most homemade bread will keep for about a week whereas bought bread will last for 2 or 3 if you don't eat it. So you may have more waste.

Personally I make rolls and freeze them. When I want a sandwich I pop into the microwave for a few seconds to defrost. I then split it and toast it.
 

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We've been making our own bread for about 3 months now. It is definitely cheaper for us to make it compared to purchasing in the store. Here's where we get our ingredients right now:

Bread flour - Costco. 50 lbs for about 12 dollars.

Yeast - also Costco. Large package can't even compare to the cost of those little packets. I keep the package in the freezer and keep a small amount in the refrigerator.

olive oil - Costco or Trader Joe's - largest jar that fits in our cabinet :D Hubby prefers this for the wheat bread. I use safflower oil for french bread.

Wheat flour - Trader Joe's has the cheapest wheat flour I've been able to find in this area. It's 2.99 for 5 lbs. We may be able to improve by buying our wheat flour online. I would need to have a place set up to store a large quantity.

We have an older breadmaker which is probably about 10 years old. I use it to mix, knead, and take care of the first rise. Then I pop the dough out into a loaf pan for the second rise and bake in the oven. I prefer the shape and texture of the crust better this way, but it saves my shoulder from the kneading! French bread is done similarly.

I did have to try about half a dozen recipes before I found one I was happy with. We make a loaf that's half white/half whole wheat for every day. French bread I make all white or 1/4 wheat. Now we've tweaked the recipes just a bit to get what we're looking for. We make a loaf every couple days so we've got the procedure down fairly well now! No big mess and doesn't take much time at all, though we do need to make sure the bread baking isn't interfering with other cooking activities!
 

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Bread mixc recipe

I like baking my own bread because I then know what's in it, plus I can add ingredients to suit my mood or needs. This is a nice recipe for a bread mix you can make up and use for multiple loaves. I found it on recipezaar.com, sorry I cannot post it as an url .

Bread Machine Mix for White Bread (Oamc) Recipe #264998
This is from the Gold Medal company. It's a convenience for those who need a steady supply of white bread. Yield is six 1 1/2 lb. loaves or 4 2 lb. loaves.
by duonyte

10 min | 10 min prep

4 -6 loaves

* 5 lbs bread flour
* 1 cup powdered milk
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 2 1/2 tablespoons salt

1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Store in a tightly covered container in a cool place.
3. To make a 1 1/2 lb loaf: Use 3 cups mix, 1 1/4 cup water, 2 tbl. softened butter and 1 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast.
4. To make a 2 lb. loaf: Use 4 1/3 cups mix, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbl. softened butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast.
5. Whichever one you are making, place the ingredients in your machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
6. Select a Basic or White Bread cycle, with a medium or light crust.
7. When done, remove from machine and cool on rack.
 

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Bread!

I sometimes use a bread maker to make bread it tastes better and if ingredients is cheap or on sale it is worth it.:jar:
 

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The recipe I use the most:

Title: Amish White Bread
Category: Bread
Rating: 5/5 stars

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Ingredients
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2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

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Instructions
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In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water; add yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Work in 5 to 6 cups flour. Knead dough on a lightly floured level surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat the entire surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
 

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Years ago Amy Dacyczyn did an article breaking down the considerations and costs involved in making one's own bread. It's probably in the Complete Tightwad Gazette.

I think it was probably cheaper for us when I was buying flour in bulk, but for the past several months we've been buying Pepperidge Farm bread in several varieties for 79 cents per loaf at our "bargain store."
 

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But for the type of bread I buy......wheat with gobs of seeds.........I don't think I could make it for the price.

I don't eat white bread........the closest I will get is a sourdough bread........if it is a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thanks everyone...

i had totally forgotten about this thread until i just saw it closer to the front page....i haven't been making homeade bread as much as i should so maybe this is a reminder that i need to start again.....It is just so hot around here lately... in the 90's and after working all day i just don't have any energy after i get home... i now excuses excuses excuses....
 

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I am going to bake it in the machine, even if it's not my favorite way to bake, just to avoid this horrible heat.
 

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If you buy your flour and yeast at Sam's Club it's even cheaper to make your own...you get 25 lbs of flour for the price of what 10 lbs would cost at the grocery store. And 2 big bricks of yeast for 1/3 what a tiny jar costs at the grocery store.
 
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