Archive for April, 2009

Save Money: Start Baking Your Own Bread

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The cost of living is getting higher all the time and most experts don’t see most prices going down any time soon.  The price of  most of the things we purchase is usually out of our hands – we pay what they charge. There are some things we can control, though. One of these things is the price of food. Now I don’t mean buying truckloads of food to get a lower price. I just mean we can save money by doing some things on our own.

Baking your own bread at home. is one of those things.  The price of bread is running between $3. 00 and $4.00 for a loaf of a name brand bread. Not too expensive for some people, but if you’re struggling to make ends meet, or you kids eat a loaf a day, that’s expensive!

Several years ago baking your own bread involved a long drawn-out process. Now, as we all know we can get a bread machine to do it for us. But many people still don’t realize is how easy it is to bake your own bread using a bread machine.  Some people don’t  have the time to learn. Some people don’t care to learn. Using these machines is really easy. You can find all about that on the internet. The hardest part is the planning, but once you’ve got everything and tried it once or twice, it can be done in about ten minutes.By the way, I baked the bread before my wife wrested the chore away from me.

OK. so what does it cost to make the bread?

We’re talking prices here and saving money so let’s look at what it costs to make a loaf of bread:

The bread machine is the major upfront cost. Look at all those wedding gifts you got and have nevr use, and you might even find a bread machine you don’t even know you had. Barring that, you have to buy one. Online, the cost of a Breadman bread Machine is between $51.9 to $59.99 online.  The cost is probably similar at your local Target or WalMart. This particular bread maker can make up to a two pound loaf of bread. That sounds like a chunk of change, but how much did your MP3 player, (substitute any “toy” here), cost? Did you save any money in your budget with it? A bread maker can last you many years and save you a ton of money.

The next biggest expense is probably the bread flour. It costs $2.44 for a five pound bag of white bread flour at WalMart. If you like making the bread and have a place to store the flour,  it costs $7.72 for a 25 pound of bread flour at Sam’s Club.

Other things you will need:

  1. Yeast can cost about anywhere from $.75 per loaf to $.05 per loaf. Buy at least in two pound packages to save the most money.
  2. Oil, other types of flour . . . Only if you want other kinds of bread.  Add another 10 – 20 cents for oil and whatever.

My wife says most bread recipes call for 4 cups of flour, on average, of whatever kind of flour she uses for the different kinds of bread she makes.

That means she can get 5 loaves of bread from one five pound bag of flour, (if she makes French or white bread), or 125 loaves of bread or more out of a 25 pound of flour. So at five loaves per five pound bag that’s about .50 for flour. If we include the price of  the bread machine for a year, at about $1.00 per week, that’s about:

  • $1.85 for one loaf a week
  • $1.35 per loaf for two loaves a week
  • After a year the bread costs on average about $.50 per loaf

Are there any other benefits?

There are definitely some additional benefits of baking your own bread, which are probably better than saving the omoney:

  • Fresh bread all the time
  • No preservatives
  • Make many different kinds of bread

The Bottom Line

So here’s the question: do you want to save money baking your own bread and get the other benefits above? That’s your choice, but it sure makes sense for us.

George

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