Is Baking Bread Cheaper Than Buying It?

is baking bread cheaper than buying it?The question posed is, Is baking bread cheaper than buying it?  Taking all the factors into consideration such as ingredients, the cost of cooking and your time and just picking a recipe at random we see if there is any financial saving to making your own bread.

Of course, there are more advantages than just financial. However, we wanted to see for ourselves if cooking a loaf of bread would be any cheaper than buying in the shops

At first glance, this may seem like an easy question to answer.  However, on further investigation, there are many factors to consider.  When I first started to bake bread the actual financial cost was a huge consideration.  It had to be cheaper.  It was that simple.  Deciding on whether to invest in a bread maker had the same criteria.  Many conversations with my sister later and some (very) rough maths and we decided that it was.

It is difficult to work out as you need a basis of comparison.  In the supermarkets, you can get really cheap white bread from 40 pence, with the average supermarkets own brand being about 75 pence.  The better brands are between £1 and about £1.40. None of these come from the “from the bakery” types of bread which is what you woudl compare this loaf to.

The Cost of Making a Straightforward Plain Loaf of Bread

To work it out you need to factor in all the ingredients.

  • Flour white or brown, or bread flour
  • Yeast
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • warm water
  • oil

The Cost of cooking in the oven or in a Breadmaker

30 minutes in an oven.

Your Time

The time it takes is greatly reduced by using a bread maker. However, if you factor in time and effort the cost does work out a lot more.

A quick Youtube Search comes up with several recipes.  This one is Titled as Super easy and delicious.

That sounds perfect.  So will it be cheaper?

Unfortunately, it is an American recipe so it is in cups which is a confusing method of measuring for those of us not used to it.  Sometimes it is easier just to get your own cups and follow it but for the purposes of this experiment, I will (attempt) to convert it.

  • 2/3 cup sugar 150g  or 5.29 oz
  • 1.5 tablespoons of yeast or 14.3 grams in a tablespoon (21.5 g)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of salt  (21.5 g)
  • 1 4th oil 59ml
  • 6 cups of flour (1 cup =120g unsieved) 720g
  • Two cups of warm water  474 ml

Cooking takes 30 minutes in a normal oven is approx roughly 17.5 pence based on 13.65 kWh.

This will vary slightly and change with time so this is just a guide.  Prices are taken from Asda

Sugar cost 1kg=64p  sugar cost per loaf 1o pence 

yeast= 21.5 g or 3 sachets of yeast large container of yeast is 100g 98 pence or 65p for 6  sachets of 7g (I’ve never had to use that much in my recipes), so yeast cost per loaf is 33 pence

Salt =30 pence for table salt 750g or £1.10 for cooking salt 3kg, so salt per loaf is 1p

Oil price ranges quite a lot so we will go with a basic one of £1.15 for a litre, oil is per loaf approx 7 pence

Flour 95p per 1.5 kg of strong white bread flour, Flour is about 48 pence

Total cost without cooking is 98 pence plus 17.5 pence

The total cost of cooking one loaf of bread is £1.16/2 as these ingredients make not one but two loaves of bread.

An equivalent loaf would cost £1.20 in a supermarket and about 1.45 in a local bakery.  So there is a financial saving a huge one.  With one loaf of bread costing only 58 pence. Although it is difficult to work out the exact size from the video.

Experiment, In Conclusion

This example was spot on as when my sister and I calculated it there was a 50% saving on the equivalent loaf.  This works out about the same as well.  Not including your time of course.

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