Is it cheaper to make or buy meatballs, save 109$ on average per year


fried meatballs
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Meatballs are famous all around the world. Who doesn’t like meatballs with tomato sauce or meatball sandwiches? But is it cheaper to make or buy meatballs? I also was wondering the same and wrote about my discoveries.

Is it cheaper to make homemade meatballs or buy frozen meatballs:

Homemade meatballs are 28% or 0.12$ per oz cheaper if you compare them to the cost of average frozen meatball price per oz. But if you buy the cheapest frozen meatballs in a store, then homemade meatballs are 35% or 0.08$ per oz. more expensive. You could save 109$ a year with homemade if the homemade price is compared to the average store-bough meatballs price and 0$ if price of homemade is compared to the cheapest store-bought meatballs. 

While researching the recipes and prices, I discovered some interesting things, read on to learn more.

Is it worth making meatballs at home from scratch and savings?

Making meatballs at home costs 11.8$ if you make them with the recipe and ingredients in the table below. You can make 12 servings with ingredients included in the recipe, which will total 0.99$ per serving.

baked meatballs

Cheapest price (0.23$) store bough meatballs

The total cost for 26oz bag in an online store is 5.99$ which is 2.12$ cheaper than if you would make them at home from scratch.

Average price (0.43$) store bought meatballs

The total cost for 26oz bag in an online store is 11.2$ which is 3.11$ more expensive than if you would make them at home from scratch.

Is it cheaper to make or buy meatballs?
Cheapest store bough meatballs 26oz Average priced store bough meatballs 26oz
Price store bought 5.99 $11.22
Cost store-bought per oz. $0.23 $0.43
Cost homemade per oz. $0.31 $0.31
Price homemade from scratch $8.11 $8.11
Difference -$2.12 $3.11
Homemade price difference in percentage -35% 28%

 

Savings per year if you would make 12 servings of meatballs twice a month?
Cheapest store bough meatballs Average price store bough
Weight for 12 servings (48 meatballs approx. 1.5tbsp each) 38 oz 38 oz
Price store-bought per oz. $0.23 $0.43
Price store-bought 38oz $8.74 $16.40
Cost homemade per oz. $0.31 $0.31
Price homemade 38oz $11.86 $11.86
Difference -$3.12 $4.55
yearly savings if you make meatballs twice a month -$74.77 $109.15
Savings looser saver

It is worth making meatballs at home from scratch, especially if you are not buying the cheapest store-bought meatballs.

The table shows that if you make meatballs at home twice a month, you could save 109$ if you usually buy the average-priced store-bought meatballs. But if you always buy the cheapest ones you don’t save anything.

What about the taste and quality of store bought vs homemade meatballs

Usually, cheaper priced products tend to include more inexpensive ingredients. Cheaper ingredients don’t mean less taste, but it usually means low-quality ingredients.

When you make homemade meatballs, you know what you are putting in the mix. Choosing beef and pork cuts is all up to you if you make your own ground beef and pork. But if you buy ground meat, you can always choose the fat percentage and grass-fed option. With homemade, you have control over taste. If you don’t like Italian seasoning, you don’t have to add it. So, making homemade is always a better choice.

How much does it cost to make homemade meatballs from scratch?

The most expensive ingredient in meatballs is beef and pork meat. It presents the majority of the cost of the meatballs. The recipe includes average priced cuts of meat, but you can add any meat cut or ground beef you want. More expensive cuts of beef and pork will, of course, higher the cost of making meatballs at home. 

Meatballs ingredient cost is calculated on the following basis:

Measurement to grams: we calculated the measurement of each ingredient into grams to get the sum weight of ingredients for meatballs.

Average product price: for each ingredient, we checked the latest prices online and calculated the average price of ingredients per ounce, which are included in the meatball recipe.

Price per ingredient: the price for each ingredient is calculated to match the amount used in the recipe. 

Sum weight of meatballs: to get the total weight of meatballs, we summed the weight of all ingredients in grams. 

Electricity cost: there are no electricity costs included.

Time, utensils, and cookware: we did not include time cost or the purchase of cookware and tools into the calculation. 

Meatballs recipe cost breakdown

meatballs recipe

How much does it cost to make homemade meatballs from scratch?
Quantities Quantities in grams Cost
Meatball ingredients
1 pound ground beef 1 lb 453g $4.32
1 pound ground pork 1 lb 453g $5.91
Breadcrumbs ½ cup 54g $0.51
Yellow onion diced ¼ cup 13g $0.03
Garlic powder ½ tsp 1.6g $0.03
Italian seasoning 1 tsp 2.5g $0.07
Egg 1 large 56g $0.22
Parsley chopped ¼ cup 15g $0.25
Parmesan ¼ cup shredded 22g $0.39
Salt 1 tsp 5.9 g $0.08
Ground pepper 1 tsp 2.3 g $0.05
Servings 12 (48 meatballs approx. 1.5tbsp each) $11.86
Cost of homemade meatballs per serving $0.99
Cost per ounce $0.31
SUM weight meatballs in gramms 1077.34
SUM product weight in ounces 38.0

The recipe is very easy to make. First, add the ground beef, pork, and all other ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with a spoon or with your hand. Cover them and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour. It is best if you could put them aside overnight.

After a short rest, take some mix and form a ball with your hands. You can also take a small-sized ice cream scooper or meatball molder like this one:

Baking meatballs in an oven is one way you could prepare them. Place the meatballs on a baking tray, place them in the oven and bake them at 400F until golden brown or around 20 minutes.

The second and my preferred way of making meatballs is by using a skillet. Place some olive oil in the skillet. Heat it up and put the meatballs in. Brown them generously and add your favorite sauce once they are done.

* The prices for ingredients and products in our tables are average prices take from various websites. The prices are not taken directly from Amazon.
* Pro family chef utilizes affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of our product links, Pro family chef will receive a small commission at no cost to you. This helps support us, and allows us to keep providing tips, reviews, guides, and content for you.

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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