Is it cheaper to make or buy bread, homemade savings 40-400$


Hands holding baked white bread in a blue cloth
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Buying fresh bread from the store is quick and easy, although making bread at home is not complicated either. Having fun while making it and tearing off that freshly baked crust is just out of this world. 

Are you sometimes asking yourself if store-bought bread is cheaper than homemade bread? The answer is, homemade bread is significantly cheaper. The next time when you consider making bread at home or buying it in the store, think again because making bread at home can save you a fair amount of money, especially in the long run.

The highest difference in price and with it most savings has rye bread with 8.57$. The lowest difference in price has sourdough bread, which is 0.35$. The research shows that homemade bread is cheaper than store-bought bread. The analysis is made for 6 most common bread types. The table shows a price comparison of store-bought bread vs homemade bread together with monthly and yearly savings from 12$-105$ if you make bread at home.

Table last updated (June 2020)

Is it cheaper to make your own bread at home? Yes it is!
Bread typeWeight/QuantityStore-boughtHomemadeDifferenceSaving per month per personSavings per year per person
White bread24 oz (680 g)$2.97$1.77$1.20$3.52$42.35
Whole wheat bread20 oz (567 g)$2.88$2.34$0.54$1.90$22.87
Rye bread16 oz (453 g)$9.99$1.42$8.57$37.70$454.11
Sourdough bread24 oz (680 g)$3.46$3.11$0.35$1.03$12.37
French bread12 oz (340 g)$2.50$1.01$1.49$8.73$105.17
Multigrain bread20.5 oz (581 g)$4.56$2.84$1.72$5.89$70.96

Monthly and yearly savings are calculated on an average bread consumption basis. Americans consume an average of 53 pounds of bread a year.

Price comparison and breakdown for 6 most common homemade bread types

We took into consideration 6 most common bread types: white bread, whole wheat bread, rye bread, sourdough bread, french bread, and multigrain bread.

Some bread recipes for these loaves of bread were taken from dedicated food bloggers (baking a moment, the stay home chef, the clever carrot, I heart naptime, seasons and suppers) that make their recipes with love and perfection and some of the recipes are our own. We make bread at home for years, and we buy it only once or twice a year. Our favorite is multigrain bread and white bread.

Different bread types multigrain bread, white bread, whole wheat bread

How is the price for homemade bread calculated

Each recipe contains ingredients together with the measurement. Original ingredient measurements are presented in a standard format such as cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc. We took the standard format and converted it to grams in weight. This way, we could calculate the sum weight of unbaked bread. For each ingredient, an average price was taken from Walmart and Amazon store and later matched to ingredient weight in the recipe. All prices were summed up. This is how we got an average price for one bread type. In the end, we subtracted the percentage of moisture lost in the backing process to get the end weight of baked bread.

  1. Measurement to grams: we calculated each measurement in grams to get the sum quantity of ingredients for an unbaked loaf of bread.
  2. Average product price: For each ingredient, we checked the latest prices online and calculated the average price of the products.
  3. Price per ingredient: The price for each ingredient is calculated to match the amount used in the recipe.
  4. Weight of ingredients and sum weight unbaked: We converted the measurement in the recipe for each ingredient to the same denominator by using USDA nutrition database. in order to get the total weight of the loaf, we summed all ingredients in grams.
  5. Sum weight baked: each bread losses moisture in the baking process. That is why the percentage of weight was taken from the sum weight of unbaked bread. The percentages differ for each bread type. This is how we got the end weight of baked bread loaf.
  6. Electricity cost: we calculated electricity cost if the bread would be baked in an oven. Ovens use 1000 to 5000 watts, with an average modern oven using around 2400 watts on medium to high heat. The calculation also includes the average electricity rate in the USA which is 13.19 cents per kilowatt-hour (updated April 2020)
  7. Time cost: We did not include time cost into the calculation. Making bread doesn’t take a few hours. You can make it in around 15 minutes. The time to make it includes: preparing the dough, which takes about 10 minutes, 4 minutes to shape it, and 1 minute to put it on the tray before baking and of the tray after baking. 

I’ve written a complete “is it cheaper” analysis of the most popular foods cooks make at home.

(BREAD, PIZZA, PASTA, FRIES, BEEF JERKY, LASAGNA, CHEESECAKE, GRANOLA BARS, GLUTEN-FREE BREAD, MAYONNAISE, GNOCCHI, GUACAMOLE, GROUND BEEFBROWNIES, HUMMUS)

I outlined the costs and buying guides for the ultimate savings.

How much do individual ingredients for homemade bread cost and the prices for homemade bread

Homemade white bread price calculation

Homemade white bread
IngredientsQuantitiesQuantities in gramsCost
White flour, all purpose35,27 oz1kg$3.08
Salt2 tsp12 g$0.16
Water20 fl oz591 g$0.00
Sugar1 tsp4 g$0.02
Active dry yeast0,25 oz7 g$0.22
Electricity (oven) – baking time 35 min.$0.18
Cost of homemade white bread$3.66
Baking weight loss percentages13%
Baked bread loaf weight49.5 oz (1404.18 g)

Homemade whole wheat bread price calculation

Homemade whole wheat bread
IngredientsQuantitiesQuantities in gramsCost
Warm water1 1/2 cups354 g$0.00
Active dry yeast0,25 oz7 g$0.22
Honey1/4 cup85 g$0.88
Unsalted butter, softened3 tbsp42 g$0.31
Whole wheat flour4 1/2 cups540 g$2.02
Kosher salt1/2 tsp3 g$0.04
Electricity (oven) – baking time 45 min.$0.23
Cost of homemade whole wheat bread$3.70
Baking weight loss percentages13%
Baked bread loaf weight31.65 oz (896.97 g)

Homemade rye bread price calculation

Homemade rye bread
IngredientsQuantitiesQuantities in gramsCost
Instant dry yeast1 1/2 tbsp13 g$0.42
Warm water2 cups472 g$0.00
Salt1 1/2 tsp9 g$0.13
Caraway seeds1 1/2 tbsp6,81 g$0.16
Rye flour1 1/2 cup153 g$0.49
All-purpose flour3 cups375 g$1.15
Cornmeal for dusting2 tbsp16 g$0.41
Electricity (oven) – Baking time 30 min.$0.16
Cost of homemade rye bread$2.92
Baking weight loss percentages11%
Baked bread loaf weight32.8 oz (929.88 g)

Homemade sourdough bread price calculation

Homemade sourdough bread
IngredientsQuantitiesQuantities in gramsCost
Bubbly, active starter5.35 oz150 g$0.47
Warm water8.80 fl oz250 g$0.00
Olive oil0.90 oz25 g$0.43
Bread flour (not all purpose flour)17.65 oz500 g$2.19
Fine sea salt0.4 oz11 g$0.15
Electricity (oven) – Baking time 60 min.$0.31
Cost of homemade sourdough bread$3.55
Baking weight loss percentages17%
Baked bread loaf weight27.4 oz (776.88 g)

Homemade french bread price calculation

Homemade french bread
IngredientsQuantitiesQuantities in gramsCost
Warm water2 cups472 g$0.00
Active dry yeast1 tbsp8,5 g$0.27
Sugar2 1/2 tsp31,5 g$0.19
White flour6 cups750 g$2.31
Salt2 1/2 tsp15 g$0.21
Olive oil1 tsp4,4 g$0.08
Electricity (oven) – Baking time 20 min.$0.10
Cost of homemade french bread$3.16
Baking weight loss percentages17%
Baked bread loaf weight37.5 oz (1063.56 g)

Homemade multigrain bread price calculation

Homemade multigrain bread
IngredientsQuantitiesQuantities in gramsCost
Multigrain cereal such as 7-grain cereal1/2 cup82 g$1.91
Boiling water2 cups472 g$0.00
Active dry yeast2 1/4 tsp6,3 g$0.20
Unbleached all-purpose flour4 cups480 g$1.40
Neutral cooking oil or olive oil1 Tbsp13,6 g$0.23
Dark brown sugar1 Tbsp12,5 g$0.09
Fine salt1 1/2 tsp9 g$0.13
Sesame seeds2 tsp6 g$0.08
Flax seeds2 tsp6 g$0.08
Poppy seeds2 tsp6 g$0.25
Electricity (oven) – Baking time 45 min.$0.23
Cost of homemade multigrain bread$4.60
Baking weight loss percentages14%
Baked bread loaf weight33.1 oz (940.32 g)

Does making bread at home save money – homemade bread vs store-bought bread 

The table shows that homemade bread is cheaper than store-bought bread. The prices for store-bought bread are calculated as an average price for a specific bread type and further per ounce. You can get much more expensive bread in the stores and also some cheaper ones.

Each homemade bread is a few cents or dollars cheaper. But if you calculate the price difference for a whole month or even a year, you can see considerable savings in favor of homemade bread.

Monthly and yearly savings are calculated on an average bread consumption basis. Americans consume an average of 53 pounds of bread a year.

If your favorite bread is rye bread, you could save up to 454$ dollars a year if you make it yourself. But if you are a sourdough bread lover, then your savings will only be up to 12$ a year if you make homemade sourdough bread.

For the family of four, the saving start to rise significantly per year if you make homemade bread. A family of four can save up to 1816$ if they would only buy rye bread or up to 91$ a year if this family is a sourdough bread lover.

Savings per person on average consumption basis if you make bread at home from scratch
Price store-boughStore-bought per oz.Homemade per oz.DifferenceSaving per monthSavings per year
White bread24 oz (680 g)$2.97$0.12$0.07$0.05$3.52$42.35
Whole wheat bread20 oz (567 g)$2.88$0.14$0.12$0.03$1.90$22.87
Rye bread16 oz (453 g)$9.99$0.62$0.09$0.54$37.70$454.11
Sourdough bread24 oz (680 g)$3.46$0.14$0.13$0.01$1.03$12.37
French bread12 oz (340 g)$2.50$0.21$0.08$0.12$8.73$105.17
Multigrain bread20.5 oz (581 g)$4.56$0.22$0.14$0.08$5.89$70.96
Savings per family of four, on an average consumption basis, if you make bread at home from scratch
Price store-boughStore-bought per oz.Homemade per oz.DifferenceSaving per monthSavings per year
White bread24 oz (680 g)$2.97$0.12$0.07$0.05$14.06$169.39
Whole wheat bread20 oz (567 g)$2.88$0.14$0.12$0.03$7.60$91.49
Rye bread16 oz (453 g)$9.99$0.62$0.09$0.54$150.80$1,816.43
Sourdough bread24 oz (680 g)$3.46$0.14$0.13$0.01$4.11$49.50
French bread12 oz (340 g)$2.50$0.21$0.08$0.12$34.93$420.69
Multigrain bread20.5 oz (581 g)$4.56$0.22$0.14$0.08$23.56$283.85

Is it better to make hand made bread or make it with a bread machine

Making your bread at home is very easy. The fear of not knowing how to knead bread is redundant. If you make basic white or whole wheat bread, the procedure is relatively simple. You can mix the dough with your hands or a sturdy spatula in a bowl; this way, you won’t even get your hands dirty. If you don’t use a mixing bowl, you can put the ingredients on a kitchen surface and mix everything with your hands, followed by kneading the dough.

After the dough is kneaded, you need to raise it for about an hour, depending on the dough mixture and bread type. After the dough has doubled in size, put it on a tray. Preheat the oven and put it into a hot oven for about 30-45 minutes. When the bread crust is golden brown, the bread is ready.

On the other hand, bread machines are very convenient. You can put all ingredients in a bread pan, select the right program for the bread you want to make, and press the start button. The machine will do everything from mixing to kneading, rising, and baking. 

Usually, the best time to make bread in a bread machine is right before you go to sleep. Put all ingredients in a bread machine, turn on the power, and go to sleep. When you wake up, a nice loaf of warm bread will be waiting for you. All you need to do is take some butter and coffee and have yourself a fantastic breakfast with homemade bread.

3 best bread machines we recommend for making bread in a bread machine

Here are the best three bread machines we would recommend:

Cuisinart Bread Maker, Up To 2lb Loaf, New Compact Automatic

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker, 2 lb. loaf of bread, Stainless Steel/Black

Hamilton Beach 2 lb Digital Bread Maker, Programmable, 12 Settings

Conclusion

Homemade or store-bought, all bread is delicious. But if you check the prices, you will soon consider making your bread at home. The price comparison of the most common bread types we made suggests that you should start making homemade bread, especially if you are on a tight budget. Soon after you start making homemade bread, you will never go back to store-bought bread again.

I’ve written a complete “is it cheaper” analysis of the most popular foods cooks make at home.

(BREAD, PIZZA, PASTA, FRIES, BEEF JERKY, LASAGNA, CHEESECAKE, GRANOLA BARS, GLUTEN-FREE BREAD, MAYONNAISE, GNOCCHI, GUACAMOLE, GROUND BEEFBROWNIES, HUMMUS)

I outlined the costs and buying guides for the ultimate savings.

* 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.

is homemade bread really cheaper

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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