Have you ever wondered if cooking from scratch is really cheaper than some of the best deals out there, like $5 pizzas? Occasionally, buying something pre-made really is cheaper than buying all the ingredients separately, so I set out to see if pizza is one of those things.
We'll start by using the pizza crust recipe from the Food $ense Creates curriculum. If you already have a favorite pizza dough recipe, the prices probably aren't too far off.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon canola oil
I used this brand of whole wheat flour on sale at Macey's for $3.99. That measures out to 26 cents a cup. For 2 cups of flour, 51 cents. If you bought an even bigger bag of flour, it would be even cheaper. I like to use this whole white wheat flour, which is less heavy than the standard red wheat, and it's the same price! Of course, white all-purpose flour is even cheaper, but it doesn't have the benefits of whole grains!
Here's how the rest of the ingredients for the crust work out:
Yeast--bought in bulk @ $9.97 for a 2-pound bag. That's approximately 128 packets which is 7.7 cents each. Buying yeast in individual packets is usually about 75 cents each.
1 teaspoon salt is about .008 cents. We'll round it up to 1 cent
Sugar--a 5 lb bag is $2.58, so 3.2 cents per ounce. You can get about 5 teaspoons in every ounce, so that's about 1 cent for 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar.
Water--pretty much free from the tap, but we'll say it costs 1 cent.
Canola oil--$2.24 for 48 ounces measures to 4.6 cents per ounce. Six teaspoons per ounce makes that .74 cents per teaspoon, which we'll round to 1 cent.
Total cost of crust: 62.7 cents!
To finish the pizza, we'd use about a half cup of this tomato sauce, which would cost 20 cents. Buying tomato paste and thinning it with water could be even cheaper.
We'd use about a cup of shredded cheese on one pizza, which would be $1.09. Definitely the most expensive part of the pizza.
That brings the total of this cheese pizza to $1.92! You could make two for $3.83, and then use $1.17 for toppings before reaching the cost of a Little Caesar's $5 pizza! Two homemade pizzas for $5 or less, and you'll know exactly what's in it.
The thing I love about homemade pizza is I can make a lot of pizza dough, then freeze half of it in a zip loc bag. All I have to do is pull it out of the freezer in the morning, and by dinnertime it has thawed out and risen, ready to put on a pan with toppings and bake for 10 minutes.
This is a pizza one of our participants made. Come to our classes, and you can monkey around with your food, too!