One way I save money in our household is to make my own bread.
We use about 3 loaves a week, at about $2.28 each, which adds up to $6.84 a week, or $27.36 a month….you get the picture.
Now, I have a bread machine, that I picked up from Goodwill about a year ago. I paid 15.00 for it, and it paid for its self with in the first couple of months. If you can’t find one at your local Goodwill or thrift store, you can find them on Amazon by clicking here.
Does this actually save money?
You are probably thinking the same thing I did when I came up with the idea of making my own bread to save money. Am I really saving money?
This is based upon my prices here in the midwest. The breakdown is as follows:
Flour, 5lbs for 1.88
Vegetable oil, 48oz for 1.88
Yeast, 4oz for 4.58
Sugar, 4lb for 1.98
That all comes out to 10.86. I know in my house, we always have sugar, vegetable oil, salt and flour on hand, as we use them for other things as well. The only extra ingredient I had to buy, was the yeast. And I usually get 6 loaves out of a bag of flour. I’ll spare you the math, but it comes about 4.34 per week for bread. I make 1 loaf per day. It’s super simple and literally takes about 15 minutes. My machine does the rest.
To save even more money, I coupon; so the price per week is even LESS if I coupon for those items (my favorite stores to coupon at are Dollar General and Family Dollar). If you work it right, you can get that flour and sugar pretty much free. (We’ll get to that in another post)
In order to make sense, it has to save money, taste like the store-brought product, and be quick and easy.
Let’s face it. When making household staples from scratch, the quality has to be the same as what your replacing. If the item tastes nothing like what you would buy from the store, or if it takes way too much time to prepare, you’re going to get discouraged and not stick with it.
With SOME items, the convenience is worth the money spent. With as busy as we are in my house, I could never make cheese. (Kudos to those that can!) There just isn’t enough time between kids, work, etc.
That being said, I have searched high and low for a recipe that is going to have the same texture and taste as sandwich bread. My family’s favorite is Wonder Bread, and I think I have found the perfect “copy cat” recipe. I needed a bread that is soft (yet firm enough to not get soggy when you put mayonnaise on it), and not yeasty-tasting, and not overly sweet.
I tweaked and tweaked a basic bread recipe until I finally found what my kids call “moms special bread”.
Fool-Proof Homemade Bread
2 tsp yeast. I use the instant yeast that is compatible with “Rapid Rise” recipes.
2 1/2 TB sugar.
1 cup of hot water. I use cold tap water, and put it in the microwave for about a minute.
1/4 cup vegetable oil.
3 cups + 2 TB of stirred flour.
1 tsp salt.
**I have used both all-purpose and bread flour. I always fluff my flour before spooning it into the measuring cup. I then take a knife and scrape the top of the measuring cup. Honestly, I haven’t noticed a difference in the way the bread rises with bread flour vs. all-purpose. And it tastes the same in my opinion.**
First, put the yeast and sugar in your bowl, add the water. Let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast will foam, and look something like this:
Next, pour your vegetable oil in, put the flour in and lastly, the salt:
Finally, close your lid, and set your machine to “Rapid”. And walk away. When it’s done, it will look something like this: