- Food and Cooking
Not Always Cheaper to Bake Your Own Bread
Not always cheaper to bake your own bread.
Frugal friends, it is not always cheaper to bake your own bread. When you factor in your time, your own ingredients, and creativity it's anything but cheaper in my opinion. So it just depends. My number one reason for baking bread at home is that I can control the ingredients. Bread is a staple in my household, and it is important to me to make sure I provide it at a good price without sacrificing taste, nutrition, and texture in that order.
One of the health issues in my household is high blood pressure. Sodium, better known as salt, can be a common restrictive dietary item in the management of this disease. Commercial bread can contain a huge amount of sodium. So, baking your own bread can be helpful in the management of sodium.
A lot of people are gluten free, and can start baking their own gluten free breads at home. People on a weight loss journey can custom make their breads. I know that I for one, tend to eat less bread when I make my own. This translates into me being able to keep a little more bread in my life when I am losing, or maintaining my weight.
The question is which is cheaper, baking your own bread at home, or purchasing bread at the store? A lot of individuals say that you can save money by baking your bread at home. I have been baking bread for a long time and have not been able to beat , or even meet the cost of commercial bread. So, my hat is off to these individuals.
Sometimes baking homemade bread cheaper than store bought can and does happen, but is not a given in my opinion. The cost of bread baking will depend on several factors, such as quality ingredients, quality being very relative. Frugal friends, you know first hand that quality does not come cheap.
Quality grains and seeds are expensive, in my book. Also, when I have time I grind my own grains for freshness which, in my opinion, is worthwhile and super easy to do. Cost is a major factor in stretching those bread making budget dollars. However, not everything is about dollars and cents.
Buying yeast in bulk does however help, but unlike commercial bakeries, I cannot buy wholesale my major ingredients for better pricing. Without this edge I am at a disadvantage to commercial bread bakers based on my cost. However, disadvantages sometimes can, with a little creativity, be worked around.
A lot of times when something is mass produced the attention to detail will not be on the same level as when the focus is more specific. This, in my opinion, is where the home bread baker can shine. Let's also factor in my time and electricity cost.
My skill in baking bread that is tasty and appealing to the senses takes time, not to mention lots of hard work, and sometimes with little payoff. If baking bread is a skill you would like to have, just stay with it. Trial and error will, in lots of cases, get you there. This is just a small part of learning an awesome new skill, that will pay for itself in many, many ways.
Frugal friends, tasty nutrient dense bread doesn't just happen. There is a learning curve, so if you would like to venture into making homemade bread, understand up front that no matter how easy the recipe, baking bread is a tool that will require skill. The skill of the baker and the quality of the ingredients, in my opinion, is not unlike a tailor made suit costing you more than buying a suit off the rack.
I think it is a pity that many people view commercial bread as being inferior to homemade bread. The truth is you can make very crappy nutritionally inferior bread at home too, and buy awesome wholesome bread at the store. I know first hand because I have done both. When I first start baking my own bread, I thought I was providing a good service for me, and my family by not saying no to recipes with cheap ingredients.
When I'm baking my own bread I am seeking something special compared to just buying run-of-the-mill bread. I have come across some awesome deals on store bought wholesome bread that I stockpile in the freezer. I thaw out one loaf at a time, and never refreeze.
So as you can see, I bake and buy bread. This is what works for me. A friend of mine never buys store bought bread because lots of store breads are loaded with preservatives. I have a little more tolerance in this area. The truth is I have only purchased what I concluded, after reading the label, to be good quality store bought bread, for 25 cents a loaf in many cases. I can't make bread for that price unless I use cheap ingredients and perhaps not even then.
In a modern society we are exposed to many toxins on a daily basis. I read labels, and decide for myself what is consumed by me and my family. Also, I rely on the intelligence of the body. If I consume a food that makes me feel sick, or perhaps drained, I will stop consuming it whether it is considered a health food or not.
If I can stockpile quality commercial bread at a good price that perhaps does not eliminate, but does however, lower my toxic load, I consider this purchase a win for me, but not my friend who has her own truth. It's been my experience, that when the quality goes up the cost also goes up, regardless of where the bread was baked.
By baking your bread at home you can produce, in my opinion, a better product that can be tailored to your specific needs, and requirements. It is your personalized creativity that will knock commercial competition right out of the park, with the many advantages that can far outweigh the price.
© 2017 JM McKnight