Making Homemade Bread can save you TONS – NSC Series

Making Homemade Bread can save you TONS

Making homemade bread is one of those things that everyone should learn how to do at some point in their lives. The benefits far outweigh the work and once you figure out how to make one type, you can make just about everything (I know, I’ve tried)! The taste is amazing, the texture is great, it’s warm, and it can save you tons of money, but don’t take my word for it: I’ve got a couple examples of others who enjoy homemade bread, a cost analysis, and some recipes for you to enjoy!

Imagine enjoying a steaming hot bowl of soup while dipping in a warm, soft piece of freshly baked bread…

Imagine waking up in the morning to the scent of homemade cinnamon rolls smothered in cream cheese frosting wafting down the halls…

Imagine pulling apart a big, soft pretzel – still warm and sprinkled with salt – and dipping it into some melted cheese…

Now, instead of imagining it – let’s make it a reality.

Making Homemade Bread

If you are new to our NSC Series, start here!
-If not, you can skip this section-

As some of you may know, we are in the midst of our first ever No Spend Challenge (NSC) which started January 1.

The short story is that my wife and I racked up a ton of debt (read how HERE) and want to pay it off as quickly as possible so that we can live our dream lives (read about our goals HERE). This challenge will help us learn about living frugal, saving money, and paying off our debt faster.

Visit our post, Frugal Living at its Finest: the No Spend Challenge, to view why we are doing the challenge, what the challenge entails, and the rules.

The hardest thing about budgeting and frugal living is doing it alone and that’s why we want to invite you all to join us on our NSC. Sign up below to opt-in to our email community, filled with exclusive tips and tricks for saving money to survive living frugal during your NSC month.

Follow our rules or make your own! Join for one week or the entire month! We know that not everyone is in the same situation we are in. Stick with the No Spend Challenge for as much or as little as you are able in your situation and don’t be afraid to hop on after the starting date (it’s never too late to join in on the fun!).

We’ll be taking the challenge right alongside you – with daily blog posts, encouragements, and exclusive email information and communication: this will be the single, greatest choice you make to jump start the New Year.

Why Making Homemade Bread is Important

I know what you are thinking: it’s a lot of work to make homemade bread just because it tastes good. However, don’t let the work scare you away. There are so many reasons why you should make homemade bread.

A good friend of mine, Lisa, outlines them in her blog, Comfortably Imperfect (Click HERE).

She states in her post 6 Reasons Why You Should Make Homemade Bread;

  1. Homemade bread is so much better for you.
  2. Homemade bread tastes so much better than store bought.
  3. It is much easier to make than you think.
  4. Making your own bread will save you money.
  5. There is something deeply satisfying about making food from scratch.
  6. Your friends and family will think you are a rockstar

Go check out the rest of her post (HERE) for a more in-depth explanation of each of these. I promise it’s worth it, she’s an awesome blogger!

Making Homemade Bread (2)

Making Homemade Bread: Cost Analysis

Now, I want to go a little deeper into her point number four about how making homemade bread can save you money. Do you remember when I did the cost analysis on making homemade pasta and discovered you could save over $100? If not, check it out (HERE); How Making Homemade Pasta could save you Hundreds.

Anyway, I plan to do the same cost analysis here with you today so that you can easily see how making homemade bread can save you tons of money!

Let’s take a normal loaf of traditional white bread. In both price examples, we are looking at the cost of one loaf of bread.

Homemade Bread Store-Bought Bread
Ingredients 26 oz Salt: $.75 Store-Bought Bread: $3
48 oz Oil: $2.28
5 lb Flour: $2
4 lb Sugar: $2.38
4 oz Active Dry Yeast: $4.78
Average Cost for 1 Loaf $.38 $3

I know you are probably wondering where these numbers come from. Well, I took the average cost of ingredients for the homemade bread from the stores in my area. These could differ some based on your area.

As for the store-bought loaf of bread, I used a decent-quality loaf of bread on the low-end of the scale. I know that there are breads that you can get for closer to $2 if you sacrifice quality and other breads that you can get for $5+ if you want super high quality (I promise that the homemade bread is higher quality than this, though). I chose to stick in the middle/low end to give you all a decent idea of what this will save you.

Anyway, here’s where the final average cost per loaf comes from for making homemade bread as opposed to purchasing it from the store.

Let’s break it down one ingredient at a time:

  • 26 oz Salt – $.75: One 26 oz container of salt can create 144 batches of homemade bread making it $.005 per loaf.
  • 48 oz Oil – $2.28: One 48 oz container of oil can create 96 batches of homemade bread making it $.02 per loaf.
  • 5 lb Flour – $2: One 5 pound bag of flour can create 10 batches of homemade bread making it $.2 per loaf.
  • 4 lb Sugar – $2.38: One 4 pound bag of sugar can create around 150 batches of homemade bread making it $.01 per loaf.
  • 4 oz Active Dry Yeast – $4.78: One 4 oz jar of active dry yeast can create around 34 batches of homemade bread making it $.14 per loaf.

As you can see, with these ingredients, it costs roughly $.38 to bake one loaf of bread at home. Thirty-eight cents – how awesome is that?!

There is an upfront cost of $12.19 to buy the ingredients in bulk (it’d be pretty hard to buy one teaspoon of salt at a time…), but I promise it’s worth it. Don’t believe me? Check out the numbers below.

Now, I also want you to realize that I am doing this cost analysis based on you eating a loaf of homemade bread two times per week. Remember that you can also save money on this homemade bread by making your own cinnamon rolls, pretzels, crescent rolls, etc. and eat like kings for super cheap. In my house, we use recipes like these almost every, single day – so I know that we save more than we outlined here in this post.

The question is: will you actually save tons of money as I have suggested? Will it be worth your while? Let’s do the math and find out.

If you eat two loaves of store-bought bread per week for 52 weeks, you will spend a total of $312 – which isn’t too bad at all. The cost is $6 per week, which is pretty slim when you consider how many meals you can serve with a loaf of bread.

Now, to take a look at why making homemade bread is so much better. If you eat two loaves of homemade bread per week for the entire year, you’ll spend a total of $39.52.

What?! That’s right. You read that right. Each week you’ll spend less than $.80 and each year you’ll spend less than $40. How cool is that? Now, when I told you about making homemade pasta, I found a way to cut your bill in half saving you over $100. However, as you can tell, making your own bread far surpasses that total cutting your bill by more than SEVEN TIMES.

Over the course of the year, your family will save $272.48 – TONS of money – just by making homemade bread!

My wife and I have chosen not to buy any more store-bought bread – it’s simply too expensive once you are able to make your own. You don’t knead a bread machine to start making your own bread, but even if you purchase a bread maker you’ll make up your expenses within a few short months – how cool is that? Imagine having $272.48 in your pocket every year!

Making Homemade Bread: The Recipe

Now it’s time for the recipe. I know there are many different recipes out there, but I want to make sure that you get the one we did our cost analysis on. Remember, you can also make crescent rolls, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, pretzels, and more once you get the hang of it – saving you even more per year than what you’ll already save with loaves of bread!


  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Active Dry Yeast

For the full recipe, visit the Oster website. We use the Oster 1 pound traditional white bread loaf recipe that came in our Bread Machine’s cookbook. We found a similar one online from Oster, but it creates a 2 pound loaf, so we cut this in half. Here’s the link (HERE):

Making Homemade Bread (1)

Thank you for reading!

I hope this post helps you to further your bread-making skills and save tons of money. I know it has helped us. Imagine: over $200 every year! Crazy stuff.

Anyway, it’s day 11 of the No Spend Challenge already and things are going well. I hope the same is true for all of you!

Our quote for the day is by Benjamin Franklin and really encompasses our post for today.

Quote - Day 11

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” -Benjamin Franklin

As I continue through this challenge, I realize how much the little things add up. Like today’s post on bread: sure it’s only $3 a loaf, but that’s $312 per year! I used to go to Starbucks often too, or grab a soda at the gas station, but then I think more about how much those little things add up and how quickly they can sink your financial ship. Just something to keep in mind as we move forward!

What is your favorite homemade food to make?

Leave your responses in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

30 Replies to “Making Homemade Bread can save you TONS – NSC Series”

  1. Thank you for inspiring me to give making my own bread a try…you won’t believe, just this December I bought all the ingredients to make bread but was intimidated while watching a youtube video for instructions, and didn’t even so much as attempt making the bread. This is exactly what I needed, thank you for sharing!
    xx, Kusum |

    1. I’m so glad that I could help to inspire you to start making your own bread! It sounds scary and hard, but it’s actually not that hard at all (especially if you have access to a bread maker, but even if you don’t) and just imagine how much money you’ll save! Thanks for commenting, Kusum 🙂

  2. I made the same calculations some years ago. Several years I did bread manually ( I preferred to do one big bread per week and after 4 days some small breads = brioche – are perfect for sandwiches – and are cooked faster).
    In plus, I reduced the price with the sugar cut ( that gives just calories in the bread), and buying a bigger quantity of flour and of dry yeast.

    Now I have a bread machine, and even the breads are a little to big for us, is still a business ( I calculated that I recovered the investment in less than 30 weeks).

    As a small remark, the biggest business was to not get out from house to buy bread because everyone from family was asking…a croissant, a cake, something :)). And I have evenings when all I want is a cup of warm milk with fresh bread and I am happy; I had mornings when I left in the hurry and I took 2 brioches and 2 apples and this was my lunch.

    1. Warm, homemade bread can certainly be life changing! It can save money by becoming meals if you need it to and snacks instead of expensive snacks (like you were saying). I haven’t tried brioches, but I may need to! Like you said, the hardest part is keeping everyone in the family happy – haha. 🙂

  3. Wow! First of all, I never had a desire to make homemade bread until now. You make it sound so good. Secondly, I never realized what I could save by making my own. Not to mention the added benefits of making my own. I plan to give it a try. Let’s hope it tastes as good as you make it sound. 🙂

    1. It REALLY is as good as it sounds, Keishawna. I promise. Homemade bread is like…to die for. I hope you try making your own and like it! Let me know if you do – I love hearing responses 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  4. I love the taste of homemade bread–but ever since we moved out of the USA, we rarely eat bread at all. I don’t have an oven, and we buy maybe one loaf of bread every two months, so thus far the cost of investing in an oven seems to outweigh the benefits. Baked food is really yummy, though! Most of the time, we’re pretty content with rice. 🙂

    1. Yeah, if you aren’t eating bread regularly the machine or oven would be hard to recoup the cost. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t able to get those yet. When you do, I hope you come back here and make some of your own yummy bread! Even so, keep reading – I might be able to help you earn enough extra on the side to start getting some of those luxuries – check out the Make Money Online page! Until then, I’m so glad you’re content and happy – that’s what truly matters – right? Thanks for reading and commenting, Rachel 🙂

  5. This is impressively in-depth – awesome!!! Not gonna lie, bread is so intimidating to me. Baking is my favorite hobby, but getting things to rise correctly can be so hard. I’m getting better each time, though 🙂 You’ve inspired me – homemade bread will be made in my home soon!

    1. Thanks, Joy! I’m so glad that you truly enjoyed the post. I try to make them as in-depth and helpful as possible 🙂 I hope you enjoy the bread you make – let us know how it turns out! Thanks for reading & commenting

  6. I love this article! I was making my own homemade bread without a bread maker for several months, and it just got to be too time consuming. But the bread was unbelievable. How much time does it save you? And how much did your bread maker cost? By the numbers, even one that costs $250 would still end up being break even in the first year and then be pure savings after that. Also, how do you know how the energy requirements differ (if at all) for a bread maker vs. the oven? Thanks for the great post!!

    1. Hey there, Mortimer! Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it! Making bread without a bread maker is REALLY hard and like you said, very time consuming… but bread is SO good. Having a bread maker saves me a ton of time – honestly, I can put in the ingredients (takes 5 min) and then set it and it’ll do everything. I can set it the night before or right before work and have homemade bread when I wake up or when I walk in the door at night – still warm. It’s AMAZING.

      As for how much it costs, like you said – even at $250, you would recoup costs fast. I received my bread maker as a hand-me-down from my in-laws who were no longer using it. It’s an Oster brand, old one, but I LOVE it. We use it every single day and it works great. You can get a newer one on Amazon for like $60 or a used one there for about $30, so the costs would be recouped within a few weeks / month. REALLY cheap and definitely worth it. Here’s a link for one that is a good brand (oster) and a good cost for either the new or used: Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker

      As for energy requirements, I would say that a bread maker uses around the same energy as like a microwave or toaster oven (so less than a big oven)

      I hope that helps! Thank you again for reading and commenting, Mortimer!

  7. I made manually bread during 3 years. Because was boring I was preparing when… I listen the radio/looking a movie/speaking on skype. There are some recipes where we work less but the bread needs time to planning and to respect the steps. Today is easy with a clock/phone to call in 15-30min to do a new strechfolding, but my granma has not this ‘gadget’.
    When I know I have no time to cook, I did in the weekend small breads (like for sandwiches) and put in the freezer a part. I just took off 3 every evening to have for breakfast. It is not the same, but try this 1-2 times: is less time consuming, less electricity spend, and better than anything bought.

    In plus, who wants, can take his time to check a reeaaally cheap breadmachine (I bought mine with a reduction)

    1. It’s much harder to make bread when you are kneading it manually, but when you have a bread machine it’s so easy and definitely worth it! Bread machines can be found for cheap all over because most people are interested in buying store-bought bread, so I hope some of my readers will start making their own and enjoying delicious breads 🙂 Thank you for your comments / support!

  8. Costco sells 32 oz of yeast for about $4. I bought mine last February and divided it into Mason quart jars and stick it in the freezer. I make pizza dough weekly and still have one jar of yeast left after 11 months. That makes your bread recipe even cheaper by about 12 cents per batch!

    1. Wow! I didn’t realize you could save 12 cents per batch by buying yeast in bulk (in fact, I didn’t realize that you could buy it in bulk so cheap). I will definitely be looking into this and purchasing it during our next shopping trip! 🙂 Thank you for the comment and info, Liz!

    2. Costco also sells 50 pound bags of all purpose and bread flour for around $10. If you can store them, its a huge savings. We use the giant plastic pretzel containers that Costco also sells for this purpose.

      1. This is so great to know! My wife and I don’t have a membership, but a co-worker of mine does and has stated that she’ll pick anything up for us that we need. We will definitely be utilizing this come February! 🙂 Thank you!

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