Nothing beats the flavour and aroma of freshly baked bread, making it from scratch however is a messy and time-consuming processes. A bread machine significantly reduces the mess and the time required to make a loaf of bread, but is it worth it economically.
Typically a loaf of bread from a grocery store can range anywhere from around $2 per loaf
to $3.50 to $4 for something a little fancier:
The recipe I regularly uses calls for the following:
- 250mL Warm Water
- 50mL Vegetable Oil (any vegetable oil like canola or sunflower oil should work)
- 375g All-Purpose Flour
- 1½ tsp (8.5g) Salt
- 3 tbsp (38g) White Sugar
- 1 Packet of Yeast (7g)
Breaking down the cost of each ingredient yields the following:
|Ingredient||Package Size||Package Price||Price for One Loaf|
|Water||From the tap||Negligable||$0.00|
However, the loaf the above recipe makes is only about half the size of a loaf from the store, adjusting the cost of our homemade loaf to the equivalent in store-bought bread gives a cost of $1.64 per loaf, still cheaper a typical loaf from the store.
This calculation however does not take into account the cost of the bread machine itself, which can be had for $59.99 + tax on amazon.ca:
With tax (13%), this bread machine costs $67.79. Given a cost savings of $0.33 per loaf, it would take 206 loaves of bread to break even. That said, it's not uncommon to find bread machines at thrift shops, I bought mine at such a shop for $16.99 + tax ($19.20), which means I only need to make 59 loaves of bread to break even. Not bad, considering we go through about a loaf of bread per week, I'd break even in a little over a year.
In spite of the cost savings not being terribly significant, a bread machine still offers significant advantages over buying store bought bread. Not only can the machine make loaves of bread, it can also take most of the work out of making homemade pizza dough. Further, the 'dough' cycle allows you to shape the dough as you please and make things like hamburger buns and baguettes. You also have control over the recipe, which allows you to experiment with different ingredients and make 'fancier' breads. These typically cost quite a bit more than the $1.97 loaf I used as an example in this article, so the cost savings in such a case would be higher.
Finally, as I said at the beginning, nothing beats the smell and taste of a freshly baked loaf of bread.