Monday, April 2, 2012

My Pizza Calculations

I know that I've done this before, but times and prices change so it's always good to revisit.  I decided to do the calculation today because the 3 of us mowed through one pizza and one focaccia (which is the same as a pizza except without the toppings).  I assume that before I know it, we'll be mowing our way through 2.  So how much money am I really saving?  I mean, you can get 2 medium pizzas from Dominos for $6 each, and they've definitely improved their flavors the last few years.  I prefer more local pizza places, but you'll be paying $13 a pizza there, easy.

We don't eat pizza that often - once or twice a month, but for this price, maybe I should do it every week.  And yes, we always add a veggie (steamed, stir-fried, or salad) on the side.

I use the bread machine recipe to make the dough, and the recipe makes 3 medium shells.  Or 2 large.  But the 2 large are a bit too large for my pans, so I do 3.

So here's the summary, for 3 pizzas:
Dough:  $1.06
Man, this is cheap.  But my whole wheat flour is only $0.60/lb at Trader Joe's, and the bread flour (I do 1/2 and 1/2) is about the same price when purchased in a 10-lb bag.  Most of this is the flour (71 cents).  The rest of the money is yeast (I buy in 2 lb bags at Costco, so it's pennies), dry milk, oil, water, and salt.  All cheap ingredients.  Lastly is a little oil and cornmeal for the pans.

Sauce: $0.50
Here I am using storebought marinara, assuming 1/4 cup per pizza.  ($2 for 24 oz.) Any more than that and you'll get soggy pizza, in my opinion (unless you cook it down, and I'm too lazy).

Onion: $0.20
I like sauteed onion on my pizza, and they're cheap.

Olives: $0.80
Our topping of choice, and I like good olives.  A mix of kalamata and green.

Cheese: $3.75
This is the good cheese, about 3 oz per pizza. I buy a 4-cheese mix of pre-shredded from Trader Joe's.

Total: $6.31 for 3 pizzas, or a shockingly trim $2.10 per pizza!  A 65% savings over Dominos, and healthier to boot.

Options to make it even cheaper:
Dough: Buy flour in bulk, and you can probably make it cheaper.  You can get AP flour as loss leaders during the holidays and you can make the dough by hand without the dry milk.

Sauce: Make your own from canned tomatoes in the #10 can (which are about $2.50 for 100 oz).  Or even better, can your own marinara from home grown tomatoes.  This can be affordable, but it depends on your locale, your space, your desire to garden, and your water costs.  I actually used home-canned marinara most recently (from CSA tomatoes that we got on a "pick all you want for free" day).

Olives: you can buy cheaper olives, or use cheaper toppings

Cheese: mozzarella can be had for approximately $2/lb at Costco and similar stores.  That will shave $2.64 off your 9 oz of cheese.  That alone cuts your per pizza cost to $1.22 per pizza!  That's a savings of 80% off Dominos!

Now, it's important to note that I did NOT factor in costs to run the oven in these calculations.  But then again, if I got take-out or ordered in from Dominos, I'd have to pay for gas/ give a tip. So I consider it a wash.


Jane said...

Yay for saving $$! I can't even eat pizza out anymore, not to mention I always think it tastes blah over what I can make!

Biz said...

Yep, mainly the reason I make my own pizza too!

I have a deep freeze, and I store my flour in there - I can buy in bulk and it stays fresh.

I also buy what my deli calls "cheese ends." It's the end of cheese when they slice it - they sell a one pound package for $.99. I then bring it home and grind it myself.

I just have to pick through and take out any pepper jack cheese since I am the only one who likes it! It's usually a delicious combo of American, cheddar, muenster and parm!