When I was still working outside the home, I never would’ve entertained the idea of baking bread. In fact, I never really thought about there being another way to arrive at ‘bread’ besides loaves magically appearing on the grocery store shelf.
I always assumed that trying to do something like that myself would take way too much time and energy. But I’m happy to say that I was so wrong! Believe it or not (and I didn’t at first), baking bread is actually simple, AND it can save you money. And did I mention? Delish.
From breadwinner to bread-baker
When I suddenly quit my job and found myself a homemaker, budgeting got super important super fast. The only way I’m able to make it happen at all is by keeping track of spending and cutting costs.
I hadn’t given much thought to budgeting before, so getting started was a struggle, and there was a huge learning curve. If you’re in the same boat that I was in and wondering about getting started with a basic budget, check out this post here.
Budgeting is actually something I enjoy. Hopefully that doesn’t sound too crazy! The more you do it, the better you become, and it’s easier to enjoy something if you’re good at it.
In order to become successful at budgeting, I realized it would require researching and trying new things, like figuring out how much I can save by making bread at home. If I would’ve known how little time and effort it takes to bake homemade bread? Totally would have switched to it sooner. It’s way easier than you’re probably thinking.
Free savings checklist
Trying something new
So I found this delicious-sounding recipe on Pinterest a while back from The Curvy Carrot for Rosebud’s Butter-Topped White Bread. I pinned it for later, but who was I kidding, homemade bread? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Then it dawned on me: “Uh, you’re a homemaker now, you do have time for that.”
Plus we’re on a very small income, so I’m all about new ways to save. So I decided to give the homemade bread a try. Even though it’s a yeast recipe and that scared the livin’ lights out of me.
Now I do know how to bake a pretty mean homemade pie, but let’s be honest, the crust on that bad boy does not involve dealing with yeast.
I had visions of that episode from I Love Lucy where the bread comes barreling out of the oven and pins her against the cabinet. I was kind of afraid that would happen. (And if I’m completely honest, also a little disappointed when it didn’t.)
But thinking of baking bread myself and realizing it can take 2-3 hours, I thought, “Yeah okay, I’ll try it once. Then I can say I did it.”
But while I was doing this thing, I learned that the actual time I spent making the bread was only about 35 minutes. I know, sounds too good to be true but I’m not even kidding!
The rest of the time is spent letting the dough rise, twice, and then letting it bake. It gave me plenty of time to focus on other stuff while it was rising.
I honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was, and that’s me doing it without a mixer or bread machine; I’m making these puppies completely by hand. And still, totally worth it. But just imagine how using a mixer would cut down on time even more.
Healthier and more affordable
Not to mention the fact that when you bake bread at home, you know exactly what’s going into it. I’m not a purist, organic person by any means (it would be nice but hey, I’m doing what I can on a budget here), but you know for sure when you bake it yourself that there aren’t any secret chemicals to make it a more appealing color or have a longer shelf life.
That reminds me, be sure to cover and refrigerate or freeze it.
Bonus tip: I’ve had mine last in the fridge for nearly 2 weeks! The trick is to keep it wrapped up tight in cling wrap.
And the best part of all? The savings are pretty impressive. Right now my husband and I (and the Squishy Pug) are living on $15,000 a year, so any amount of savings is worthwhile to us.
And $50 a year saved on something as easy as bread? Yes, please.
Here’s how I figured out the savings. I did all the measurement conversions and figured the cost per ounce. The cheapest store-bought brands came out to around $2.00 per loaf compared with the homemade at around $1.30.
If you bake two loaves every 10 days, that’s $50 saved per year, plus it tastes soooo much better. Who would’ve thought this one change could end up saving at least $50 a year? Sigh… I love savings. And bread.
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