Frugal Cooking: Bread Busts The Budget

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If you haven’t noticed, bread is expensive. Especially if you want to feed your family whole grains. This past winter I fell into the habit of buying really yummy, gourmet breads at Costco. Everything from bagels, baguettes, English muffins, delicious San Francisco style sourdough (just like back home) and regular whole grain sandwich bread. Well, it was adding up to be about $16 a week! Yikes!

And then I got on the bandwagon to bake for awhile. I had gotten out of the habit since last summer when my bread machine broke. Yes, I used it so much the paddle fell off the pan and, of course, mine was a model for which you could not buy a replacement pan. I do have a handy-dandy KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but it takes more brain power than I have on a usual day. The bread machine was just so easy. (And I had the best bread machine cookbook!) But, late winter I started experimenting and made baguettes and bagels myself. See?

I made those! So, I know it can be done. For cheap.

Unfortunately, I have become really lazy when it comes to bread baking. And so the last few months I’ve just bought cheap bread….bread that makes me feel guilty because there’s who-knows-what in it. And even at two bucks a loaf, it really isn’t “cheap” bread.

So, my goal for the next month is to try to bake bread once a week. It probably won’t be as good as what I could make in a bread machine, but I’m going to try. At 3 loaves a week (when we are conservative in our bread eating), I think I can save a few bucks. And every little dollar counts!

Got a great, EASY bread recipe for me to try? Post it or a link in the comments, please!

For more frugal tips, check out Crystal’s blog every Friday.

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  1. I love to make my own bread. I do buy some at the bread outlet for times sake. But I enjoy making differnt recipes. I actully find making bread relaxing. I have a few recipes on my blog. Just look under breads and rolls. I have a new favorite bread cookbook though. It is “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day”. I checked it out of my library. I would look at it first don’t buy it with out looking at it. But I love it. It is not really 5 minutes a day, but it has quite a few different bread recipes that you make up and store the dough in the fridge so you have bread dough waiting anytime you need it. That is if you have room in the fridge. The dough last a week. Then it gives you different recipes to use each dough for. I am going to review it soon on my blog. I want to try a few more recipes first. Sorry for the long comment. 🙂

  2. Thank you, thank you! I will try it all out this week.

    Lynn, comment long all you want. 😉

  3. I just bought a bread machine. I use it a lot. I also have a kitchen-aid but the bread never seemed to turn out right, always a little dry.

    I have found though that even making the XL loaf, we need to make a lot of bread. Especially if we have sandwiches on the menu. One loaf just about lasts one meal. I don’t know if I am saving money or nor, but we sure like the taste and I like that I know what is going in it.

    I just bought the ice cream attachment for the kitchen-aid (with a birthday gift card) for the same reason. We have made several flavors so far and next we are trying sorbets.

  4. Lynn has got it right! I love “Artisan Bread in 5”. The greatest thing about the dough is that you do not need to use a bread machine to mix/stir the dough — NO KNEADING! I store it in an ice cream bucket in the fridge. The basic boule dough recipe was featured on The Splendid Table at: (OR

    But, the book does list the salt as 1 1/2 TBSP salt not tsp. Enjoy!

  5. I LOOOVE using my bread machine, but my husband prefers store-bought for sandwiches. So I don’t make bread as often as I’d like. I’m going to put that bread machine book on my wish list over at PBS though. Looks great.

  6. I adore homemade breads! I havent cooked any in ages time to dust off the joy of baking haha


  7. Thanks for the great input, ladies. Oh happy day! My dad bought me a new bread machine today! Yeah!