Have you ever stood in the middle of a grocery store aisle, eye-balling a row of alluring boxed foods, and wondered, Is it really cheaper to bake from scratch?


Ready-made mixes are smartly packaged in such a way that they almost seem homemade… “made with real blueberries!” and “9 servings of whole grains!”.  Sometimes, we busy cooks have to wonder if it’s honestly worth our time and effort to skip the boxes and cans, and head for the raw ingredients, instead. 


While I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking from scratch, I’d never really counted the cost until I compiled a recipe eBook, Wholesome Mixes, a few years ago. I did a little homework and was amazed at what I found:



{The following prices are based upon the cost of ingredients at the time of the ebook publication; I used organic, whole wheat pastry flour and other natural ingredients in the mixes.}



It costs only 78-cents to make your own Blueberry Bread or Muffin mix… compare that to over $2 a box for store-bought Blueberry Muffin mix!


Did you know it will cost you a mere 41-cents to prepare a homemade Yellow Cake mix from scratch? It’s more than twice that much if you purchase a box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker cake mix from the grocery store.


The same is true for Chocolate Cake mix, which will cost just over 30-cents to prepare per batch!


Everyone loves a fresh batch of homemade brownies… but did you know you will pay at least $2 a box for store-bought varieties vs. making your own homemade mix for just 39-cents?


For breakfast you can enjoy homemade pancakes for just 24-cents a batch, or you can be a really “big spender” and enjoy oatmeal waffles or homemade biscuits for just 48-cents a batch!


Why not spruce up Sunday dinner with a plate of delicious hot rolls… your homemade mix will cost you just 74-cents per batch to prepare.



I was really SHOCKED at the amount of money saved simply by baking from scratch!  


If you honestly crave the convenience of a ready-made mix, try mixing up a few extra batches of your favorite recipe to use when you’re in a hurry.  You can still have a quick batch of pancakes or a quick pan of homemade brownies without compromising your health and budget.  (If you grind your own grains, try storing your pre-made mixes in the freezer up to a few weeks to preserve freshness.) 



Now that our family eats gluten-free and our cost of food preparation has gone up a notch or two, I still consistently find that I save money when I opt for homemade recipes over store-bought mixes.  (Shoshanna’s Gluten-free Flour Mix is an absolute life-saver!)



Here are a few of our family’s favorite from-scratch recipes from over the years (you’ll find even more recipes in our Wholesome Mixes ebook):



Wholesome Mixes Little Natural Cottage eBook



Whole Grain Belgian Waffles (gluten-free)

Whole Grain Pizza Crust (gluten-free)

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes (gluten-and-grain-free)

Coconut Sugar Cookies (gluten-free)

Banana Bread Muffins (gluten-free)

Blender Banana Bread (wheat)

Zucchini Cupcakes (wheat)

Homemade Lemon Sponge Cake (wheat)

Homemade Granola Bars (wheat)


Do you bake from scratch?  Why or why not?




This post is linked at Raising Arrows, Above Rubies, Growing Home, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Mighty Arrows.

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8 thoughts on “Is it really cheaper to bake from scratch?

  1. I bake from scratch for health reasons more than anything. Not to mention homemade baked goods taste a lot better!

    Posted on April 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm
  2. I’m really glad to read this post! I’ve always known it is supposed to be cheaper to do it yourself, but it is nice to have it confirmed! And Joanna (below) is right – it tastes better too!

    Posted on March 7, 2013 at 9:26 am
  3. I calculated that here (in Canada, where food prices are higher) it costs me about 42 cents per loaf of bread (a batch makes 4 loaves, so $1.68 per batch) from scratch. I can’t buy a loaf of bread for less than $1.49, and homemade tastes much better!

    I think I’ve bought 3 boxed cake/brownie mixes in my whole life. 😀

    Posted on March 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm
  4. I don’t do a lot of homemade mixes, but I do a LOT of from-scratch bread, and I’ve calculated how much flour, sugar, etc. cost, and I save $2-$3 dollars per loaf of bread compared to the whole wheat/multigrain bread that I had been buying.

    Posted on March 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm
  5. I do cook mostly from scratch – I believe it saves me money, I know better what I’m putting into my family’s bodies, and by keeping my pantry stocked with the basics, I can easily create a whole variety of dishes in a pinch.

    Thanks for this post – you’ve given me some inspiration!

    Posted on March 6, 2013 at 10:55 am
  6. I think it seems like you spend more to bake from scratch when you have to buy all the separate ingredients rather than just one box. It’s not until you take the time to to think about how far, for instance, a bag of flour goes compared to that one box of cake mix that you realize you are actually saving money, let alone how much.

    Posted on March 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm
    1. Very true, Courtney! I certainly didn’t realize the savings until I put a pen to it. Then I was quite impressed!

      Posted on March 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm
  7. i bake from scratch to make thing any left over stuff i can make something else or make what ever again its called cooking (not box cooking yukky)

    Posted on March 5, 2013 at 9:10 am