Skip to Content

Is homemade pizza cheaper than takeout pizza?

Updated June 2021

Can a homemade pizza beat the $5.55 pepperoni pizza from Little Caesar’s or a $7 frozen pizza?

Does Homemade Pizza Save Money?

I’m going to bust out of my usual don’t-sweat-the-details-or-be-very-precise mode of operation and calculate this down to the last penny.

Ready?

Crust Ingredients

Here are the ingredients that I use to make the crust of my pizza.

IMG_7814

Flour

I generally buy my flour when it’s on sale, so a 5-pound bag costs around $4. That means each cup costs $0.20, and the four cups necessary for the pizza dough add up to $0.80.

If you use a cheaper brand of flour, this could easily be as little as $0.40. But I really like my King Arthur bread flour for pizza dough, so I splurge.

Salt

The teaspoon and a half called for in the recipe costs a little less than $0.008. In other words, it’s negligible. We can just round it up to a penny to make things easy!

Water

I use plain old tap water, which is so cheap, it’s practically free. I’ll throw in a penny, but I kinda doubt it costs even that much.

Yeast

Because I buy mine in bulk, each “packet” (2 1/4 teaspoons) costs $0.03.

If you don’t buy yours in bulk, though, your pizza dough is going to be WAY more expensive. Individual packets of yeast are craaazy expensive.

Olive Oil

I think this bottle costs around $3.50 (I can’t find my receipt!) which means that 2 tablespoons cost $0.21.

So, the cost for two pizza crusts is $1.06.

And that’s even with olive oil (not canola or corn) and expensive King Arthur flour.

Huh.

Henceforth, I will not even blink at the price of my King Arthur pizza flour, because $0.53 for a pizza crust is a screaming bargain.

Toppings

I’m just going to calculate this for cheese pizza because then you can simply add on the cost of the toppings to compare.

IMG_7815

Tomato Sauce

A jar of tomato sauce costs me $1.19, so the cup I need for the pizzas costs $0.40.

Mozzarella

An 8 ounce block of mozzarella is $1.79. I generally use the whole thing for two pizzas, so that’s coming in at $1.79.

So, the toppings for two cheese pizzas total $2.19.

Total Ingredient Cost

The total cost of ingredients for two cheese pizzas is $3.25, or $1.62 per pizza.

That’s pretty impressive. I thought it would add up to a lot more.

Electricity Cost

This is a little difficult to calculate, but when I figured the cost of a loaf of homemade bread, I found out that an hour of 350° baking at $0.12/kwh costs $0.24.

For this recipe, though, I have to heat the oven to 500° and it has to stay there for a good hour.

I imagine this would cost maybe double what an hour of 350° baking costs, so I’m going to go with $0.50.

IMG_7324

Total Homemade Pizza Cost

<drumroll, please!>

$3.25 for ingredients

plus

$0.50 for electricity

equals

$3.75 for two pizzas, or $1.87 per pizza.

So, that means I could add $3.68 worth of toppings to each of my pizzas before they’d reach the Little Caesar’s $5.55 level.

homemade pepperoni pizza

I know for sure that I don’t add $3.68 worth of pepperoni (a whole package only costs about $3.) or vegetables (mushrooms and peppers are really cheap!)

So it’s safe to say that my homemade pizzas are indeed cheaper than Little Caesar’s.

And they even beat the super cheap frozen pizzas (you know…the sort that have almost no cheese on them!)

Plus, homemade pizzas produce less trash overall than frozen pizzas do.

Conclusions

Homemade pizza, even with the cost of electricity factored in, is ridiculously affordable.

However, it does take some time to make.

Most of it is hands-off time, though (oven heating, dough rising), so as long as you’re at home already, it won’t feel like it takes that long.

IMG_7322

If, however, you’re working outside the home and don’t have long to prepare dinner, the rising time and oven heating time could feel really inconvenient.

So, frozen or takeout pizzas could look very appealing.

Also, if you’re choosing not between homemade and frozen pizza but between frozen/takeout pizza and eating out, then of course the frozen/takeout option is generally the more budget-friendly option.

But if you’ve got the time, homemade pizza is the cheapest way to go.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Laura

Friday 11th of June 2021

What kind of cheese do you use? In your other post on why your homemade pizza isn’t good/meh, you mentioned a fancier mozzarella block but in this post it looks like Aldi cheese.

Kim from Philadelphia

Monday 7th of June 2021

Let’s not forget Little Caesars uses cheap cheese- it’s oily and pretty tasteless !

Linda

Monday 7th of June 2021

This may not be for everyone but I thought I'd share my pizza technique to inspire those who don't have time. Here's how I make my favorite, Hawaiian Pizza. Its not beautiful, and it wouldn't be considered gourmet. it is tasty & fits my lifestyle. Perhaps it will inspire someone. Like Kristen, I make my own DOUGH. I only make one pizza at a time, so half the dough goes in the freezer. I can my own TOMATO SAUCE in 1/2 pint jars perfect for one pizza. I purchase a 5# block of MOZZARELLA, shred it in my food processor, keep it in the freezer. (when it’s time to make pizza I crumble off 5 oz., after a while in the freezer it gets somewhat compressed & I have to use a knife to break off what I need) I also can my own MUSHROOMS in ½ pint jars. I use half a jar for each pizza. The leftovers go in the freezer. I buy a big can of PINEAPPLE tidbits & portion out 20/pizza and keep them in the freezer. I buy "ends & pieces" CANADIAN BACON. I'm not particular about how the pizza looks. I'm going to chew it up anyway, so I chop the C. bacon up & portion it in 2 oz. portions that go in my freezer. I buy whole OLIVES (I often have an open can of olives in the refrigerator, since one of my go to meals is Taco Salad.) For pizza I slice 15 olives. Then I want Pizza for dinner I pull the pre-portioned ingredients out of the freezer the day before. In the time it takes the oven to preheat I assemble the pizza. If there isn’t a ½ recipe of dough in the freezer already, it takes longer. They don't call me the Frugal Spinster for nothing.

Elizabeth Brown

Monday 7th of June 2021

I switched to homemade years ago thanks to your original post. Mostly the bread flour, and CRAZY hot oven, plus plenty of time to rise. I often triple a batch of dough using my bosch mixer, and freeze after the first rise (and punch down) to make it easier. Anyway, I wanted to mention one other thing that has TOTALLY changed my pizza game here. Whole milk mozzarella cheese. It's still usually called low moisture, but it's made from whole milk. It's still a hard(ish) block, just to clarify that I am NOT talking about fresh mozz. But the whole milk stuff just melts so much better and really takes the pizza up yet another notch. I find it hard to locate sometimes, but can find a 5 lb block at my local costco business center, and then we cut and vacuum seal it for the freezer. Anyway, give it a shot! I know for sure walmart carries it, and I sometimes get it at trader joe's. Just so much more flavor - you won't regret it!

Kristen

Monday 7th of June 2021

Yes! I should have updated the post to include that; I now use the whole milk mozzarella too and I think it totally changes the pizza flavor. Definitely a worthy expenditure.

Dicey

Monday 7th of June 2021

Whole wheat pizza from scratch is a newfound pandemic skill. I've made it enough times that I'm getting comfortable with variations, so I'm down to about a half teaspoon of salt. Recently, I had a slice of Domino's at my volunteer gig. I was amazed at how salty the crust was, so there's another reason to DIY.

Re sauce: We love Costco pesto. I buy in bulk when it's on sale and freeze it, and I always have one in the fridge. For fast sauce, I use a spoonful of pesto (not too much, it's also quite salty) plus a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste. Add a bit of water and stir. Voila! Almost instant sauce.

Kim from Philadelphia

Monday 7th of June 2021

I’m also a huge fan of Costco pesto! So delicious on pizza crust it flatbreads, in addition to pasta!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.