One of our all time favorite meals is Pizza – hands down. Who doesn’t love pizza? Did you know that 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly. In fact a recent study shows that a family spends about $17 each week on pizza alone! That’s over $875 a year on pizza! Here’s how I save $600 a year on Pizza by making our own with this delicious recipe!
In stretching our grocery budget, we had to cut back on our favorite pizzeria. We were on a mission! How could we make a pizza at home that was quick, easy and MORE delicious than our favorite delivery?
When we started focusing on how to stop wasting food and making our Grocery Budget stretch, we found that it was cheaper to make our own pizza.
First we started with buying pizza dough. You can purchase a case of 20 frozen pizza dough balls from Sams Deli counter (where they sell the pizza slices) for about $15 – not including tax. That’s roughly a dollar a dough ball. I have seen frozen dough balls sold in grocery stores, and even unfrozen at places like Trader Joe’s. We were trying to go bulk to save on the overall cost. In an effort to steer away from processed foods, we are still hunting for the perfect homemade dough recipe, but for now, we’re buying the frozen balls.
The dough is also great for garlic knots and even monkey bread!
Take them out of the freezer about 24 hrs before cooking and place in the fridge to defrost. About an hour before cooking, set them on the counter. It makes the dough balls rise a little, therefore making it easier to work with.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees if you use a metal pan, 450 degrees if using a pizza stone.
We use a 16 inch pan. Lightly flour the pan and work the dough until it is to the edges.
Unless you have prior pizzeria experience, don’t try to flip the dough in the air like they do on television. Trust me… lesson learned.
Okay this next step is CRUCIAL – DO NOT SAUCE!
I know it goes against everything you’ve ever read, but there is a purpose. The sauce does not allow the dough to completely cook, leaving your pizza undercooked in the center.
Put your cheese on next. We use Fresh Mozzarella cheese instead of the preshredded. The processed kind does not spread that well and has a waxy texure. Fresh Mozzarella melts beautifully and is so tasty. You can get the mozzarella where you find other soft cheeses (like Feta) at your grocer.
It is slightly more expensive than the preshred cheese, but in the end, the cost isn’t that different.
Next is toppings. For this pizza, we are doing the classic Pepperoni. We have added italian sausage, uncooked and torn into tiny pieces. The sausage cooks in the oven and doesn’t turn out dry when it’s put on raw.
Now for the sauce. We buy the big cans of crushed tomatoes at Sams for $3.27 a can. Just mince a few cloves of garlic and add minimal spices. We pour the sauce into freezer bags and use as we need them. One bag usually lasts us about 4 weeks.
Apply a small amount using a slotted spoon. Really skimp on the sauce – if you over sauce, it will be undercooked.
So as you can see, it’s not a lot of sauce, but it spreads.
Spices we add are Oregano, Powdered Garlic, ground pepper and top it off with Parmesan Cheese.
If you have a basil plant, you can add fresh leaves before baking.
It’s ready to go! Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven.
Here’s the cost breakdown for an average Pepperoni Pizza
Frozen Pizza Dough ($15 for a box of 20 dough balls) $1.33/week
Homemade Sauce ($4 for large can Crushed Tomatoes) $ .40/week
Pepperoni ($1.99 for a bag from Aldi – lasts 2 pizzas) $1.00/week
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese ($2.69 from Aldi) $2.69/week
*not included are spices or garnishes TOTAL $5.42
We have made all varieties of pizza and the kids love to join in. Italian Sausage, Barbecue Chicken, and Buffalo Chicken are all in our regular rotation. Here’s how we make one of our specialty pizzas.
I suggest a premade pesto sauce you can open and use.
Spread the dough as normal and top with cheese. On the pesto pizza, you can add chicken for extra oomph and then sauce after the cheese.
Again, skimp on the sauce.
Next we add ricotta cheese. Use dollops about the size pictured above which is roughly a tablespoon.
Spice it up.
It’s ready to go! The dollops will melt and incorporate the pesto sauce as it cooks and melts.
MMMM! So, so good!
Usually we prepare 2 at a time since I have 3 men to feed.
I swear my 11 year old eats more than I do!
In 10 minutes, they turn out like this…
So now it has become a weekly tradition that have evolved into a family night. Not only are we saving money, but we are teaching our boys how to be frugal while creating memories that will last.
I hope by me showing you how I save $600 a year on Pizza inspires you to make your own. Let me know how your pizzas turn out!
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