Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bread Retirement Fund

Homemade Bread


I calculated how much money I could save on the cost of bread over a lifetime if I make it myself instead of buying it. I will probably be monetarily poor for the rest of my life, so it is good practice for me to live on less than $1 a day for food this year. I could not do this project if I didn’t have a garden or live in a rural area. I realize that bread is not the healthiest food but it is cheap, calorie dense and versatile.

I eat about 1.5lbs(24oz) of bread per week. If I bought bread every week, it would cost $2.70 for a low-quality sandwich bread filled with preservatives and bleach. The cost per year for buying bread is $140.40 and making the same amount is only $53.04. If I use the 5lb flour at $2.44, the difference for buying bread vs. making it is $87.36/yr. I do realize that it doesn’t seem like much, but by putting that little bit of money in a low-interest (1.35%) account every year for 35yrs the total adds up the over $4,000. I am simplifying the effects of inflation and other factors over time, but it is amazing how one small change can lead to a significant amount of savings.      

End balance        $4,073.27
Total principal    $3,144.96
Total interest     $928.31

Here is how the cost breaks down:

Ingredients
Cost
Amount Used
Cost Used
Flour (2.27kg)
$2.44
348g
$0.374
Sugar (4.53kg)
$5.89
28g
$0.036
Sea Salt (500g)
$2.68
12g
$0.064
Butter (128tbs)
$9.98
2tbs
$0.156
Yeast (908g)
$4.68
5g
$0.025
Total (rounded)


$0.680

Bread machines are an excellent investment and can usually be bought cheaply at yard sales or a flea market. All of the ingredients I use can be bought for much less.

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