How long until a bread maker pays for itself? (with calculator)
57 mins read

How long until a bread maker pays for itself? (with calculator)

Dear Diary,

Prices have been rapidly increasing in the last few years. I was just wondering… Is it worth buying a bread maker machine these days and start baking bread at home? How long until a bread maker machine pays for itself…

Significant increase in the price of bread (and basically everything) in the last few years

According to data collected by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, at the beginning of 2020, the average price of 1 kg of white bread was around 330 HUF and began to rise continuously. One year later, in March 2021, 1 kg of white bread was 390 HUF, whereas in two years, it already cost 518 HUF. It reached its peak in March 2023, when the average price of 1 kg of white bread was 1,000 HUF.

Although it has slightly decreased since then, the average price of bread is still 896 HUF in September 2023, which is almost 3 times as much as it was at the beginning of 2020. And we talk about a simple, plain white bread here. Not whole grain, or rye, or carbohydrate reduced version, God forbid a gluten-free one. The price of these “healthier” versions is more like 2,000 HUF /kg, but it can reach even about 4,000 HUF.

How much does 1 kg of bread cost if we bake it ourselves?

White bread

For the sake of simplicity, let’s stick with 1 kg of plain white bread. The simplest recipe for it:

  • water: 365 ml
  • flour: 620 g
  • salt: 10 g
  • yeast: 5 g

Now let’s see how much the ingredients cost:

WATER: The price of water in my case is 280 HUF /m³, i.e. 280 HUF/1,000 L, so

0.365 L x 0.280 HUF/L = 0.1 HUF is the cost of water,

an insignificant amount in this case, but I don’t want to leave it out.

FLOUR: The price of a cheaper, supermarket BL55 bread flour is around 170 HUF/kg (you can get it on sale even for 135-140 HUF), the branded ones can cost even 3-400 HUF. This means that, if we stick with the cheaper version, then

0.62 kg x 170 HUF/kg = 105.4 HUF is the cost of the necessary flour.

SALT: 1 kg of salt is now around 300 HUF (at the beginning of 2020 it was only 100 HUF, now it is three times as much, sounds familiar?), approx. 10 g is required, so

0.010 kg x 300 HUF/kg = 3 HUF is the cost of salt.

YEAST: It is also cheaper to buy supermarket instant yeast than branded one, the price of the former is around 9,000 HUF/kg, while the latter costs about 15-20,000 HUF/kg. 5g is needed, so

0.005 kg x 9000 HUF/kg = 45 HUF is the cost of the yeast.

ENERGY: To get an even more accurate result, let’s add the power consumption of the bread machine to the equation as well. My Tefal Pain et Tresors Maison PF251835 bread maker has a power of about 700 W, during the approximately 3-hour programme, if it were to work continuously at the maximum level (but it does not!), it would still only consume

3 h x 0.7 kW = 2.1 kWh.

Calculated at 35.3 HUF/kWh (that is the price of electricity for me, but it can vary), a maximum of

2.1 kWh x 35.3 HUF/kWh = 74.13 HUF is the cost of energy in this case,

According to certain measurements, this consumption during a 3-hour programme is only about 0.35 kWh, and in this case, it would only cost 12.4 HUF – the truth must be somewhere between the two.

TIME: Although not measured in any currency, time is also precious. However, the good news is that with a professional bread maker machine, such as my Tefal Pain et Tresors Maison PF251835, the hands-on time required for baking a loaf of bread is no more than 5 minutes most, but I think these 4 ingredients can be measured and put into the bowl even quicker. The rest is for the machine to do it.

To sum up the calculations:

105.4 HUF flour + 3 HUF salt + 45 HUF yeast + 0.1 HUF water + 74.1 HUF energy = 227.6 HUF/kg of bread,

is the total cost, which is well under 900 HUF. This means that we can save roughly 670 HUF per kg of bread (we can bake almost 4 kg from the price of 1 kg of bread).

What about whole-grain bread?

Many people vote for a healthier version instead of plain white bread. If you bake the bread yourself, the range of possibilities is unlimited.

A simple whole-grain bread recipe (for 1 kg):

  • water: 355 ml
  • oil: 45 ml
  • salt: 10 g
  • sugar: 15 g
  • white flour: 240 g
  • whole-grain flour: 360 g
  • yeast: 5 g

Let’s see the calculation in this case:

WATER: From the previous example, we already know that the cost of water is insignificant here, but still

0.355 L x 0.280 HUF/L = 0.1 HUF.

OIL: The price of oil is currently between 500-900 HUF, we assume that the cheaper supermarket version is also good for us, so the required oil costs

0.045 L x 500 HUF/L= 22.5 HUF.

SALT: The same as before,

0.01 kg x 300 HUF/kg = 3 HUF.

SUGAR: 1 kg of sugar is 450 HUF (this has also become quite expensive, it’s better not to consume it at all),

0.015 kg x 450 HUF/kg = 6.75 HUF is the cost of the necessary sugar.

WHITE FLOUR: The same as above, the cost of white flour is

0.24 kg x 170 HUF/kg = 40.8 HUF.

WHOLE-GRAIN FLOUR: The price of 1 kg of whole-grain flour is about 400 HUF these days, so

0.36 kg x 400 HUF/kg = 144 HUF is the cost of whole-grain flour.

YEAST: Yeast is the same as before,

0.005 kg x 9,000 HUF/kg = 45 HUF.

ENERGY: For the sake of simplicity, let’s stick to the same energy consumption as before, although the whole-grain bread program is slightly shorter, so

2.1 kWh x 35.3 HUF/kWh = 74.13 HUF

In total:

0.1 HUF water + 22.5 HUF oil + 3 HUF salt + 6.75 HUF sugar + 40.8 HUF white flour + 144 HUF flour + 45 HUF yeast + 74.13 HUF energy = 336.3 HUF does 1 kg of whole-grain bread cost

if baked at home.

This is way below 2,000 HUF which is the price in the store, so we can save roughly 1,660 HUF by baking whole-grain bread at home with a bread maker machine. We can bake 6 kg of bread at the price of 1 kg, without basically any effort. It’s not time-consuming at all, it only takes about 5 minutes to measure out the ingredients (you can even stand in line at the store for a loaf of bread that much as well).

Calculate your own costs with the bread cost calculator

Check out this calculator to see how much you can save by baking your own bread.

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Bread cost calculator
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But what’s more important – how long until a bread maker machine pays for itself?

The price of bread maker machines can vary widely depending on the power and brand.

My Tefal Pain et Tresors Maison PF251835 bread maker machine cost 50,000 HUF, which means that if I can save 670 HUF with every 1 kg of white bread, then

50,000 ÷ 670 = 75 baking cycles (of 1 kg)

is needed for the machine to pay for itself in this case. If I bake 2 kg of bread every week, then it’s 37.5 weeks, which is only about 9 months (not even a whole year) until my investment pays out. Sounds quite good to me.

Moreover, in the case of whole-grain bread, the price of the machine will pay off even sooner,

50,000 ÷ 1,660 = 30 baking cycles (kg of bread)

that is done in 15 weeks, which is only 3 and a half months. Awesomesauce.

Of course, this is just my example, the price of a cheaper machine pays off sooner, and it all depends on which ingredients are used, but I think it’s absolutely worth it for me. What about you?

Bread maker calculator

Check out the calculator below to see how soon your machine pays for itself.

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Bread maker calculator
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XOXO from my kitchen 🙃

P.S.: Share the results of your calculation in the comment section below.

8 thoughts on “How long until a bread maker pays for itself? (with calculator)

  1. Im bad with math but I loved your article. I want to buy bread maker because I loooooove bread! Ill save your calculator to use later.

  2. I do love wheat bread and I have been interested in getting a bread maker one day. I would love to be able to make my own fresh bread!

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