Ah, at last: The sun has arrived in Oregon. It’s not hot, but it’s warm, and we’ll take it.

The coming of summer means I can stop whining about the rain, and it also means that Kris and I have started baking bread more often. (During the winter, our house is too cold for the dough to rise.) We’re still using the easy and cheap home-made bread recipe we stumbled upon a couple of years ago. It’s fantastic.

Why do we bake our own bread? Because it tastes great, and because it costs roughly the same as the cheap, artificial stuff you can buy in the grocery store. According to somebody who ran the numbers, this bread costs about 63 cents per loaf.

Of course, not everyone wants to make their own bread from scratch. For these folks, there’s a sort of middle ground. In the recent GRS video contest, Jessica submitted this two-minute video that explains how her family makes cheap home-made bread: with a bread machine.

Jessica’s mother picked up an unused bread machine for fifteen bucks at a church rummage sale. They’ve been using it quite a bit. According to their calculations, each loaf costs about $1.97 to make, whereas the comparable stuff at the supermarket would run about $3.79. That’s almost half price.

Remember, don’t buy things just because you think you’ll use them. Buy things based on needs. If you eat a lot of bread and you’re fairly certain you’d make a lot of bread, then consider purchasing a bread machine. Otherwise, the appliance is just more Stuff.

Kris and I will skip the bread machine for now. Instead, we have another batch of dough rising at this very moment. We’re off to our favorite annual community garage sale this morning, but when we return, we’ll pop the dough in the oven so we can enjoy fresh-baked goodness tonight!

Obviously, you’re not going to become a billionaire by baking bread at home, but it’s yet another fun way for folks to flex their frugal muscles.

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