How much does good pizza cost?

Like everyone else, I’m aware of the Cost Of Living Crisis — or, “recession” as we used to call it in the old days. (Much as we now say “chumocracy” instead of  “corruption” for some reason). We’re fortunate to be reasonably well off, so we don’t need to count the pennies. But I did find myself wondering whether pizza from scratch is quite such an amazing deal as I imagine.

Let’s do the numbers for a basic, and a more exotic, pizza.

I tend to make pizzas in batches of four, so I’ll do the numbers for four pizzas. First, the ingredients:

  • 600g bread flour. We order online from ASDA, where we pay £1 for 1.5 kg of bread flour (up from 60p just over a month ago!) So that’s 40p for the flour
  • Water is so close to free that there’s no point in measuring the cost of 360 ml.
  • 10 g of salt from a 750g container costing 30p comes out less than half a penny.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of yeast comes from a 100g tin that costs £1.10 — so again, this comes out too small to measure. Let’s call it a penny total for water, salt and yeast
  • Tomato sauce is made by pureeing a tin of tomatoes. There’s enough for four pizzas in a tin of ASDA smart price tinned tomatoes at 32p
  • Cheese is the expensive item. We mostly use ASDA’s own-brand extra mature cheddar (which BTW is really good!) at £3.50 per 750g. I just grated the amount I use on a pizza, and it conveniently came to 75g. That’s 300g for four pizzas, costing £1.40
  • Oven time: it takes about 20 minutes to bring the oven up to its top temperature of about 250 C and cook four pizzas. Assuming pessimistically that it’s drawing maximum current all that time, that’s 25 amps at 240 volts = 6 kW. For one third of an hour, that comes to 2 wWh, which is 60p at the present ludicrously inflated price of 30 per unit.

I make that a total of £2.73 for four pizzas, or 68p each. That is for a delicious meal that on its own is easily filling enough to be one of the day’s two main meals.

To make it even better, I like to use mozzarella instead of cheddar, and add sliced chorizo and pickled jalapeños. Mozzarella is 70p for a single-cheese pack that’s just right for one pizza, so that’s an extra 35p over the cheddar. I use maybe an eighth of a chorizo, which costs £2.25, so that’s an extra 28p. And we buy 720g jars of pickled jalapeños for £2, of which I use maybe a 30th of a jar each time, so 7p. Added to the base pizza cost of 68p, that brings the price up to £1.38 — surprisingly, just over twice the price of the base pizza. But still amazingly cheap for such outstanding food.

I highly recommend it — especially if you’re stretched for cash.

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