Free downloadable Recipe Cost Calculator spreadsheet

Guest post by Richelle at The Carolina Clipper

We all know that cooking at home can save a significant amount of money. Because of this, I have a baking day once or twice a month to stock up on healthy muffins, pancakes and cookies.

I recently got a bread maker and my curiosity increased. How much do these items really cost to make? Was it worth my time? How much is a homemade loaf of bread? So, I created a simple spreadsheet to calculate the cost. I was so pleased with the results!

Bread Collage

See a cost breakdown of the recipes above in this downloadable PDF document.

Calculating your own recipe is so easy!

  1. Download the Recipe Calculator Spreadsheet (it’s in Excel format). It may not look as “pretty” as mine if you don’t have my fonts, but the formulas will work just the same.
  2. You can choose to edit the Ingredient Costs sheet or just leave the prices I have listed.
  3. Go to the Recipe Calculator sheet and enter the ingredient amounts from your recipe. Your total cost will calculate at the bottom.

I included standard baking ingredients on the document. With basic excel knowledge you can add more products to the list and calculate any type of recipe!

Here is a Conversions sheet. I use it as a quick reference when filling out the Recipe Calculator excel document. Also, I have it taped on the inside of my spice cabinet and glance at it when cooking.

Richelle lives in Charlotte, NC and blogs about practical tools to make saving money easy and fun. She teaches coupon workshops, volunteers at her church food bank, and enjoys finding family-friendly activities in the Carolinas.

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  1. says

    Oh, this is great! I have been wanting to do a column about this … if I use your spreadsheet for my column research I will definitely want to interview you as well, Richelle! Thanks for this!

  2. says

    I just wanted to tell you how absolutely awesome this is! I just may go through all of my favorite recipes and attatch the total cost to it from your spreadsheet. Too cool. Thanks so much!!

  3. Shelli says

    I think this is a great idea, but it doesn’t take into account the time to make the items. Maybe add a column that calculates the cost of your time based on how long to prepare the item. I wouldn’t necessarily include bake/cook time since you can generally be doing something else anyway.

    Like the concept just cannot forget the cost of your time!

      • says

        Operating cost per hour can be estimated if you know the wattage of the appliance (from it’s nameplate) and the cost of electricity (cost per KWh). The average bread machine usage is 7.2 cents per hour.

  4. says

    This is awesome. We have been eating artisan bread for about a month now and love how much money we are saving! I would have never imagined it was this much until Richelle tuned me into it.

  5. Shirley says

    I think this is genius. I have been having a debate with myself, as well as my family, about the cost of baking versus the convenience of buying from the store. Plus there is the health issue. (If bread can stay good on a shelf for weeks what the heck is in it???) Thank you for posting this. I now have a visual for making my argument!

    • says

      The loaf that costs $1.11 has several more ingredients (oats, honey, etc). The artisan bread only has a few ingredients, and yes, it really IS .19 a loaf.

      I was recently speaking at a women’s conference on how my family eats for .70 per person per day (no misplaced decmial points; you read that correctly! That is .70 per person for 3 meals and a snack). In order to illustrate the point, I calculcated the cost of how much a loaf of French bread costs me (I buy my flour, salt, and yeast in bulk). Total cost was .22 a loaf. (I use 8-10 cups of flour, so it is a bit higher than the artisan bread listed above as it is more flour).

      Loaves of bread like that sell for $3.99 by me, so making a loaf for .22 is well worth the time it takes!

  6. Sarah G. says

    Thanks so much for posting this – I’ve really needed to make a calculator like this to figure out costs for my business, but I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Now it’s done for me! Yay!

  7. Patti says

    Crystal, please note that this is the cost of the ingredients but does not include the cost of the bread machine, the electricity, etc… even the water and dishwashing liquid to clean up. It is nice to know the cost of the ingredients, especially in trying to make the items cheaply, but it is not the true cost. It certainly doesn’t include the value of your time. I believe in making homemade foods but want others to know the reality of it. This goes for any activity that uses your resources – you need to calculate all of them!

  8. Holly says

    This is a great tool! I started entering in my “prices” and have found I don’t know what to do about spices/yeast that I buy from the bulk food store. I know the price per pound, but I don’t know how many tsps or tbsp. per pound. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Hi Holly, Can you look on the side of the package to find the “serving size per container” found on the Nutrition Facts label? For example, one serving size for a 5 pound bag of white whole wheat flour is 0.25 cup. The label tells me there are 76 servings in a 5 pound bag. Therefore, 0.25 cup X 76 servings = 19 total cups. From there you can change cups into tablespoons, teaspoons, etc by using the conversion sheet link included in the post. I hope that helps!

      • Holly says


        I can use the method you suggest for most things, but not items from the local (Mennonite) bulk food store. Bulk foods – like dry goods – not like a BJs/Sam’s bulk food kind of place. They package spices, grains, etc from big packages into small containers or bags. They are sold by the pound, with no serving size per container, as there is no nutrition label.

    • Holly says

      I think I found the answer to my own question. There is difference between a fluid ounce and a “dry” ounce. I was reading something and found (again) that the little yeast packets are .25 ounces which is 2.25 tsps for those of us that use bulk yeast. I used that to figure 9 tsp per ounce of yeast. While it may not work for the dry spices, I guess it is close enough for this purpose. My cost per tsp is about $0.02. Since these items are not big cost drivers, I won’t worry much more. Does anyone have any different calculations?

      • Deanna says

        Check out “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” p. 314. Amy Dacyczyn has an article there titled “Calculating Your C.P.M. (cost per muffin). In it she gives weight per cup for many common baking ingredients and also notes how many tablespoons in a cup (16) and teaspoons in a tablespoon (3). Best of all, she tells you how to figure out your own cost per muffin! I’ve been using this resource for at least a decade, and have been toying with the idea of making my own spreadsheet, but never got around to it. Now I don’t have to get around to it! Great!

  9. says

    I downloaded the page, but can’t type anything into it. Do I have to purchase Microsoft Office in order for this to work?

    I think it’s a great idea!

  10. Alea says

    I’ve been recently working on this with our favorite recipes -but this will make it easier! Thanks so much! And I love the conversion chart – I have one, but this is easier to read.

  11. Shelice says

    Thank you so much! I knew it was better for my family and that I was saving money but I was too lazy to do all the work to figure out how much. I’m so excited to use it when I make “fancy” stuff, like chocolate chip oatmeal cookies ;D

  12. says

    I LOVE this!! I’ve tried creating one of my own, but hadn’t gotten very far. DH could have done it, but he just hasn’t had time! I’ve already started adding items and customizing it. Thanks SO much for sharing this! I was updating my honey cost, and my unit cost is less than 1/3 of yours. I get my honey at Sam’s (because we go through it like crazy!). I see how this could be tricky to fill out with items purchased with coupons, though!

    • says

      Hi Laurie, I’m so glad you like the spreadsheet. I suggest you enter the lowest cost AFTER using coupons. Hopefully you’ll stock up when things are on sale and this is your standard price anyway. For example, the yeast cost that I listed is 50% off the full price because I only buy yeast when it’s on sale (and I stock up at that time).

  13. Jessica says

    Thanks for the post. i am curious to try your Artisan Bread recipe. Would you be willing to share it? Also do you just freeze all your baked goods? And if so do you defrost them the day before you want to use them? Or do you defrost them in the oven or microwave? Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hi Jessica,

      You can read all about Artisan Bread, find the master recipe, and even links to videos on my review: On my “bake day” I choose a few items to make and then double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. I keep one portion out for us to eat that week and then freeze the rest. When we want to eat a frozen item I defrost it (ex. one muffin or a few pancakes) for a few seconds in the microwave. This works really well for muffins, pancakes, granola bars, cookies, and even banana bread.

  14. says

    This is GENIUS!!! I am so excited to download and play with it to figure out my own cost-point for our standard recipes.

    Thank you so much for sharing! I might have to link back to this on my own blog. The world needs to know. 😉

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