Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days: Day 13 - The Great Pizza Stampede

If this is your first visit I welcome you to my little corner of the world! You might want to start at the introduction of this series. It explains what 31 Days of Change is, and has links to each day's post as they occur. Just click on the 31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly button at the top of my sidebar on the right.

 This is the second go around with this post.  I had it mostly done, then I hit something on my keyboard and poof, it all disappeared, and before I could hit control Z, blogger saved it.  Grrrrr...does anyone know how to turn off that automatic save feature?  I have a love/hate relationship with my laptop.  I love that I can sit in the recliner and use it, I hate the keyboard.  It's forever jumping places I don't want to go.  Anyway, rant over.

I can slave all day over a meal (not that I ever do ;) and when I call the pigs to the trough, family for supper, I hear 10 minutes of "just a minutes."  But the minute I yell, "PIZZA," I have to jump out of the way of the stampede!

Pizza is my take-out of choice when I've been in town all day and am too tired to fix something for supper.  We usually buy take-out pizza at Little Caesar's; one hot and ready three meat, and another 3 topping large.  We always have leftovers for the next day's lunch.   It costs about $16.  We usually do this about twice a month.

I decided to compare the cost of homemade and see if I could save anything.  The recipe I used below costs  $2.35 for 8 crusts, so about 30 cents each.  The total cost of the pizza will vary a lot depending on what toppings you use.  I used 1/2 lb. of lean hamburger, 3 slices of ham lunch meat, 1/6th of a 6 oz. package of Armour pepperoni, 1 can of mushrooms and 2 cups of mozzarella (I only made one pizza).  I probably used a little more toppings then what we would get on a take-out pizza, so adjusting a little for that, I estimate it cost me $5 to make one pizza.  Since I spend $16 on two, I'd save $6 each time.  Since we pick up pizza twice a month, we would save $12/month or $144 per year. 

This week I found a recipe on that makes 8 pizza crusts you can freeze.  We tried it last night and it was yummy!  My youngest son said, "did you make this mom?  It's really good!"  High praise indeed from a twelve year old pizza hound.   Here's the recipe I used.  (I've inserted my own pictures of the process)

5 lb. unbleached flour (one bag)
3 pts. water, warm
2 pkg. dry yeast
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar

In a large bowl, combine salt and flour. 

In another bowl combine warm water and yeast to dissolve. 

Add sugar and allow foaming to develop (5 to 10 minutes). Gradually add water mixture to center of flour, stirring to blend thoroughly. Knead for 5 minutes then let it rest 5 minutes. 

On floured flat surface, form dough into long roll and cut into 8 equal portions, place in quart size Zip-lock bags and store in freezer until ready to use.

When ready to make pizza, remove a portion for each pizza from freezer about 6 to 8 hours to warm to room temperature or about 12 hours in refrigerator. Flour needs to be room temperature for further processing.

Roll out ball on floured surface to 2/3 size you wish to make pizza, stretching rather than pressing. With floured hands, pick up dough and stretch and or toss and spin to stretch to final size.

Dough may be placed on baking sheet for topping, but using a circular pizza baking screen allows the bottom to brown. Top with favorite sauces, meats and cheeses. Bake in very hot oven, top rack for about 8 minutes.

My note: I baked mine for about 12 minutes. Maybe if I had rolled it a little thinner, it would have taken less time, but we really like a thicker crust. I baked mine on a stone and the crust turned out fine.

I didn't do a very good job stretching it the way the recipe recommends.  Next time I think I will just roll it.  As a trial, I pressed one onto a pizza pan and froze it to see how it turns out.  If it works, it would be perfect for those times I'm tempted to pick up a pizza in town.  I can prepackage my ingredients, then it would be so simple to just dump everything on a crust and bake it.  I'll let you know in an update.

I'm sure there will still be times when we pick up pizza, but having crusts ready to bake will make it a lot easier to avoid that cost.

If you are benefiting from this series, I’d love it if you would grab my button from the top of my sidebar.  I will be back with another money saving tip tomorrow.   I will keep up a running tally of my savings at the bottom of each new post. Just scroll down to the bottom to see.  Until tomorrow, God bless!

My tally so far:


  1. Superb Deborah. It's raining hard here, you know the typical autumn weather and this will be a treat :)

  2. Oh YUM!! your pizza looks delish, Deb!!!
    Seriously, my mouth is watering.
    Cannot wait until Tuesday*

  3. Looks soo yummi, I like it!


  4. I love pizza, especially homemade where you can add the ingredients of choice. I'll probably roll out the dough and freeze the crusts with waxed paper between them. That way I can just dump on ingredients and bake it. Thanks for the recipe for the crust.


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