Spend It Wisely: Pizza Price Comparison


When is it better to make something from scratch and when is it better to buy it pre-made?

That’s a difficult question with pizza, I think, since everyone has their favorite toppings and styles. For example, I don’t like Pizza Hut or deep dish pizza, but I like Domino’s. I love olives on my pizza but my hubby can’t stand them…and on and on and on.

When I started thinking about this post, I realized there’s quite a range of pizza prices, too. There is a local chain in town that makes yummy pizza, but it’s so expensive we hardly ever get it. On the other hand, Totino’s frozen pizza costs $1, but I won’t serve it to my family. Also, there are probably health benefits to making it yourself, thereby avoiding those mystery ingredients with the chemical-sounding names, but I’m not a scientist and pizza isn’t exactly health food.

So, I decided to do a price-only comparison for pizzas my family enjoys: homemade, DiGiorno (frozen) and Papa John’s (which we can’t get here but sometimes enjoy when we’re visiting other places).


Homemade Pizza (prices are approximate because of varying sale prices)

Dough — about $.50 (water, yeast, sugar, flour, salt, olive oil)

Sauce — $.50 (I use half a can of spaghetti sauce, which costs $.99 on sale)

Meat — $1.75-$2.50 (usually sausage or diced ham)

Shredded cheese — $1.50

TOTAL: $4.25-$5.00 ($2.50 without meat topping)

Of course, your costs may depend on your toppings and crust ingredients. I priced pre-made pizza dough in the deli section of a grocery store in Colorado Springs — $2.99! It doesn’t take near that much to make it from scratch, and there are even cheap just-add-water mixes available.


DiGiorno Frozen Pizza

Without coupons/sales: $5.98

With coupons/sales: $2.83-$3.33 (using the recent DiGiorno Buy 2, Get 1 Free coupon)


Papa John’s

Current promotion: $10.00 (large one-topping)


As for Papa John’s or other pizza places, they’re a no-go from a cost perspective since we can get 3 frozen pizzas or 2 homemade pizzas for the price of one delivery pizza. So, health benefits aside, I can make a perfectly yummy pizza for my family for as cheap as $2.83 in about 25 minutes (and without dirtying any dishes). Or, I can spend as much as $5.00 and an extra half hour making one at home (dirty dishes, too). Hmmm… I think I’ll take the frozen route!



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