Tasty Thursday: Pizza Pizza

As someone who is always looking to save money, I try to find deals no matter what the opportunity is. I checked my mail recently and got a flier from a franchised pizza shop in the area. The flier told me about all of the deals they had to offer if you order online. The best part about it all? They deliver! Not only would I not have to make a phone call to the company, I wouldn't even have to pick it up and waste my gas to get dinner. It all sounded great, until I thought about how much I would actually spend.

One large pizza, not on special, is typically somewhere around $15 at this establishment. Add a two dollar delivery fee plus sales tax, and you're looking at a $17 pizza. That doesn't include a tip so in reality, that pizza you just bought is probably going to run you somewhere around $20-$22. That cost does not include beverages, so if you add a soda to the mix, you've just increased your cost to around $25. Now, the flier that I received had different specials advertised, but most of them still ran somewhere around $10-$12. No matter what, I would end up spending somewhere around $20 to get one pizza delivered to my door. Now, I try not to make a habit of going out to eat, and this day is no different. I decided to make my own pizza and calculate the savings.

If you remember my blog from last Thursday you'll find that I made chicken parmesan. Not only was it tasty, it left me with ingredients that I had left over for future cooking purposes. In my fridge, I still have cheese and plenty of tomato sauce left over from last week's endeavors. I also have a spare frozen chicken breast that I had leftover from last week. The only thing really missing from my own pizza creation is the pizza dough itself. There are two ways to go about getting pizza dough. You could make it yourself if you have the correct ingredients and are patient enough to let the dough rise. If you are like me, and don't like to wait for the dough to rise, you can buy pre-made pizza dough from various places.

I generally go to the grocery store and get some. I normally freeze the dough and pull it out at the beginning of the day. By the time I get home, the dough is thawed and ready to be kneaded. There are tons of varieties (white, wheat, multigrain, beer) and all priced somewhere between $2 and $2.50. There is enough dough to make either two medium sized pizzas or one large pizza. So let's be honest here. The only thing I had to buy this week was one ingredient, and I was able to make the same size pizza as the delivery order and it cost me a grand total of $2.50. I just saved somewhere around $20 by buying one ingredient.

The great thing about pizza is that there are many variations on what kind of pies you can create. I keep a jar of pesto handy in case I want to try something aside from red sauce pizza. I also generally have onions of some kind or a green pepper kicking around that are leftover from prior dinners needed to be used. Chicken, onion and pepper pizza is one of my favorite pizzas to make. It's not only tasty, it's also more healthy when you make it yourself. Depending on what your tastes are though, you can take the extra money you saved by making the pizza at home and buying your favorite toppings. Twenty dollars can buy any toppings you want, and even some extras like beverages and chips. So the next time you think about ordering a pizza, check and see what you have in your fridge and make your own. You just may save yourself a bundle of money, and you may even have some leftovers for later meals. 

What is your favorite pizza creation?

Seth P.