What we’ve been up to around these parts & getting more dough from your bread machine

First, I’d like to say a big thank you for all your kind words about how we got our butts out of credit card debt. I was a little hesitant to write that post and actually asked Mer if he thought it was a bad idea at one point. He told me to go with it because when we were looking for advice on how to handle our debt we weren’t really able to find any concrete answers because more often than not the true numbers were never discussed.

I guess I didn’t want to be judged for our repeat bad financial choices (I know I shouldn’t care but I do to a certain extent) but more importantly I was a little scared to talk about the numbers because I’ve always been told that it’s in bad taste to talk about your income. But, I value transparency so I felt it was only right to put all the information out there.

So, dear internet reader you now know the intimate details of my financial past!

So back to what’s been going on around here. Bad weather is what’s up!

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View from my living room. We’re getting an unusual amount of precipitation this winter.

Winter has been hitting us exceptionally hard this year. It started to really cool off in early November and by the first days of December we were already seeing significant amounts of snow. The weather has been hovering well below freezing for weeks and we’re getting treated to a good amount of snow and ice on a daily basis. Although beautiful- the icy and snowy conditions make it really difficult to head out with a baby in tow and get stuff done. When we first bought this house we never considered what the winter situation would be since we visited in the spring time and winter weather was the furthest thing from our minds.

Living in this roundabout is awesome because it’s super quiet but on the flip side snow removal and street salting is basically non-existent here which was really common and effective when we lived in the city. Clearly, there’s a reason why all our current neighbors have snow removal contracts with companies (evidenced by the sticks plunged into the ground at the top of each driveway). Basically, you’ve either got a company coming to dig you out or you’re shoveling it yourself (which is what we’re doing because we’re too cheap to pay someone to move our snow).

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Free art from my mother. There are 3 paintings in this collection and they date back to 73′.

Since we’ve basically been housebound since Tuesday I’ve used up my time working on re-framing these awesome paintings my mother kindly gifted me. She knows I wont spend money on art and when she found them laying around she figured she’d check with me to see if I could give them a new home. Done!

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Hung! Crappy photography though.

There are 3 paintings in the collection – each one represents a different season in the Canadian north east and I love how they add a little character to our living room.

I’ve also been baking.  I pulled out our bread machine and got going on a few loaves.

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Freshly baked bread!

Oh bread machine, you’re so sneaky!

This time, I decided to bake the loaves myself because we needed bread and the roads were awful so heading out to the grocer was out of the question (I walk everywhere because we’re a one car family – total distance to the grocer is probably a little over 2 miles). I guess I could have hauled Margs in her sled but after watching 3 neighbors wipe out I decided to keep my clumsy butt home. Mer doesn’t really enjoy bread machine bread – he complains that the crust is too thin so after my friends Mum suggested I bake it myself I figured I’d give it a go. I’m not really a big fan either because I always thought that the cost involved in making it would actually be higher than buying once you factor in the flour, yeast, oil and salt required to make one tiny loaf.

Well, folks, our bread machines are lying to us.

After using the machine on a dough cycle and allowing the dough to rise once I split it in 2 and allowed it to rise for another 2 hours on an oiled pan in my oven with the warmer on. What I found waiting for me in blew my mind.

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Part way through the second rising process! 2 loaves!!

The one tiny loaf I used to get by using the bread machine start to finish was now replaced with two larger loaves. Stretching my use of 4 cups of flour to make 2 loaves instead of 1.

With that in mind I got working on crunching some numbers because 2 loaves is a game changer when you’re talking about cost efficiency of making your bread versus buying it.

Geek alert,  frugal math coming up.

10 kg bag of bread flour – $17.99

10 kg = 80 cups of flour (1 kg ~ 8 cups)

80 cups of flour/4 cups = 20 batches of 2 loafs of bread = 40 loaves.

40 loaves of bread at $2.99 (what we approximately pay at the grocer) = $119.60

Potential Savings $119.60 – $17.99 = $101.61 (minus a couple of bucks for dry yeast, oil, sugar and salt which I didn’t bother calculating when I saw how impressive the savings were)

So tell me, do you use a bread machine? If so, do you let it run a full cycle or bake it yourself?

Also, because I’m curious how much is bread flour in your neck of the woods?

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Author: Jenny

I'm Jenny, a 30-something mama to 1 living child and 5 angels. I live in a tiny blue cottage in a small suburb outside a major Canadian city. I live here with my miracle baby Margs, my husband Mer, my pup and my 2 cats. I blog about a bunch of different things including parenting, frugal living and minimalism. Feel free to subscribe to my blog and follow me on instagram, twitter or bloglovin.

34 thoughts on “What we’ve been up to around these parts & getting more dough from your bread machine”

  1. So many of us worry about money – and worry that we’re somehow worse people when struggling – that I’m not surprised people found that post refreshing.
    Glad to hear you’re getting along well with the dough now. 👌😊

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      1. Definitely! So many fun things cost money though – I know it’s silly but I spend as much time worrying about how I’m missing out than I do working to pay the bills 😅

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  2. It’s lovely to have an insight into another corner of the world, especially as your climate is so different to ours. Here in the Midlands of England, it was -5 degrees on the school run yesterday (first one back) but above freezing this morning.

    Your bread looks lovely. I had a bread machine when our daughter was little, but we don’t eat a lot of bread so I gave it to a friend who does. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread, is there?

    I love your new pictures. They look perfect! I have three embroidered pictures hanging in my office that my grandmother created. They are very pretty and receive a lot of comments from visitors. It’s lovely when your art tells a story, as yours does.

    Look out for my #FrugalFebruary posts next month – I wonder if they will chime with you? Well done for sharing your story. These blog posts are about mutual support and camaraderie; what a blessing!

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  3. The cheapest I can buy bread flour is .75p per 1.5kg which averages out to £5 for 10kg, and the currency converter says that that’s $8.15 in Canada. Food is much cheaper in the UK generally but I think that’s because everything else (mainly housing) is so expensive! I don’t have a bread maker because I don’t really eat enough bread to justify the cost, but I don’t really kneed it either just give it a really long rise time!

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    1. Interesting. Our housing situation isn’t the greatest. At the moment living in the city is extremely pricey so it looks like families are moving further and further out like we did. What we spent on our home would buy us a 1 bedroom apartment in the city so it just made financial sense to move here.

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  4. I don’t know how much bread flour is because I’m at where you guys were before you shopped frugally.
    When I did have a bread machine I let it do all the work because I found it easier than going through all the steps myself. When my bread machine died we went back to buying at store.
    Good luck with weather!

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    1. Letting it take care of the process start to finish is far easier. I’m sure on days where I’ve got other stuff going and don’t have the time to babysit my dough I’ll probably just let it do it’s thing but it was pretty interesting to see that giving it a little extra time outside the machine resulted in more than double the bread!

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  5. I used to use my bread machine to make the dough and then bake the bread in the oven. I found it stayed fresher longer that way – why I have no idea! And the house always smelled so good. I haven’t done it in a while now because I gave up gluten several years ago. Although now that I’m slowly introducing it back into my diet, it might be time to break the bread machine back out.

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    1. Maybe because the crust that forms is thicker?

      Mer always complained that the crust wasn’t thick enough when I’d let it bake in the machine. Baking in the oven really does make the bread crustier which I think might prevent air from penetrating thus giving it a longer life?

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    1. It really is lovely! It’s especially pretty here because it’s pure white and doesn’t get dirtied by tons of traffic. The city is a completely different story, it’s dirty and slushy and messy.

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  6. Energy-wise, it is better to run through the full bread cycle and let it bake in the machine. That way it is just heating a small appliance instead of a huge oven. When I lived in Montreal and used to make bread (I don’t eat bread anymore), I calculated that it cost me $1.50 per loaf – that is for organic flour and includes the hydro and honey (instead of sugar). So, yes, I agree that the savings are huge. I like it that you included the calculation. I’m big on that too at my blog.

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    1. For sure! It’s far cheaper energy wise to let the machine do the work. I’m curious bout the honey, how much honey would you use to replace the sugar and does it change the consistency of the bread?

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  7. Nice find on the bread savings! I don’t have a machine yet, trying to do it by hand. Maybe I can split a recipe?? I also like the old art part. I only buy used so it’s nice to know someone else is out there. And the finance thing, yeah, yeah, yeah. Know how you feel. ❤

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  8. Interesting calculation 🙂 Here in Sweden flour costs about 7.50 swedish crown (1.10CAD) per kg, which is about the same I suppose? Problem is I usually bake with mixed flour and seeds to make it healthier and more flavourful so its hard to keep track on how much they really cost…
    I got a bread machine as present last summer and never bought any bread since then. Sometimes I set the timer on and let the machine do all the work so that we can wake up to freshly baked bread (and that smell!) and sometimes I just let it do the kneading and bake it in the oven afterwards.

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      1. I don’t have a specific recipe for it but I do recommend dark poppy seeds, you can either add a teaspoon to the dough or sprinkle on top of the bread, it has such a wonderful taste! Chia seeds and flax seeds don’t have much flavour of their own but they are healthy and add some texture to the bread. A lot of people like to put pumpkin seeds and sun flower seeds on top of the bread, I love the roasted nutty flavour too but hate it when they stuck in my teeth lol…
        So I hope you will try some seeds too and find your favourite 🙂

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  9. I also use my bread machine to make dough for pizza crust, naan and cinnamon rolls. Those are all transcendently good: better than I could otherwise make at home, but maybe approaching restaurant quality. Definitely cheaper and healthier than the premade versions at the grocery store!

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