Rather than calling for delivery, try a cheaper homemade pizza. Make the pie yourself or let the whole family pitch in. Here Cheapism serves up two budget-wise pizza recipes you can pull together without breaking a sweat. One should appeal to gourmet foodies and the other, a pick-your-own toppings version, to just about anyone. Both cost less than $10.
Based on prices posted for store-brand ingredients at Kroger, these homemade pizzas are far less costly than takeout or delivery. A recent taste-off we staged involving four national pizza chains found that the best cheap pizza starts at $10 for a large pie, plus tip for the delivery driver. One competitor prices a similar-size cheese pie at just $5, but this entry tanked with our judges. So save money and probably have more fun by making pizza at home. You won't be disappointed.
The Crust.First things first: the crust. There are several options here, including making one from scratch (yes, it's easy), using a mix, or buying one that's pre-made.
- Homemade Crust: $1.50
For an easy homemade crust, this formula from All Recipes earns near-perfect reviews. The ingredients are sold in units larger than needed for just one crust, so we worked out the cost of a 12-inch foundation. It's very basic but can be customized by adding a sprinkle of Italian seasonings, for example, or by rubbing it with the side of a cut garlic clove.
- Pizza Crust Mix: two/$1.50
The Kroger brand of pizza crust mix requires the addition of warm water before rolling it out and baking. This approach to homemade pizza costs even less than making the crust from scratch.
- Crescent Roll Crust: $1.99
One of our favorite pizza recipes uses a crust made with a store-brand crescent roll. Just unfurl and pinch together the pre-cut seams.
- Pre-made Crust: $3.49
If you don't want to do anything but pop a pizza crust in the oven, pick up a pre-made crust. A good option if you're really tight on time, but one that sabotages part of the point of cheap homemade pizza.
- Margarita Pizza: $9.38
For this relatively gourmet-style pizza, we use the crescent-roll crust. Best to cook this pie on a cookie sheet with sides that measure at least 13x9 inches.
|1 crescent-roll package
1 tsp and 1/2 tsp olive oil (separated)
1 garlic clove, halved
4-5 plum tomatoes, sliced
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
|1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
|Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a cookie sheet and spread the crescent roll onto the sheet, pinching together sections that come apart.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove dough from oven and brush with (1 tsp) olive oil and rub with cut sides of garlic.
Arrange the tomato slices and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 12 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Sprinkle with chopped basil, salt, and pepper.
Combine (1/2 tsp) olive oil and balsamic vinegar and drizzle over pizza.
Traditional Pizza: $7.12 (more if you use more toppings)We calculated the price for this traditional pizza factoring in only cheese and pepperoni toppings. You can set out extra toppings so that family members can add what they like, although this game plan obviously bumps up the cost. In our home we let each diner chose one topping so that everyone is happy. Alternatively, buy individual pizza crusts or divide a homemade crust into several small pies and let everyone build their own homemade pizza. Besides the standards, suggested toppings include green pepper, banana peppers, mushrooms, onion, and sausage. Anchovies or pineapple, anyone?
|7 ounces store-brand pizza sauce
Pepperoni and other toppings of choice
2 cups mozzarella cheese
|Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place the homemade pizza crust (recipe above) on a lightly greased pizza pan.
Spread pizza sauce and add toppings, then cover with cheese.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Cool 5 minutes before serving.