Dominos vs Home Made Pizza: Which Cost of Pizza is Lower?
I grew up eating pizza for lunch (probably about once every few weeks or so), and it was always the kind that you could get in a box from the frozen meals section. It was usually Delissio or Digiorno or the Pillsbury pizza minis. Unfortunately the Pillsbury pizza minis have been discontinued and all that is left are pizzas that look like pizza pockets and don’t look remotely as tasty as what was discontinued (I haven’t bothered to buy them to taste them). Frozen pizza is easy, fast, and tasty, I can see why my mom always made that for us kids to eat. We rarely went out for pizza or even ever got take out pizza.
We never made pizza at home. The only time we went out as a family for pizza was when they had the Pizza Hut all you can eat buffet. Apparently (according to Reddit at least) they still have the old school Pizza Hut buffet, but for lunch. The other time I had pizza that wasn’t from the frozen food section was during pizza days at elementary school. Those were the best and it was a once a month thing. We would put our order in (mine was always a chocolate milk, a slice of cheese pizza, and a long john donut) and on the day of pizza day everyone formed an orderly line in the school gym and you would get your order. It was delicious and one of the fond memories I have of elementary school!
Fast Forward to Adulting
As an adult responsible for feeding myself I didn’t buy frozen pizza with the exception of the Pillsbury pizza minis (that stuff was so good, I am still so sad that they discontinued it) or Trader Joe’s pizzas if I make it down to Trader Joe’s (like once a year, lol). I don’t buy frozen pizza regularly because it takes up too much room in my freezer and also because the ingredient list is kind of scary with all sorts of unpronounceable ingredients. Then we started getting some Dominos carry out pizza because they had a promotion from time to time. It’s is fast and tasty when you don’t feel like making food.
I always wanted to try and make my own pizza (it always seems so complicated to make and difficult) but thanks to personal finance blogging, specifically Revanche from A Gai Shan Life and her pizza dough recipe, I took the leap and bought some pizza yeast and have been making home made pizza when I have some time. I have since started using another pizza dough recipe (a thinner crust one) and I found this home made pizza dough recipe from Ricardo.com is not as difficult to clean up (the sticky yeasty dough was hard to clean up) and it tastes great.
I know that home made pizza is clearly healthier for you- you know what ingredients are in your pizza dough- flour, sugar, water, yeast, and salt. I know that home made pizza can be convenient- as long as you have pasta sauce in your home, some meat or ham of some sort, and maybe even canned pineapples you are good (sorry I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t feel that pineapples belong on pizza, but I love Hawaiian pizza!!).
FYI, Hawaiian pizza was invented in Ontario, Canada in 1962 by a Greek-Canadian! He has since died in 2017 at the age of 82.
However, I have wondered whether making your own pizza is cheaper or buying take out is cheaper. You might think that’s a silly thought- of course FIRE fanatics always make their own pizza and it is clearly the winner… but cheese is very expensive here in Canada. A block of plain old mozzarella cheese is normally like $7.50. This is why whenever I go down to the states, I bring back as much cheese as I can.
Here’s my analysis from a Canadian personal finance blogger lens on which one is cheaper (in Canada at least), Dominos or home made pizza, and by home made pizza I mean Hawaiian pizza, the main option I pick:
The Cost of Dominos
The cost of a 14″ hand tossed pizza (Large pizza) with two toppings, ham and pineapple at Dominos for carry out is $16.99 plus tax. Usually I can eat 2-3 slices of pizza and my husband can eat 3 slices of pizza and we have leftover pizza for one of us for lunch the next day.
On promo days (usually I get notified by Barry Choi from Money We Have on twitter who also likes Dominos pizza or I get a flyer in the mail that there is a discount) where you can enter a coupon code for a discount when you order online, the large 14″ hand tossed pizza with two toppings (ham and pineapple) is $8.99 + tax. Sometimes I’ve seen a large pizza for $7.99 + tax.
We never order take out pizza without the coupon code or discount. Even in Oahu, Hawaii when we got Dominos takeout, I was frantically searching for a coupon code to use lol and found one, it was $10.99 USD.
— Genymoney.ca (@genymoneyca) November 1, 2018
The Cost of Home Made Pizza
Okay, now that we know how much it is for take out pizza, let’s look at the break down of home made pizza and what it cost this most recent time I made some pizza:
- Mozzarella Cheese– I used a small package of Mozzarella cheese and it was on sale at No Frills for $3.75 or so. Normally a package is like $7.50 as mentioned.
- Pizza Yeast– The pizza yeast is from Fleischmann’s brand and comes in a package of three and it cost $1.75 or so, which I used a Checkout 51 coupon for and got $0.50 back, so it was $1.25. I only used 1 tsp worth of one package, so I would say it’s about $0.15 worth of pizza yeast.
- Flour– 2 cups, a large bag of flour is about $4 or so, and I’d estimate I used $0.25 worth.
- Sugar– negligible
- Salt– negligible
- Ham– I found a small package of “Honey Ham” from the deli section at No Frills, it was $0.99. In hindsight I could have gotten higher quality ham and more of it because this was barely enough for two pizzas.
- Pineapple– I found an organic pineapple for $2.50, and used only about 1/2 of it for the pizza toppings= $1.25
Total cost of home made pizza in Canada when you source ingredients that are on sale: $6.39+ tax
Here’s my most recent Hawaiian home made pizza, not depicted is the other baking sheet of pizza produced from this one batch of pizza dough. It fed me, my husband, toddler GYM for dinner and there was enough left over for lunch for both os us the next day.
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The Verdict: Dominos vs Home Made Pizza
The verdict as you can see, is that home made pizza is cheaper but not that much cheaper, and the absolute difference on a Dominos coupon day is $8.99-$6.39= $2.60. We did notice more delicious mozzarella cheese on the home made pizza than the Dominos pizza, so this wasn’t a completely valid control study.
I think it’s worth paying an extra $2.60 to not have to wash the pans, bowls, and grater after eating pizza. However, as our family gets older, I think it will be fun to have a pizza night when kids can participate and help out so in this case I would definitely opt for home made > take out.
That being said, getting to Dominos for the take out pizza (gas or walking) was not factored into the cost and therefore might make the absolute difference even smaller! In addition, I did not factor in the PC Optimum cash back points received since most of the ingredients were purchased at No Frills, a Loblaw’s store.
My verdict is that I’m going to continue sticking with Dominos take out on the coupon days and then make my own pizza when I have the time and when there’s mozzarella on sale at the grocery store.
Have you ever made pizza yourself?
What is your favourite pizza for take out or delivery?
How much does a large pizza go for in your neighbourhood?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.