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When it comes to calculating how much cooking at home costs you, it's easier than you think! Below I'm sharing my basic formula I use to calculate recipe costs to help you understand how you can do it at home with any recipe on the web.

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My grocery store of choice

The grocery store I have used to base these prices off of is Walmart. It is the largest, most accessible grocery store in the United States and is the store I shop at almost exclusively for its low pricing and free grocery pickup.

The only exception I've made in my calculations is basic ingredients I religiously purchase elsewhere due to their lower prices (like Costco bulk buys).

For example, this Better than Bouillon vegetable base is my go-to because you simply can't beat the price (unless you're making homemade with leftover vegetable scraps).

The Best Budget-Friendly Vegetable Broth

This bouillon paste contains 100 cups of broth in one jar and sells at Costco Wholesale ONLY for $8.99 (they recently raised the price in 2024!).

Do not buy on Amazon – it is way overpriced!

How to Calculate Recipe Costs

A big misconception when calculating recipe costs is that what you spend at the grocery store is what your weekly meal plan costs you. But this is wildly inaccurate.

Say for example you purchase a 5 lb bag of flour at Walmart for $2.67 (this is the current price in 2024 in my area) to make Healthy Vegan Blackberry Muffins for breakfast.

The recipe calls for just 2 cups of flour, meaning you will have a ton leftover and won't need to buy flour the next time a recipe calls for flour.

For this reason, it wouldn't be fair to say the flour for your muffins cost $2.67.

Instead, you need to calculate the cost per cup!

The easiest way to do this is to check the back nutrition label. The label will almost always tell you how many servings are in a bag.

In this example, a 5 lb bag of flour contains about 18.75 cups of flour.

This means that flour costs roughly $0.14 per cup.

So when you are calculating how much the blackberry muffins cost, it is most accurate to say the flour cost you $0.28.

This is exactly how the recipe costs for my recipes have been calculated. Again, using Walmart pricing in almost every scenario.

Does pricing change by region?

Yes, absolutely! Depending on where you live, your prices may be different. Unfortunately it is impossible for me to provide recipe cost estimations that will be applicable to everyone.

The recipe costs on this website are based off of the Walmart pricing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Good news for you is that the San Francisco Bay Area is notoriously one of the most expensive places in the United States to live, so chances are these prices are on the higher side compared to most of the country.

When were these recipe costs calculated?

The costs were calculated in December 2023 and January 2024. I do my best to keep them up to date, but grocery prices change every day, so again, the information on this site is provided as an estimate.

If you have an ingredient you'd like me to check, please leave a comment down below!

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