Frozen, carry out or homemade: here are your tips for saving money on pizza as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Have we missed anything? Feel free to post your favorite tips below.
Sometimes when we felt that we needed a quick pizza "fix" or a snack, we used English Muffins cut in half, toasted or plain topped with tomato sauce made with basil, oregano, garlic, onions added, topped with pepperoni, salami, ricotta or cottage cheese, olives, peppers, anchovies, Parmesan or Romano cheese, etc. Sometimes we would cut Italian bread or rolls in slices or in half depending on the shape, or even pitas and then top those as above. Bake or microwave and enjoy. Craving satisfied.
When my kids were growing up and they had a craving for pizza I'd always make sure we always had some canned spaghetti sauce in the fridge. This way they could take any type of bread (stale bread works even better) from a bagel to a piece of toast to an English muffin and add a tablespoon of the spaghetti sauce and a bit of cheese and a dash of Parmesan and a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning, then pop it in the microwave (or the oven) and "PRESTO" their pizza craving is no more! YUM! YUM!
On the RARE occasions where we can afford to treat ourselves to pizza these days, I've found I can save quite a bit (sometimes half) by driving in to Dominos instead of having our pizza delivered! Just ask "What are your "U-pick-up" specials. Also, if you enjoy a single topping pizza (or can add your own second or third topping at home), you can buy a large pizza with a single topping for much less than a medium pizza with 4 toppings (at Dominos at least). ALWAYS ASK "WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIALS", no matter WHO you call or drive in to.
As far as low cost/high quality pizzas, the very best are the "Take and Bake" like Papa Murphy's or other places like that. If you are on food stamps, you can sometimes use food stamps because this is food that you are cooking at home. This way, you can afford a special treat once in a while, say, for a child's birthday meal for example.
Before you order your pizza, look in the cupboard and see if you may have a can of olives or pineapple or even onions or tomatoes in the fridge, this way you can save money on toppings by adding these after the pizza gets to your home!
About Tipping: And NEVER save money by not tipping your pizza delivery driver. I've had many people that survive on tips these days say that a family or a couple will go out to a fancy restaurant at night, but when it comes to the tip, even thought the service was great, they either won't tip or they will not tip the 15 - 20% that's expected for great service (remember these servers are only getting minimum wage and even less in many states. And they have to "tip-out" in other words they have to share their tips with the busboys and other employees!
So please remember that the tip is NOT where you save money, find a coupon instead!
I live near Chicago, land of the deep dish pizza. A $24 large deep dish pizza will give my husband and I about 3 meals, which ends up being about $4 a meal for each of us for yummy pizza. Not a bad meal price for takeout!
My teen likes to make pizza. We use a store brand dough mix, a jar of pizza sauce (from a great Italian restaurant in St. Louis, no less) and store brand mozzarella. Much, much cheaper than ordering out!
There is also a popular locally owned pizza restaurant in town that sells their pies frozen at local grocery stores. They are half the price as what we would pay if we went to the pizza place for dinner and taste just as good. I don't know whether other places do this but it might be worth checking out.
We always, ALWAYS look for coupon deals on the internet or in the Yellow Pages on the rare occasions we order pizza. You can save quite a bit this way.
By L Hill
We buy Rhodes frozen pizza dough, and put plain tomato sauce and freshly grated cheese on it. I don't buy already shredded cheese because it is more expensive and you can freeze cheese that is on sale. The plain sauce does not taste bad. My super picky hubbie loves it.
I can't remember where I got this idea from, but they are great.
Place the tortilla on a baking sheet. Top with sauce, toppings, then cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slide off onto plate.
These turn out really well, I was impressed. And this way everyone can have it their way.
Dei Fratelli brand pizza sauce is head and shoulders above most other brands available in the grocery. (No connection with the company except as a satisfied customer.)
My cheapest remedy for making pizza is taking a loaf of bread spreading each slice with sauce and a sprinkle of cheese, let stand for about 5 minutes and restack them into the bread bag and store in the freezer. I shared this tip sometime ago here and its the best for me especially if you have children.
Nowadays, we rarely order out for pizza. lately I've been making my own by using a type of bread called Arabic bread which resembles personal pan pizza crust and 6 comes in a pack, and they are pretty cheap in my neck of the woods. I prepare them the same way as I would do for a loaf of bread with the sauce on each and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, restack in the bread bag and freeze for an anytime treat.
I use my bread maker to make the pizza dough! It takes care of all of the work and I can enjoy a pizza with whatever I want on it. I like to roll out the crust and top with olive oil and minced garlic then prebake for a few minutes then take it out and put the rest of the toppings on then finish the cooking for a few more minutes. This is a great idea for those who are allergic to the tomato sauces. I also like the Pillsbury Pizza dough in a can when you're pinched for time. I'm thinking pizza for dinner now.
I also use the bread machine to make the dough. (I posted this hint a while back.) Our basic dough recipe is 1 scant tablespoon of yeast (which we buy in bulk and store in the freezer), 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, one cup lukewarm water (you may need to adjust slightly for your machine) and whatever herbs/spices we might feel like throwing in--though plain is just as good, IMHO. Be sure to remember to let the dough rest after you turn it out of the pan.
If you don't have a bread machine, dissolve the yeast in slightly warm water, then stir in the remaining ingredients, which will probably require getting your hands into the dough before they're all incorporated. Knead, adding flour if the dough is too sticky, adding water if it doesn't all ball together. Knead by mashing it down with the heel of your hands, then fold and mash again. Simply repeat this until the dough starts to get nice and smooth. Pinch the outer edges into the middle to make a smooth ball, then lay it on a piece of waxed paper you have either sprayed with non-stick spray, dusted with flour, or greased slightly. Turn your mixing bowl over and cover the dough. Let it rise for 30 minutes to an hour--it should be substantially bigger than when you first put it there. Don't stress about "doubling" and all that. "Punch it down", that is, squash it a few times so it loses most of the new volume, and let it rest for ten minutes or so. (This will make it less likely to spring out of shape when you roll it out to make the crust.) Don't be afraid to try it if you've never made bread before--it really is easy.
After the ten minutes, either pat/roll it into one big crust or pinch the dough into pieces to make smaller crusts. Make sure to grease or spray your pan. You can sprinkle it with cornmeal, if you like that crunch.
Place the rolled crust on the pan, top, and bake in a 350 degree F oven until the cheeses are all melted, and just starting to bubble and brown. (Usually around 20 minutes for us.)
This summer, I discovered that if I roll smaller crusts fairly thin (about 1/4 inch), I can "bake" them in a non-stick skillet. I put them in a skillet over med. heat and turn them when they have bubbled and the one side has started to brown where the bubbles are. Cook the second side until it is beginning to brown, as well. Then you can top and put in the toaster oven, or even in the microwave.
I prefer using tomato paste instead of sauce. You can buy preseasoned, or simply sprinkle on the seasonings you like before you add the rest of the toppings.
Pizza is a great way to use up leftovers, and sneak in some veggies!
When frozen pizza is on sale, I buy quite a few - but only cheese. Then on "pizza night", we add more cheese and some pepperoni! You can add any topping that you like, and it is fresh, not frozen!
We buy the deli pizza at Wal-Mart. It's loaded with toppings, less than $10.00. Whatever pizza you make or purchase, be sure to serve a salad on the side -- FIRST. You're more likely to eat less pizza and have leftovers.
We like the Freschetta PizzAmore. It's a pre-sliced pizza. We don't care much that it's pre-sliced as when it bakes, you have to watch the edges where it's sliced or you'll have much smaller slices of pizza after you've cut it elsewhere. The flavor is more like homemade than any other frozen pizza that we've tried and we've tried a lot of frozen pizzas down thru the years. My last great purchase on these pizzas, Albertson's had the medium size on sale for $4.00 and there were $2.00/1 coupons attached to the front of the boxes. So we got them for $2.00 each! Great deal. I've been watching but so far, no more coupons on the fronts of the boxes. This product is from the home delivery company, Schwans's but for grocery stores.
We always use frozen bread dough, tomato paste with 1/2 can water and oregano and salt added. Store brand Mozzarella cheese. Then we add interesting toppings such as ham and pineapple tidbits, left over meat, onions, vegetables, peppers, mushrooms, different things each time. Sometimes I would divide the dough and each of my 3 children put what they wanted on their own pizza, they enjoy that.
I make my own pizza. The dough is similar to the above recipe, but I use 2 cups whole wheat flour and I cup white. I make my own pizza sauce, but you can use canned.
It saves a lot of money. You can also put leftover meatballs or vegetables on it for a nice variation.
Best money saving tips for pizza are to use what you have on hand! Most of the posted tips list specific ingredients and that takes more trips to the store, less likelihood of finding the items on sale, etc.
Experiment and use up what you have on hand. Around the holidays I buy some extra staples when they're on super sales and store them properly so i have extra whole grain flours, etc. Buy cheeses when they are on sale and freeze them.
You don't always have to use mozzarella. You may like to mix and match. Use tomatoes if you have extra fresh from the garden instead of buying "pizza sauce". Toppings can always be the extra veggies or meats you have on hand. That small bit of chicken makes a great garlic chicken pizza. A little spinach on pizza with the right cheese can make your kids enjoy it.
Don't forget to experiment with herbs too. Most people have tons of jars on the shelf and use very few of them. Pizza anything night can be the most fun, creative and economical meals you make all week long.
Don't forget it freezes beautifully and makes great lunches for work or school.
I usually wait until I have a "Buy One - Get One Free" pizza coupon from the local pizzeria, and order cheese. I then add my own toppings. Whatever is left over, we freeze for later use. Or sometimes we split the pizzas with neighbors, and each pay half the bill.
DH and I rarely (maybe once a year) order pizza, and we always make sure to use a coupon or deal and pick it up ourselves when we do. We usually indulge with a frozen pizza, and I prefer those that don't cost over $3-4 at the most before adding coupon savings. Red Baron is my favorite brand because they have lots of topping options at a low cost. I'm really interested in learning to make my own pizza using frozen or bread machine dough, too, so keep those awesome how-to tips coming!
By Melody T.
You know all that junk mail you get? 90 percent of the time there are great deals on pizza in there, coupons, specials, etc. Many pizza companies also have online coupons you can use. We always use those and end up with a pretty good priced pizza by looking for the most bang for our buck. coupons usually last a month or so, so its easy to collect them and use whats best at the time you are wanting to order one.
Another thing I do is buy bulk flour from Sprouts. I have a simple pizza/flatbread dough I use and the whole thing ends up costing less that 10 bucks per head.
Toppings: whatever you have in your fridge - roast leftover veggies and use them to top it, caramelize some onions, throw on some deli- sliced cheese, it's pretty healthy too.
I love pizza, but I really like it with a myriad of toppings, too, which adds up when it comes from a pizza place. I usually buy a frozen pizza, whatever is cheap or on sale, then add lots of topping at home-whatever is in fridge-sometimes chicken, onions, mushrooms, even asparagus once. I throw a little fresh oregano from the herb garden, add a little extra cheese-and salivate until it is done baking.
Or, I buy a Little Caesar's $5 pizza, ask for it under-baked and take it home, add my toppings and then finish baking it in my oven. Costco also has a really big pizza, ready to eat or inside the store ($1 cheaper than ready to eat) for about $10, too.
Ok, I need to FIRST clarify that I consider myself an accomplished down-home 'don't need a recipe' cook. The only mistake I have made SEVERAL times, however, is to put the frozen pizza, (you know, the good DiGiorno/Freshchetta kind) in the oven, watch it bake to a beautiful golden cheesy color, complete with my 'make-it-healthy add-ons', take it to the table to find out that I LEFT THE CARDBOARD ON THE BOTTOM! This has become the joke at my house, and I guess I have to laugh. I've done this at least twice now, maybe more times. I really do try extra hard these days to take the cardboard off. So may I suggest that the best 'thrifty' tip is to TAKE OFF THE CARDBOARD, IT TASTES BETTER! :o)
We make our own pizza. It may take you a couple of tries to work the kinks out, but if you don't give up if it doesn't all go perfectly the first time, I promise you'll save a ton of money by making your own. Find a pizza dough recipe online (don't skip the olive oil) , and make your own dough in a food processor or by hand. Wrap dough ball in parchment paper, and place in a ziploc bag. Freeze. The rest is pizza quick sauce (or your own), shredded cheese and toppings. The key is a hot oven, 450 or 500 degrees F is best. You can save the parchment paper from freezing and roll your crust out on it. Make a few crusts at a time when you have the time so you're not making dough every week. It's a super cheap meal, like about $3.00 for an extra large pepperoni pizza for 4 people. We do this every Friday night, and save a bundle. We used to drop $16-20 bucks per week on family pizza night, but no more. We will not go back!
I am a really old fashion pizza "get the biggest bang for the buck" person. Pizza parlor bought pizza was a treat when I was growing up. Even frozen pizza was a treat. But it is almost a staple of our life nowadays! Pizza in our house is French bread, spaghetti sauce and whatever was in the refrigerator. And whatever cheese was around.
I sometimes splurge on the prebaked crusts, (on sale, with a coupon) but most of the time, when I buy a loaf of the fresh French bread our local store offers, I cut it in half longways, then halve it again. 2 quarters are buttered with garlic butter, wrapped and frozen for a side with future meals. the other half is for pizza bread. I freeze even the scantest 1/4 cup of leftover spaghetti sauce for just this purpose.
Leftover roast, chicken, polish sausage, ham, as well as a couple mushrooms, the last slice of bell pepper, and sliced olives (always in our frig) or other veggies (summer, home grown zucchini shredded) become toppings. Cheese - whatever is there - Jack and Cheddar are among our staples. Pizza is a given at least every other week in our house, and a great way to make a quick easy meal. I also use refrigerator biscuits as a crust. Several rolled together into a personal pizza works good.
A recipe I got from a Pampered Chef party took one tube of refrigerated biscuits, pulled apart and quartered, then tossed in a bowl with spaghetti sauce. Throw in a a half cup of whatever meat you want (cooked), a handful each of whatever veggies you wanted, some grated cheese, and pour out into a 9 x 13 pan. top with some more cheese. bake at whatever the biscuit tube said to bake and check. maybe a couple minutes more. it turns out like pizza monkey bread and is great for a quick dinner or even an appetizer!
To make a pizza go a long way, I make a pot of pasta and sauce add a salad and we enjoy the pizza instead of bread. This way everyone gets a slice or two and seconds on pasta and salad.
I really like all these ideas, and got a kick out of MamaKim's expert advice to remove the cardboard before baking the frozen pizza.
I like to make waffle pizzas. Get out that waffle iron, make a simple batter, I use whole wheat flour, a little olive oil, pinch of salt, a little water, and make a few waffles.
When they're done (couple minutes), put them on a plate, and do them up like the English muffins above, tomato paste and toppings, and put them in the microwave a couple minutes.
By Janice C.
We make our own. The only hard and fast rule is that the crust comes from the following recipe: Stir 1 Tbsp. dry yeast into 1 cup of warm water (105-115 degrees). Stir in 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 Tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Beat for about 20 strokes. Let it rest five minutes.
While it's resting, clean out the fridge with anything that sounds good. For the pizza sauce I use an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce (.38). For extra flavor, sprinkle on a teaspoon of dried basil or Italian seasonings. Top it with whatever works. I have used bacon or sausage, sauteed onions, leftover bits of bell pepper, pineapple, canned lunch meats, broccoli, sliced tomatoes, chives, olives, etc. While we usually don't have mozzarella on hand, cheddar is quite tasty and we usually have it because it goes on sale so frequently.
There is nothing second-rate about this pizza! Our daughters and their spouses make six figure incomes, and now they copy this when time permits. Their wealthy friends think it's some new fad from a famous chef. Why should we tell them?
By Coreen Hart
I often make my own pizza at home, because the cost is at least halved as compared to carry-out (no delivery available to our house). And the cost can be even less if items are bought on sale, or leftovers or odds and ends are used as toppings. Also, when you make it yourself, YOU can control the ingredients.
I use half white and half whole wheat flour in my dough, to make it healthier, and it also lends a pleasant earthy chewiness. If you find yourself making lots of dough at home, invest in a large container of yeast instead of the wee packets. I can buy a one pound packet of quality yeast for $3.25, versus over a dollar for just three individual packets (the one pound pack comes from a Mennonite-run country store that carries baking supplies). I keep a small jar of yeast in the fridge to work from and the rest of the yeast in the freezer to maintain freshness.
One extra tip I have; don't limit yourself to mozzarella cheese! Provolone cheese is very tasty on pizza, and where I buy it (at the aforementioned country store, which has a deli counter), it costs about $1 a pound less than mozzarella. Keep in mind that some deli counters will take off X number of cents per pound if you buy a "chunk" of cheese, because they don't have to slice it.
Feel free to post your pizza tips below.
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We've been making our own pizza since my husband lost his job almost a year ago and he enjoys it more than when we'd get one from a pizza joint or a frozen pizza from the store. We switch between homemade crust made from the bread machine to one I make from french bread. We usually wait until there's a sale on french bread loaves (.79 cents currently) and stock up on them and freeze for future use. I cut the loaf down the middle and then cut in half to make 4 pieces. Spread the slice with spaghetti sauce and our favorite toppings are loads of pepperoni, diced onions, diced green pepper and mozzarella cheese. I sprinkle a bit of oregano, garlic powder and parmesan over the top and bake for 20 min. on 400F. Simple yet, tasty!
When my kids were small, I'd make mini pizzas using hamburger buns.
I'd fry/drain a pound of hamburger. While the meat is cooking, I'd split the buns, spread pizza or spaghetti sauce on each half, putting them on a cookie or baking sheet.
Spray the pan with Pam first, or put foil on the pan. The sauce/toppings can drip off and crisp up on the pan, making it hard to get off and clean.
I'd put some meat on each bun, then top with black olives or peppers or onions or mushrooms, etc - then, of course, add cheese.
Put the pan of mini pizzas in a 375 degree oven. Depending on what's on your pizzas, determines the length of time in the oven. Since everything is already cooked, they just need to be heated thoroughly.
This size is easy for kids to handle. And, they're easy to pack in your lunch for work.
We buy Meijers self rising pizza, tastes every bit as good as DiGiorno's. Best part is the heating directions require you DO NOT preheat the oven. Just pop it into the oven, bake at 425 and check at 25 minutes.
Check with the deli in your local grocery store. Publix here in Florida will sell pizza dough for a dollar each. I make it up with the topping we like and freeze
I use a foccacia bread recipe to make a pizza like meal. Mix 1 teaspoon yeast and 1 teaspoon white sugar in 1 cup warm water; add a couple tablespoons all purpose flour, mix well and let it bloom for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, to 2 cups all purpose flour add a pinch or two of salt, teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon each of onion powder and garlic powder. Mix in the yeast liquid, two tablespoons olive oil and stir until mixed; add water or flour as needed to make the dough ball easy to handle.
Knead for three or minutes, then set in a warm place to rise.
I find that this will yield enough to make two separate servings. Separate the dough into equal sized pieces and flatten. I add the following: a smallish amount of thawed frozen spinach to which is added mayo and some seasoned salt; a couple of rehydrated, sun dried tomatoes cut into slivers, shaved ham, fresh onion thinly sliced and several ounces of cheese. It's most easily done in layers. Bake in an oiled baking pan at 350 for 30 minutes.
You can refrigerate or freeze an unused portion but be careful to allow enough time for it to come to room temperature when you want to use it. I have found the shaved ham in sealed packages on sale for $.50/2 oz, this is certainly enough for one serving and can be stretched for two. The sundried tomatoes came from Amazon on a grocery sale and I have enough for about three years at current consumption.
I also add a couple tablespoons of a ground up dried parsley mix to my dough when mixing the dry ingredients. It adds a lot and is not too costly. It is not Mrs. Dash but that would work fine.
Cheese can be bought on sale and frozen.
Don't be discouraged if your first few attempts working with yeast seem to fail. Stick with it and you'll ultimately be quite satisfied.
If you have a Genuardi's supermarket near you (think it's a regional chain - northeast) they have $5 pizza deals every Friday. No coupons needed. Perfect for the uninspired pizza prep person like myself. You might also be able to buy them unbaked to freeze for another time.
I like to by a simple cheese or 3 cheese pizza and add everything I like on a good pizza, such as Mushrooms,
Bell Peppers,Olives,Hormel sliced Pepperoni,and you can add little hambuger that has been pre-cooked. I have also added Cocktail Schrimp and Smoked Oysters and Canadian bacon and I always add a little more cheese on top of these.
I found if you are adding a lot of additional toppings you might want to put a little more tomatoe sauce on top of the original cheese that came on your pizza,you can use plain tomaote sauce or I like use my favorite spagetti sauce which is Classico Tomatoe and Basil on top of the the original cheese that came on your pizza. I get everything I want on it and out it in a 450 degree pre-heated oven for 13 to 16 minutes until the crust is good and crisp and the cheese is well melted. I use a small Totino's Cheese Pizza because it is just the right size for my husband and myself to devour in one meal. I never realized how inventive you could get with pizza until we started making our own to save some money.
Sigma28~~~ Red Baron is also a Schwans Product. I like the thin crust $3.99 on sale. It gives us two meals. I sometimes get the pepperoni one and add my own onions,bell pepper, olives & canned musrooms sauted in a pan together while the pizza is baking. Just add to the top before serving. GG Vi
For quick and easy,fun for kids. Use a can of bisquits
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