Monday, January 25, 2010

Homemade VS. Store-Bought Ice Cream

Paul and I have been working very hard to reduce expenditures, stop using credit cards, and to get out of debt. This is going well, but it is an adjustment. Now if there is only $40 in the checking account before payday on Thursday (our situation this week!) it is a lot easier and well, completely necessary, to be inventive for things that have to wait to be bought. We are already doing a lot of baking of bread and cookies, not going out to eat or getting take-out, and we have run out of coffee so have been going without it for a week (ah, tea, thank you for saving me!).

Anyway, we're all getting a little tired of chocolate-chip cookies, so, on Saturday night I realized we had ingredients for homemade ice cream. We already had an electric ice cream freezer tucked away on a shelf in the basement, and still had the freezer bowl in the downstairs freezer compartment of our old fridge, so we were all set. I used a very simple recipe:

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whipped cream or heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Mix eggs and sugar in a mixer. Add whipped cream and milk, then vanilla and mix well. Pour into ice cream freezer. Let ice cream maker run for 20-30 minutes, until ice cream is frozen. Makes 1 ¼ quart.

But it all got me wondering - is it really a savings to make your own? I had my doubts, given that whipped cream is not all that cheap. However, being the fussy ice cream gourmets that we are (only Edy's or Oberweis ice cream is good in our books), I thought it just might be a savings. So I took a look at a grocery receipt and did some online price comparing. I won't bore you with all the details and math calculations I went through, except to note that I buy pure vanilla at Sam's Club in the 16 oz bottle which is gazillion dollars of savings over buying the little 2 oz. rip-offs at the grocery store (to the tune of 1/10 of the cost of grocery store vanilla), but I found that homemade ice cream is much cheaper than full-priced Edy's and only slightly cheaper than even buying Edy's on a Buy-One-Get-One-Free deal:

Total for Homemade Ice Cream Ingredients, for the recipe's yield of 1 ¼ quart: $2.53 per 1 ¼ quart. However, I needed to figure this based on the amount in an Edy's Ice Cream tub so it is $3 per 1 ½ quart
Edy’s regular price 1 ½ quart: $6.49 (or $3.24 if you find it for a buy-1-get-1-free)

The other advantage to homemade ice cream is the all-natural ingedients. So, I have decided to mainly do homemade, but in a pinch, I could get Edy's as long as it's on the Buy-1-Get-1. Can you tell I love ice cream?

No comments: