Saving Money on Food: Finding the Best Value in Pizza
Just How Much Pizza Do We Eat?
One thing is for certain: We eat a lot of pizza. According to pizza.com, each American eats 46 pizza slices a year. Over 93% of Americans report eating pizza monthly. Pizza accounts for 10% of ALL food service sales. I could go on and on with these fun pizza facts, but the bottom line is that all this pizza eating costs lots of money.
There is a huge range in the cost of pizza, from the frozen pizzas purchased in grocery stores to the $100 slices served at the finest restaurants. I've done some research and collected information that displays the best value options in pizza purchasing. I chose to measure the value in inches instead of slices since the size of the slice can vary from pizza to pizza.
Pizza Cost Per Inch
Price per inch
Costco Premade Pizzas
DiGiorno Frozen Pizza
Making your own pizza can be a fun and cheap way to get your pizza. It takes a crust, cheese, sauce, and toppings.
- A premade 12" pizza crust costs $2.42 from Walmart.
- A 1-pound bag of mozzarella cheese costs $4.22. According to pizza.com, 6 ounces of cheese is the recommended amount of cheese for a 12-inch pizza. That works out to about $1.58 worth of cheese.
- The cost of the toppings will vary, but let's assume we are going to have pepperoni pizza. An 80-slice pack of pepperoni costs $2.97 at Walmart. Assuming 20 slices of pepperoni per pizza, that works out to $0.74 of pepperoni per pizza.
- A 14-oz jar of pizza sauce costs $1.41. A 12-inch pizza usually has about 4 ounces of sauce per pizza, bringing the cost of sauce to $0.40.
All told, the total cost of a make your own pizza is $5.14 or $0.43 an ounce.
Costco Premade Pizzas
Costco sells very good premade pizzas. They are 16.5 inches in length and cost $8.99. That works out to 54 cents an inch.
The main drawback to purchasing pizza at Costco is that you're limited to cheese and pepperoni pizzas. You also need a Costco membership to buy them. However, the ingredients are of higher quality than many other pizza sellers, and the cost is relatively low.
Domino's is one of the largest pizza companies in the world and usually has the lowest prices. They offer large pizzas for as low as $7.99 for a 14-inch large pizza. That works out to 57 cents per inch.
The advantage of Domino's over Costco is that these large pizzas come with three toppings and a choice of crusts, unlike the Costco pizzas where the choices are much more limited.
Papa John's is a competitor to Domino's in the pizza business. Their prices are higher than Domino's; however, they also claim that their pizzas are of better quality than Domino's. Their slogan, in fact, is "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza: Papa John's."
I personally like Papa John's pizza; however, many people may prefer Domino's or another brand. Papa John's average cost per inch of pizza is $0.79. If you're going with Papa John's, you're going with them due to personal preference and not price.
DiGiorno Frozen Pizza
DiGiorno is by far the most popular frozen pizza brand in the United States. Virtually everyone knows their slogan: "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno." Since DiGiorno is the most popular brand and everyone likely knows it, I've decided to use it for this example.
DiGiorno pizzas are available in a variety of crusts, ingredients, and styles and are very cheap. On average, a large 14-inch DiGiorno pizza will set you back about $0.42 an inch. The great thing about frozen pizzas is that you can get a low-cost pizza without sacrificing variety. You don't get the granular customization that you will get from a pizzeria, but if you are not super picky, frozen pizzas offer a great low-cost option.
For decades, Little Caesars pizzas have been a staple at birthday parties and get-togethers. I can remember them being the main dish at every kid event I went to. Parents find them a simple and cheap solution to feed dozens of hungry and rambunctious little ones.
Little Caesars currently offers large pepperoni pizzas for $6 or $0.43 an inch. That is by far the cheapest of the large pizza chains; however, customers are limited to just pepperoni on their pizza. Additional toppings will cost more.
I hope this article helps you find good, low-cost pizza solutions. This article summarized pizza companies based solely on price and not quality, variety, nutrition, or personal preference. These factors will definitely factor into any pizza-buying decision. If cost is the most important factor, then this article tells you exactly what you need to know.