| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

My bread-maker is one of the gadgets in my kitchen that saves me time, money and gives us so much sensual pleasure. There are good reasons to buy a bread maker if you already don’t have one.

(You know that there are few pleasures that compare favourably to the smell and taste of freshly made bread.)

I’ve had a bread maker for close to twenty years now; not the same one, naturally. At first, we just did what we used to do with many things we bought – we never used it and it only collected dust in a corner of our store room.

Eight years ago, when we started paying off our debt, using my bread maker was one of the budgeting hacks that saved me money with no loss of quality of life. In fact, our eating improved because we always had freshly made, tasty bread to go with soups, stews and the like.

We’ve been debt free for five years now. Do you think I’ve stopped using my bread maker? You bet I haven’t. If anything, I’ve become more adventurous and use it to make anything from ciabatta to pitta bread and naan bread.

Today, I’ll do my best to convince you should buy a bread maker, and use it regularly: it is not only a money saver but makes sense from so many different points.

Here are the five reasons I believe everyone should buy a bread maker:

This is a money blog, so this reason must trump all others.

Even if you don’t manage to cut a deal on the flour, or like bread from flour that is very expensive (like granary for instance), a loaf of bread made in the bread maker works out much cheaper than buying it.

Just as an illustration using ASDA white flour a loaf of white bread will set you back exactly 36 pence (30p flour, 2 p other ingredients and 4 p baking). If you add an egg to this, you will pay 54 pence. If you compare this with the price of cheap loaf of bread it may not appear so inexpensive.

But we are talking quality, and when we talk about quality we talk M&S. A loaf of basic white bread in M&S costs £1.35; a loaf of cholla bread costs a staggering £2.29. Wow! I just realised that we have recovered the cost of our bread-maker (cost £104) in about three and a half months.

Reason 2:  Bread is nicer

It is true; anybody who has tried the bread that comes out of our bread-maker can confirm this. It is partly the machine – we have Panasonic bread maker which is the Rolls-Royce of all bread-makers and was the first to design one (on the market in 1986 by, then, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co). To design this machine the engineer had to work for a year in a bakery – otherwise he could not get the kneading right. Apart from that, we have become truly creative with bread – we mix flours, we put seeds in and we experiment with different nuts. My all-time favourite is wholemeal bread with hazelnuts. Pure bread heaven!

Reason 3:  It is convenient

Making your own bread, even in a bread making machine, may appear fiddly. Putting a loaf on only takes 4 minutes, though; I really timed it. Most contemporary bread-makers have delay function so you can programme your loaf to be ready when you are – when you get up (freshly baked bread for breakfast; now how about that), when you get back in from work or for a specific occasion. LG advertising used to read ‘your own bakery open 24 hour a day’. It is all true.

Reason 4:  It is healthier

Have you wondered how bread today stays fluffy for so long? Or why does it have this plasticky aftertaste? Stop! It is all about preservatives and too much yeast. Neither is very good for us; in fact there have been studies linking the up surge in allergies with the increased amount of yeast and preservatives in our bread. I did some research on this one and I did it in M&S. Remember about quality? Well, one would expect that food there is healthy. Why did I count eleven, yes eleven, ingredients in wholemeal bread? The one I make in the bread-maker has only five – flour, water, salt and sugar (very little bit), and yeast (again small amount). It doesn’t contain anything beginning with E, I can assure you.

Reason 5: It is versatile

Bread making machines don’t make only bread. Recipe books have been expanding rapidly since the yearly years and now include brioche, croissants, gluten free bread and cakes. With a little bit of experimentation, they can make anything. In fact, a friend gave me the recipe for pita bread and she became a Goddess in my household in the space of 62 min (this is how long it takes from ingredients to pitas in the over, swelling nicely). After all, I do have a husband and three sons.

Lastly, few sensual pleasures compare with the smell of freshly baked bread. This is what makes a dwelling true home.

Do you have a bread maker? Share your favourite bread recipes.