Wednesday 2 October 2013

A loaf of bread for 42.4p? The BBC forgot the electricity

BBC News carried an article today called 'Can you bake your own white loaf for 47p?'. This is in response to David Cameron's statement that he doesn't know how much a loaf of bread costs because they use a breadmaker. The BBC calculated that it is possible to make a loaf of bread in a breadmaker for 42.4p. But they only included the cost of the ingredients, not the electricity to run the breadmaker. So how much difference does that make?

As it happens, I touched this in the very first post on this blog 'Baking bread at home uses more energy'. According to Which a breadmaker standard cycle typically uses 0.34 kWh. On my last electricity bill I paid 13.4 p/kWh so the breadmaker cycle costs 4.6p. Adding 42.4p for the ingredients makes a total of 47p for the loaf - exactly the same as the Tesco price.

However, they also forgot the cost of the breadmaker itself. David Cameron's machine apparently cost £100. If that lasts 3 years and is used every day then it costs 9p/day.

And - they also forgot the cost of the time taken for someone to load up the machine and wash it afterwards. The minimum wage is now £6.31/hour. Even if it only takes 5 minutes that is another 52p.

That brings the total cost of the breadmaker loaf to 108p, more than twice the Tesco price. I am not going to argue about the taste as I have a gluten free diet so I can't compare them.


  1. I don't think costing the time in makes any sense, unless you have to come home early from work to get the breadmaker loaded. You're not costing in the time taken to go to the shops to buy the loaf in the alternative case either. How you decide to allocate your time on various tasks is an independent matter.

    My breadmaker has lasted more than 10 years now, although it's not used anything like every day. Probably once every 2 weeks on average, which comes out at around 25p/loaf.

  2. I have a Panasonic bread maker purchased on 11 March 2001. Since purchasing the machine I have not bought any bread and make about 3 loaves a week - a lot of bread. So far 3 failures. One day my electricity was switched off for several hours during operation. Once I forgot to include yeast and the third I forgot the paddle. The machine is still going strong. "I know what is in my bread".

    1. Those Panasonic bread makers are awesome. Just keep on going (and make nice bread) (if you remember the yeast and paddle 😄)


Comments on this blog are moderated. Your comment will not appear until it has been reviewed.