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How To Make Pizza For 38 Cents

by owl on January 6, 2011 · 86 comments

To kick off CentsToShare’s DIY series, we are sharing a great recipe that you can try out, to make your own 4-6 inch, personal pan pizza for way less than a buck! Everyone loves pizza, and everyone loves to save money, how about combining them? Buying all the ingredients individually gives you the chance to save a lot of money, when you calculate out just how much it costs per slice, or per pizza in this case. Even though all the ingredients together may cost about the same as a pizza from Pizza Hut or some other place, you can make a lot more with those ingredients, than you get by purchasing one pre-cooked.

As readers will be finding out, my wife is a great cook. To top it off, she’s also extremely talented at putting together meals, for us, that are really cheap. Over the past few months, she has made this for us a few times, and it is always extremely tasty! In addition to that, it’s really really easy to make, so even I can make it. 😉

Ingredients (depending on what you like)

– 1 medium sized onion
– 1 package of generic brand frozen dinner rolls
– 1 26oz can of Hunts Tomato Sauce (or generic brand, any variety)
– 1 8oz bag of generic brand mozzarella cheese
– 1 16oz package of fresh mushrooms (not cans)
– 1 8oz package of Hormel (or generic brand) pepperoni


1. If you have the dinner rolls frozen (like we did, because we bought them in bulk), take them out of the freezer 2-3 hours before making your pizza. Flatten one dinner roll using a rolling pin, as flat as you would like, for each pizza that you are planning to make. So for 3 pizzas, flatten 3 separate dinner rolls.

2. Take about 1 tbsp of tomato sauce and spread over the entire, flattened dinner roll. Depending on how much you want, you can increase or decrease this amount.

3. Dice up a small amount of onion. You won’t need a lot, maybe 6 little pieces per pizza. Place the onion pieces on top of the sauce.

4. Place about 4 pieces of pepperoni on top of the onions.

5. Place 3 mushroom slices on top of the pepperoni.

6. Put about 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the entire pizza.

7. Bake at 375 F, for about 15 minutes or until the crust is turning golden brown.

8. Take out, and let cool for about 5 minutes before eating. That’s it! Ready to enjoy.

How Much Does It Really Cost?

I decided to run some rough numbers on this recipe, because I like to know about what our meals cost, and the results were pretty surprising. Here’s what we paid for each ingredient:

Onion – $0.50 at about $.69 cents/lb
Tomato Sauce – $1.00 for a 26 oz can (watch for those sales!)
Mushrooms – $1.49 for 16oz package (fresh)
Dinner Rolls – $1.19 (again watch for sales on generic items)
Pepperoni – $0.99 (clearance!)
Cheese – $1.50 for 8oz package

Total Cost – $6.67 (plus tax)

Cost Details

Running the numbers on how much we use for each pizza we get the following:

Since we used such a small amount for each pizza, I let this sit at about $0.01 per pizza. When you only use 6 small squares out of a whole onion, I figure this is probably higher than it should be.

Tomato Sauce

Serving Size = 1/2 Cup or 8 tbsp
Servings/Can = 6

Serving size we used = 1 tbsp
Servings we’ll get for pizza = 48

Cost/Serving = $1.00 / 48 servings = $.02


Serving Size = 14 slices
Servings/Container = 8

Serving size we used = 4 slices
Servings we’ll get per pizza = 29(28.6)

Cost/Serving = $0.99 / 29 = $0.03

Dinner Roll

Serving Size – 1 Roll
Servings/Container – 12

Cost/Serving = $1.19 / 12 = $0.10


Serving Size = 1/4 cup
Servings/Container = 8

Cost/Serving = $1.50 / 8 = $0.19


Serving size we used = 3 Slices
Servings/Container = ~50 (I actually counted them all!)

Cost Per Serving = $1.49 / 50 = $0.03

Cost Summary

Onion – $0.01
Sauce – $0.02
Pepperoni – $0.03
Dinner Roll – $0.10
Cheese – $0.19
Mushrooms – $0.03

Total Cost Per Pizza = $0.38 (wow!)

As you can see, that’s much cheaper than what you can buy at gas stations and pizza places. Depending on what you want on your pizza, you can reduce that cost even more, or increase it some as well. This ingredient list was my personal creation, but you are certainly welcome to change it up. Also, one last note, most of these ingredients were purchased when they were on sale. Keep your eyes and minds open, and you’ll be able to eat for much cheaper than you would realize.

Don’t forget to let us know if you try, and enjoy the recipe!

**We are not professionals. The calculations contained within this article are for cost-reduction, demonstration purposes only. They are meant to be accurate, but if a mistake is noticed, please kindly contact us for correction. Costs of this recipe, and all recipes on CentsToShare do not include the costs of operating appliances within your home, the costs of transportation, nor the costs of your time.**

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About the author

owl wrote 91 articles on this blog.

Owl is the founder and primary writer at CentsToShare. He enjoys reading above all else, but also gardening, building, eating healthy food and being self-reliant. Living a happy, stress-free life is possible, but it must be sought after, and not taken for granted. If you like the site, please let me know in the comments or through email - Thanks!

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