Friday, January 30, 2009

Pizza Friday

My kids love pizza Fridays; in fact, they never let me miss one. And I know a number of families who eat pizza on Friday as well, but the cost can add up. Here's a way to keep pizza Fridays less expensive using the "step-down" method of money management. It works like this:
  • If you normally go to a restaurant for pizza, try pizza delivery.
  • If you normally order pizza every Friday, try buying a frozen pizza.
  • If you normally buy frozen pizza every Friday, try buying the store brand frozen pizza.
  • Or the next "step down" would be to try making it from scratch.

Here are the latest deals on pizza delivery:
  • Domino's best deal is 3 medium pizzas for $5.55 each.
  • Pizza Hut has a deal for 2 medium, 1-topping pizza for $10.99.
  • Papa John's: 3 medium 3-topping pizzas for $21.00
Frozen pizzas have come a long way since my college days (which weren't that long ago!). DiGiorno and Freschetta make great rising crust pizzas. They run about $5 at Tom Thumb or Wal-mart, but occasionally go on sale for $4.

Another option is the generic brand frozen pizza. Tom Thumb's store brand, Safeway Select, offers a rising crust pizza for $4 that rivals DiGiorno and Freschetta .

Finally, my family's favorite pizza night includes homemade pizza. Here's the best recipe for pizza crust that I have found yet:

Traditional Pizza Dough

2 C warm water

1 T dry yeast

1 heaping teaspoon granulated sugar

5 1/3 C all-purpose flour

1 1/3 t salt

3 T olive oil, plus additional as needed

Toppings: ie pizza sauce (store bought or homemade), mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sausage, fresh vegetables, etc.

Stir together water, yeast, and sugar. Let mixture rest until yeast blooms, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, adding flour a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 to 4 minutes. Turn dough onto a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes. Stretch or roll into desired shape. Top with desired toppings. Bake on a pizza stone at 450 F for 10-12 minutes. Makes dough for two 12-15 inch pizzas.

We usually make one large pizza and a smaller one for breadsticks. For the breadsticks, prick the dough with a fork before baking for 8 min. When it's still hot, rub butter or margarine on the crust until it melts, then top it with parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Sometimes I add fresh rosemary leaves for a different flavor.

Depending on the toppings used, this meal costs roughly $3.


  • Ask about deals. Even if you don't have a coupon for delivery in front of you, ask the person that takes your order what deals they have. They won't tell you if you don't ask, but you may save a few bucks by speaking up.
  • To keep homemade pizza from costing more than delivery, make your own sauce from canned tomato sauce and italian spices; buy pepperoni, sausage, and pre-shredded mozzarella in bulk (store them in the freezer).


  1. Do you have a good pizza sauce recipe??

  2. Honestly, no. When I make it, I just get some tomato sauce and add a little salt, pepper, garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano. (Don't tell my Mom I don't measure!) If you want an actual recipe, though, try this link: