DIY Worth It? Chocolate Chip Cookies

by | Feb 1, 2013 | Cooking, Parenting | 8 comments

Thanks to everyone who voted for Catholic All Year in the Sheenazing Catholic Blogger Awards. Alas we did not win. Now go check out Like Mother, Like Daughter — a waaaay better blog than mine. Seriously.  But then you could come back here if you want.  :0)

Well, my first DIY cost analysis / taste test for Pesto Sauce was not the great success I hoped it would be.  (Haircuts were a bigger financial success, but not as tasty.)  But I’m no quitter.  So I’m back to give it another go.  This time, with Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Homemade just has to win with these, right?  right?  

Well . . . you’ll just have to keep reading to find out.  Here are the contenders:

Made From Scratch (A)
Home-baked From Store-bought Dough (B)
Store-bought from Bakery (C)

And here are the helpers.  Unlike the Little Red Hen, I always have plenty of willing helpers for all stages of the process.


We mixed them . . .
and scooped them . . . 
and baked them.
Then we blind-tasted-tested them.

And the verdict?  The store-bought cookies (C) were a clear NON-favorite.  There were votes for both made from scratch (A) and baked from pre-made dough (B), but (B) was the winner by a slim margin.  You get the same warm, chewy cookies you get from scratch, but my testers really liked how much chocolate they put in their pre-made dough.

But both A and B were acceptable from a taste standpoint.  So here comes the cost analysis:

(C) Store-bought were $5 for 50 cookies from the Vons bakery department  or $0.10/cookie

(B) Home-baked from Store-bought Dough was $8.29 at Costco for a 5 lb tub that says it makes 80 cookies, or $0.10/cookie

(A) Made From Scratch 

  • flour $0.38
  • baking soda and salt $0.01
  • butter $0.91
  • white sugar $0.16
  • brown sugar $0.51
  • vanilla $0.51
  • eggs $0.63
  • chocolate chips $1.80

for a grand total of $4.91 for 60 cookies, or $0.08/cookie

Whooooo Hooooooo, I win!  And actually, I’m not paying for eggs, which puts my cost at $0.07/cookie.

So, is it DIY worth it?  I guess this one is a toss-up too.  I like making cookies from scratch, so I’m probably going to keep doing it.  But it’s nice to know that the pre-made dough is a good option from both a time and taste standpoint, and not too bad financially.

And if you don’t like making cookies from scratch, you have my permission to never feel bad about buying pre-made cookie dough again.  I also don’t mind if you eat it right out of the tub.

Update:  Thanks to everyone on the comments who has made a couple of totally obvious points that I neglected to mention.  
1. The store-bought dough is full of not-so-natural ingredients, including shortening, which I NEVER use when cooking from scratch.  
And 2.  If you make a double (or more) batch of cookie dough and put the extra in the freezer, then homemade dough is just as convenient as the store-bought stuff.
So . . . two more points for from scratch (for the win!).


  1. Sarah Marie

    mmm. I definitely stockpiled homemade cookie dough in the freezer during my nesting phase. a postpartum essential, no? 😉

    my vote is for homemade dough because you can use slightly more natural sweeteners and white whole wheat flour and they're almost healthy! which means you can eat more of them 🙂

  2. Lisa D.

    Just from a "What in the world is that ingredient?!" standpoint, I'd vote for homemade regardless of cost!

  3. Keeley L.

    I don't stockpile, but I love homemade cookies. Kendra, I still make the triple chip I learned from you and your mom in high school!

  4. Nanacamille

    Considering your background in homemade cc cookies, how could you consider making them without adding NUTS! If your Dad reads this he will probably still ground you for not making the cookies with nuts.

    • Kendra Tierney

      That's a true story. I got grounded for not putting nuts in the cookies. I thought it was the most unfair thing that had ever happened in the whole world until I had kids. Now it makes perfect sense.

  5. Brienne

    I agree with Sarah Marie and Lisa. The store bought dough probably has partially hydrogenated oils in it to extend its shelf life and a bunch of other ingredients I can't pronounce. Homemade dough is the way to go! Also: cutest.helpers.ever.

  6. Jeannie

    Have to agree with homemade cookies. If you open one of my freezers up you will see at least 2 bags of pre-scooped quick frozen ziploc bags full of cookies. One will have nuts the other will not to accommodate certain folks. Plus, I get to use my nice ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate which I prefer to semisweet. I also freeze snickerdoodle dough. 🙂 I make giant batches and scoop, put them on a baking sheet and freeze them until solid, then pop them into a bag until I have no more dough. I also double batch each kind. We take cookies seriously around here!

  7. Kendra Tierney

    Yes, everyone makes good points about natural ingredients. We do have a standard policy of only eating FOOD around here. It's much easier to control that when you make it yourself. I am more likely to let things slide on the policy around dessert time. But you guys are also right that it's really easy to make a huge batch of cookie dough and have it ready to go just as conviniently as store-bought dough. We often do that too.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

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