Have you ever fixed a meal and wondered, how much did that cost me to make? Or maybe you have a favorite recipe that you’ve thought about going commercial with but are unsure of how you should price the item. I’ve wondered about both of these on multiple occasions but I never had a good way of calculating the costs…until now.

I recently sat down and used Foodakin.com to calculate the cost of one of my go-to brunch dishes, a vegetable egg strata. The concept of Foodakin.com is simple:

  • Enter the ingredients (eggs, mushrooms, spinach, milk, gruyere cheese, etc.)
  • Enter any additional units (e.g. loaf for loaf of sourdough bread)
  • Enter any additional equivalents (e.g. 1 dozen = 12 piece)
  • Enter the As Purchased (AP) ingredients (e.g. 1 loaf of sourdough bread from New Seasons for $4.29) Create your product (Add your product ingredients and include the exact amount used. For example, my egg strata uses 8 eggs, 3.5 ounces of cheese, ¾ loaf of sourdough bread, etc.)

After entering in all the ingredients used in the dish, along with the amount of each item, Foodakin.com calculates the cost of each individual item along with the total cost for the product. In my recipe, I learned that the most expensive item is the sourdough bread, at $2.79 for only ¾ of a loaf. The total cost of the strata turned out to be $11.87. I then put in how many servings I can get from the recipe (6) and discovered that the cost per portion is $1.98. Now, if I were to go into business selling slices of my strata, I’d want to make sure I priced it high enough, over $1.98, so I could earn a profit. The cost summary from Foodakin.com is shown below.

analysis image

That’s it. Of course, Foodakin.com has much more to offer. For example, if I produced this for consumers, I could include the cost of labor and materials, as well as unused food portions (i.e. waste). So the next time you are planning a dinner party, you can ask yourself, “Are they worth it?” Just kidding!