Frozen Pizza: Dinner for Less than the Delivery Guy's Tip

Frozen pizza is a menu staple for weekend suppers. We buy the cheap kind or what's on sale, and add toppings. It's a tasty, frugal alternative to take out or delivery pizza, and just as fast and easy.

Sure, I like going to the pizza place and ordering the Chef's Mistake, the House Special, or our favorite combo. Or better, yet, having that giant pie loaded with toppings and oozing cheese delivered hot to our door. But when it comes to pay for it… the tip alone is more than the frozen one we bake at home.

When it comes to frozen pizza, we aren't brand loyal. Tony's, Totino's, Red Barron, Rosa's, Jack's, the store brand, or some brand we've never heard of, it makes no difference. We buy them according to what's cheapest.

Tip: When buying frozen pizza, look at the weight. Several pizzas may be the same price. The heavier one gives you more for your money.

The less expensive ready to bake pizzas only come in a limited number of toppings. We usually pick cheese. We find it is the safest. The quality of pizza toppings varies. For instance, there are several grades of pork topping, some that are all pork, and some that are a mix of pork and fillers. To us, the pork topping often tastes old or rancid, perhaps freezer burned. Pepperoni and Canadian bacon tend to taste overly smoky to me. So, we stick with cheese.

But, we seldom eat plain pizza. Green olives and onions are our go-to stand-bys, because we most always have those in the fridge. If we're tired or it's late, it doesn't take much time to layer on a few sliced olives and some onion rings.

However, we sometimes get more creative with our toppings. That, too, is usually based on what's in the fridge. Some crumbled bacon or sliced sausage left from breakfast. Dry salami or pepperoni that we bought on sale. Maybe diced sweet or hot peppers, mushrooms, or some other vegetables. One of our favorite combinations is pineapple tidbits and black olives. Another is sauerkraut and thinly sliced ham. Ground beef taco filling also makes a good pizza topping.

One cheap pizza, mugs of cold milk, and some fresh fruit for dessert makes up the entire menu. Sometimes, there are a couple slices of pizza left for the next day.

Sure, it is probably cheaper to make homemade pizza from scratch. Crust is cheap. It could easily be topped with a bit of tomato sauce and some Italian herbs, and sprinkled with some grated cheese.

But, at the end of the day, when you get home late from work or chasing the kids, and everybody's tired and hungry, are you really going to make pizza dough and do a completely homemade pizza?

We think about making our own pizza dough and doing the whole thing from scratch. But, when it comes down to dinner time, we stick a doctored up frozen pizza in the oven and kick back and enjoy this frugal convenience meal.

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