Today’s Scratch vs. Store bought comparison is hot cocoa, perfect for the chilly, rainy weather we’ve had lately! I bought a box of Swiss Miss for comparison to our home made version.
Hot Cocoa for One
2 Tablespoon cocoa ($.08)
2 Tablespoon sugar ($.01)
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk ($.20 liquid; $.14 dry reconstituted)
1/4 t. vanilla
Mix the cocoa, sugar, and salt in a heat-proof mug. Warm the milk and add it to the mixture in the mug; stir until combined. Add vanilla. Enjoy!
The Cost Breakdown:
Swiss Miss is $2.00 for 10 1-ounce packets, or $.20 per serving.
Home made hot chocolate is $.29 per serving when made with liquid milk, $.25 when made with reconstituted dry milk. I didn’t include the cost of salt and vanilla, as the amounts are trivial.
It is worth noting that the serving size is 25% larger for the home made version. For the same sized serving as the Swiss Miss, the home made is $.22 with liquid milk, $.19 with reconstituted dry milk.
*note: I edited for a math error! Swiss Miss is just $.02 cheaper than home made with real milk, and $.01 more expensive than reconstituted dry milk. I’m calling them equal.
The Taste Test:
Swiss Miss was creamier and had a mellow chocolate flavor. The home made version was definitely more chocolatey and had a stronger flavor. Both were pleasantly sweet.
Mr. Penny and I both preferred the home made version for it’s stronger chocolate flavor. Peanut liked both of them, squealing, “It’s chot-lit and hot! OH BOY!” Home made wins by a hair, but it could go the other way if you preferred a creamier and less bold cocoa flavor.
The Time Factor:
Negligible. Mixing up home made mix took under a minute, and was done while the milk was warming. Both mugs of hot chocolate were ready in the same minute it took to warm the milk (water for Swiss Miss.)
Ingredients for Swiss Miss: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Whey, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Nonfat Dry Milk, Less than 2% of: Salt, Dipotassium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Artificial Flavor, Mono- and Diglycerides.
Ingredients for home made: Cocoa, sugar, salt, milk, vanilla.
Which list sounds more like real food you’d want to feed your family?
Scratch vs. Storebought winner:
Hot chocolate is a great treat for a cool day, well loved by young and old alike, and I have to say that in this case, the store bought version is a winner in cost, home made wins by a hair in the taste test, and home made wins for the ingredient list – I try to avoid partially hydrogenated fats and artificial colors and flavors.
I’ll definitely make the home made version in the future.