I love food and saving money. Bread is a staple food in my household; whether it be bagels, English muffins, or a loaf of rye, whole grain, whole wheat bread, or a delicious baguette; it is a staple food in many people’s diets. How can one save money on this food staple? Quite easily, really.
Find a Bakery that you LOVE
First thing, find a bakery that you really like and go there all the time. This is the first step to getting more with less. Buy the food you enjoy, and enjoy it. You have worked hard for your money, and many people eat grain products regularly. You should enjoy this aspect of your life. Bread should not be an afterthought or an inconvenience. It should be enjoyed.
Buy ‘Day Old’ Products
Second, buy your bread from the ‘Day Old’ shelf. Most every bakery that I have ever been to has one, and they represent really great value. My current bakery offers day old products at about a 40% – 50% discount. Bakeries make their money from making delicious stuff and selling it that day. People pay a premium for freshness.
The irony here is that grocery stores get food on average three to four days per week (some, even less). As such, any bread product you buy at your favourite local supermarket (except for ‘in-house’ baked stuff) is ‘day old’ or older on most days. You pay full ‘freshly baked’ prices for ‘old’ food on some days (Sundays are the worst days to buy any food ‘fresh’ – it is usually at least two days old).
Sometimes Fresh Bread Makes Sense
Yes, buy fresh when you want it. I wouldn’t want to serve day old bread to in-laws or on a first date or if I had a renowned baker or food critic over for dinner, for example. My lunch sandwiches don’t demand as much, however. I am happy with, and enjoy, day old bread products. I store all of my stuff outside of refrigerator and the freezer, by the way; as I find refrigerating or freezing dries bread product out horribly.
The Savings – Fresh versus “Day Old”
Savings? Well, I don’t really eat a lot of bread products really. Buying new, means that my two fresh slices of bread cost me about $1.50. Great if I need (or feel the need to) impress, but wholly wasteful on every other day. I can’t eat a whole loaf of bread by myself. As such, unless you are eating a whole loaf per day, buying new just doesn’t make much sense. The slices you eat that same day, equal half the cost of the whole loaf (assuming a 50% ‘Day Old’ discount). Those slices must be REALLY good in order to justify the cost (in which case, please give me the name of your most-incredible bakery).
The Bottom Line
You can save half off your bread expenses buy buying ‘day old’ products. Most of what you buy at grocery stores is at least a day or two old anyway. The shelf life is enhanced by preservatives. Unless you eat a full loaf of bread or a dozen bagels per day, save half of your bread product costs daily by buying ‘day olds’. As a single man, I eat roughly one loaf of bread per week, a couple of bagels, and a couple of English muffins. My weekly savings amount to roughly $3-4 dollars after taxes per week (or maybe $150 to $200 per year after tax). I do this simply by forgoing the beauty of the first couple of slices of fresh bread (at least some of the time). Simple, easy savings.
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