Bread - We all eat it. Unless you're gluten free and have given up trying to eat gluten type foods.
Here are the problems with bread...
healthy verses cheap
time verses convenience
I have friends who make their own bread. Some of them have their bread day and the spend the day making bread and that is their bread for the whole next week.
When you make bread- cheap bulk yeast, flour or wheat with a wheat grinder bring the cost lower and lower. But it takes lots of time. Also if you're bad at bread making, like myself, it can be less affordable when you have loaves that aren't edible.
In all my blog reading of those trying to save money I remember one mom said she gave up on buying the organic super healthy thick bread. Instead she just went to stocking up when on sale and never spent more than $1 per loaf.
A few years ago my sister introduced me to Alpine Valley Bread. She is a huge fan of Whole Foods and Sprouts- and like stores. She had found Alpine bread there and fell in love with it. Their bread is healthy and hearty. It has the weight to it like homemade bread. Then someone introduced her to the bread factory and the discounts of buying the bread at the factory.
They are located in Mesa Arizona on Southern east of Country Club.
On Wed. and Fri. at 1pm all fresh made that day loaves are discounted to $1 a loaf limit 5 per person until all the loaves are sold (they close at 3pm).
But in addition to those sales and that going in and buying fresh loaves is cheaper and more fresh then the specialty stores, irregular loaves and day old loaves are 50 cents a loaf. Considering we bring our loaves home and put them in the freezer, day old is the least of our cares. The 50 cent loaves aren't the most exciting. They tend to be the less popular breads (ie multi-grains breads or cracked wheat). Sometimes they have specialty breads, buns, rolls, and desserts for great deals.
When we go, I have found going in the morning is best. The store section opens at 8am. If you wait to until the $1 deals (best way to get the specialty breads) the 50 cent loafs are all gone.
We don't live in the Phoenix Valley. My sister lives in Mesa, almost down the street from the factory. They don't have a huge box freezer. Since she didn't have the freezer space for a lot, she would go once a week and get their family's bread for the week. For us I go every other month or every three months. It depends on if we can get up on a week day before they close.
This last trip I had $15 of our grocery budget. So I was looking at about 30 loaves that would need to last us about 3 months. When I got there they has some boxes filled with 15 loaves each. I asked the cashier about them. My first thought wasn't a discount for the bulk but instead I was thinking if they were already in a box and wouldn't get smashed on the ride back home. She said that if I bought the whole box (unopened) they were $5 a box (would be $7.50 when 50 cents a loaf). Done. 45 loaves for $15 that will make a huge difference when it comes to making our bread last for 3 months till the next time we come up.
Showing up at the right moment to places like this makes getting great deals a matter of luck or in this case I don't see it as luck- I see it was a huge blessing. Yes we are going to be eating 9 grain bread and nothing else for the next 3 months, the point is we have enough bread for 3 months and it only cost us 33 cents a loaf. We were blessed.
There are places like this all over. Do some searches make some calls.
What are some things ya'll do to make staples like bread cheap and affordable?