Thursday, 27 November 2008

Cut price bread

If you like good bread - which we do - you normally have to pay a fair bit for it. This country loaf (above) is normally priced at £2.50 in our local deli but my husband, who is determined to prove he's a more frugal shopper than I am, picked it up yesterday for just £1.25 because it had been left over from the previous day

Being a traditional sort of loaf it was still perfectly fresh. We froze half of it and have been using the other half for toast.

Even at the higher price it wasn't a bad buy. Large loaves are much better value than small ones for some reason. I've paid two quid in the farmers' market for a loaf half that size. (Not that I've shopped at that stall again!) Any that's left over makes great croutons and breadcrumbs - with or without an AGA ;-)

If you've got a freezer, as thank goodness we finally have, it's well worth buying cut price loaves for Christmas and stashing them away

12 comments:

Teri said...

I have been doing this for ages. Supermarkets and bakeries often have speciality loaves left at the end of the day at greatly reduced prices so I just buy and freeze, cutting in half if larger.

Fiona Beckett said...

Good for you, Teri and welcome to the blog!

SheyMouse said...

I have never been to a bakery when they are reducing bread prices, but we often go to the supermarket and get some amazing bread bargains. It's practically a habit for my wife! We have one drawer of our freezer which has about four half loaves of bread in it.

A top tip. If you like a bit of toast in the morning, slice your bread before you put it in the freezer. That way you can take out and toast only what you need.

Greenlady said...

I never seem to be on the receiving end of the bread bargains these days :( even if I do make it to the local supermarket ( Co op ) when they've reduced bread, the nicest bread has always gone :(

Freezing bread is great, especially if your household is small & struggles to use a loaf up. I totally agree with the slice n freeze suggestion, that way you can have several different types of bread at hand, so it gives you a wider choice and is still economical even if you can't catch the bread reductions. You don't have to just use them for toast, slices defrost quicker anyway. Also, freshly made breadcrumbs freeze well too =)

Fiona Beckett said...

Yes, good tip about the slicing, Shey.

What do you reckon about the cost of bought vs home-baked bread? In theory home-made should be cheaper but if you pick up bargains like this it hardly seems worth it. How many of you bake your own?

Teri said...

I don't actually think it is cheaper to make your own really but I bake my own bread at weekends as I think it tastes better but shop bought is great for during the week when I don't really have much time.

shoegazer said...

Hi Fiona,

Off topic I know, but I noticed The Frugal Cook was featured in last week's Time Out, issue 1996 ('We're dreaming of a tight Christmas'!). Did you see it?

Also, yesterday's Independent carried an interesting big feature concerning the rise of comfort food/cooking as we're apparently getting fed up with focaccia to go frugal! It was promoting the new book, 'School Dinners' by Becky Thorn.

Fiona Beckett said...

That's pretty well, the view I take, Teri. Sometimes it's great to bake if you've time but as everyone seems to eat twice as much bread as they normally do, it's not that frugal!

Thanks for the tip off about the Time Out and Indy pieces, Shoegazer. I'd spotted the Time Out one but not the School Dinners one. Here's the link for those of you who haven't seen it
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/comfort-cuisine-seek-solace-in-some-stodgy-childhood-favourites-1036675.html

SheyMouse said...

If one is able to get a 'designer' loaf of bread for 19p then I do not think this is possible to beat by home baking bread. I do feel, however, that the price difference for home baked versus store bought full price bread is not that big. Plus making your own bread is so much fun!

My favourite recipe at the moment is Jamie Oliver's recipe for rosemary and raisin bread. It's your standard loaf with these ingredients added before first proving. It works with both sweet and savory toppings. Highly recommended.

Career Misfit said...

Bread probably comes into too many of our meals if I'm honest, so being able to chase a bargain loaf is a big thing whenever I'm food shopping. I've definitely taken to buying bakers'-style loaves lately, for two main reasons: with a freezer and just a touch of planning you can have good, soft bread to hand all the time. Secondly, even the supermarket in-store bakery tin loaves can be 10-20p cheaper than the pre-wrapped breads and are often bigger too. When you buy as many loaves and rolls as we do, that's a good saving every time.

Fiona Beckett said...

Good to hear how many of you are fellow bread fanatics! Must be the time of year. The very thought of toast makes me happy . . .

Like the sound of your JO raisin and rosemary bread, shoegazer. And you're right about supermarket instore loaves Career Misfit which can be perfectly good. (Good to hear from you again, btw!)

James said...

Teri - if you grow your own wheat as well, it does end up cheaper making your own bread, especially if you grow it along organic principles. I know someone locally who does just that, and mills it in an old (as in very old) wooden handmill - it has a concistency and flavour no other comercial flour could hope to achieve. Besides the home-made/ shop brought price issue, if you make your own there's no nasty additives/ preservatives etc.

UA-3466976-1