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As we have previously reported, two of the world’s top wheat exporters are Russia and Ukraine. Wheat prices surged after Russia’s military invasion of its neighbor — and they were already on the way up, according to CNN.
That I already knew. In March 2021, my partner and I paid $16.49 for 50 pounds of bread flour at Costco. In early March 2022, the same bag of flour set us back $24.99 — a 51.5% increase in just one year!
Once prices have gone up, how likely is it that they’ll go back down?
If yours is a household that can’t live without sandwiches, toast or a basket of bread at dinner, here are some ways to keep costs affordable.
1. Hit the bakery outlet
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Many bakeries and supermarkets send overflow items to outlet stores. Sometimes it’s leftover holiday products, such as tubs of Christmas cookies, and sometimes it’s due to the fact that they didn’t sell as many hamburger rolls as they thought they would for Memorial Day.
Is it “old” bread? Sometimes these items are within a day or two of their best-by dates (although that probably doesn’t mean what you think). Then again, so is some of the bread I see in the supermarket.
That’s not to say that some items won’t be old. The bakery outlet near me has bags of doughnuts and boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes that are at or even beyond their best-by dates. My niece’s kids don’t seem to care.
My partner and I buy our multigrain bread this way, paying $1 to $1.50 per loaf. Depending on what’s available, we also buy things like good-quality sandwich rolls, Boboli pizza shells, bagels, English muffins, tortillas, onion rolls, corn chips, pretzels, coffee and canned sardines.
Learn more at “How I Buy Bread for $1 or Less.”
2. Watch for loss-leaders
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Supermarkets put certain items on sale to get you into the store, in the hopes that you’ll do all your shopping there. If you see your household’s preferred bread featured as one of these loss-leaders, buy it.
Or buy more than one and freeze the extras. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bread lasts for up to three months in the freezer.
3. Try the store brand
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Inflation has brought generics back into vogue. The Wall Street Journal reports that switching to store brands is one of four ways shoppers are stretching their food budgets.
Is there much difference between the name-brand multigrain …….