Saving Money on Bread & What All I Use it For -Including Saving Money on Feeding Animals
Yesterday I made a trip to the bread thrift store, as I do every couple of weeks, to load up on bread in a way that most people don’t know about. I purchased 53 loaves of bread, none of them expired, for a mere $10. I took a picture of the trunk of my van with the bread loaded in on Instagram & Facebook – and that’s when the emails & comments started coming in. People wanted to know how I did it, so I figured I would share my secret with you all.
The best way for this deal to work is if you have a bread thrift store in your area. (At the end of the post, I will give advice for those who don’t have one in their area). This is not something that is advertised so very few people actually know about it. The only reason I know about it is from sheer luck, I just so happened to overhear someone else getting some when I was shopping there one day.
First off, you can’t just walk in and find it. You have to ask specifically for a ‘feed bag‘. You see, the bread thrift stores can’t sell all the bread they get for various reasons. Some are 1-3 days out from the sell by date, some are partially squished, & some just don’t look very pretty (like the crust on the bread could be chipped).
Look at some of the examples below.
A lot of my loaves this go-around were like this. The sell by date was still 10 days away at the date of purchase, but half of the loaf was slightly squished – but certainly not unedible. Check it out. My kids have squished bread way worse than this, and we still ate it.
And in this example, the sell by date was still 4 days away – nothing squished, just a piece of the crust was chipped making it ‘unsellable’ by the standards of the store.
They collect these bags in the back & sell them for an extremely discounted price to people who ask for it, mostly for those who have animals. Hence the term ‘feed bag’. At my location, you can purchase a whole cart full of bread for $5. I usually purchase 2 carts worth for $10 so I don’t have to go back for a few weeks. And, I do have animals so it saves me a good bit of money in feeding them. But it comes with so much, that I always use a lot of it for our family as well.
I have a lot of animals – but my chickens & dogs are the ones who really benefit the most from the bread. My chickens LOVE the bread, and we throw out quite a few loaves of bread a day in pieces for our chickens to enjoy while they’re free ranging. They devour it! So, with the combination of the bread as well as allowing them to free range, the cost of my chicken feed goes way down! If you have other farm animals such as pigs & goats, this will also help you save some money on their food costs as well.
I also use this for my dogs to save on the amount of dog food we go through. I understand that some people may not agree with this method, but everyone has their own opinions on matters like these so I’m sharing it anyway. I’m just an old fashioned country girl, and I look at it like this… People used to feed their dogs with scraps & bread way before dog food came onto the market – and I see no harm in it, and my vet doesn’t either. I crumble up several pieces of bread & mix it in with my dogs’ food every day. With as many dogs as we have, this helps with dog food costs tremendously.
After feeding the animals, I still have quite a bit left – which makes me very happy! The amount of bread leftover saves us even more money. I throw a lot in my deep freezer for future use for things like french toast. Here are some of the other things I use the reduced bread for.
- homemade bread crumbs
- a HUGE batch of homemade peanut butter & jelly Uncrustables for the freezer (my favorite use of all!)
- french toast
- huge batch of homemade french toast sticks for the freezer (recipe coming soon)
- filler for meatloaf
- cinnamon toast (recipe coming soon)
- panzanella (bread salad) – (use google for a ton of great recipes)
- bread pudding
- various sandwiches
- grilled cheese sandwiches & grilled cheese croutons
- garlic bread
- bird food
Because of the amazing deal that I get on this bread, it also allows me to regularly donate to our local food ministries which is probably the most important use of all 🙂
Make sure you CALL AHEAD for the feed bags! They do not have them all day every day. In my experience, the morning time is the best time to score them. Also, they may be called a different name where you live. If you mention ‘feed bag’ & they have no idea what it is, ask if they have any unsellable bread in the back for animals.
Now, for those of you who don’t have a bread thrift store in your area – you’re not completely out of luck. Call your local stores! Ask what they do with their unsellable bread. Tell them you’d love to purchase anything they can not sell! The smaller the store, the better the chance – but it never hurts to call the larger chains either. (This also works for produce sometimes!)
Please note, I can’t personally guarantee your stores where you live will offer the same deals that my stores do! Check around though – you never know what deals you can find when you ask the right questions!
Check out more of my tips & ideas for saving money in the Frugal Living section!