As a lover of all carbs and a Krazy Coupon Lady at heart, the clearance rack in the bakery aisle is my grocery store oasis. But all too often I have walked away empty handed and broken-hearted, with too many loaves and baked goods and not enough inspiration. Determined to find a way to make these deals work for me, I've compiled a few techniques that will put those loaves to work.

Garlic Bread

Regular Price $2.98, Day-Old Price $1.50

Croutons: Cube up garlic bread for gourmet croutons that need nothing more than a round in the oven at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Paired with soup or salad, once you've made your own you'll never go back to the bag on the shelf.

Thicken Soups: Garlic bread provides delicious depth of flavor while thickening savory soups. Add a few cubes of garlic bread to the blender and top it off with a cup of your soup's broth and blend. Stir the pureed blend into the pot to turn Plain-Jane soup into a hearty meal.

Easy Appetizer: Slice Texas toast-style garlic bread into strips and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve these beauties with meat or Alfredo sauce and collect the compliments.

French bread

Regular Price: $1.48, Day-Old Price: $.89

  • Breadcrumbs: Why pay for store-bought breadcrumbs when you can make twice as much for half the cost? Place cubes of day-old bread into a food processor and pulse until the bread has formed a sand-like consistency. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and toast in a 200 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Stuffing/Dressing: No matter what you call it, homemade stuffing or dressing is an easy way to reduce food waste while keeping a well-loved side on hand throughout the year. Every undesired crust, leftover slice or clearance-rack bun gets cubed and tossed into a designated bag in my freezer. When the mood for stuffing strikes, I'm always ready to roll.
  •  French toast: Pre-sliced French bread is my favorite way to toast up this tasty treat, but don't let a quick-sale raisin bread or cinnamon swirl go by if you happen to catch one in the wild. Keep a loaf in the freezer for French toast as you fancy, or make a batch and freeze the individual slices for a delicious weekday bribe to get kids out of bed.

Croissants or Donuts

Regular Price for 1 Dozen: $3.75, Day-Old Price: $1.75

  • Bread Pudding:  Use clearanced croissants or day-old donuts in place of bread for a decadent bread pudding that will leave you begging for more.
  • Deluxe French Toast: Go big or go home! Use clearanced croissants to make French toast. Simply slice croissants in half and proceed with your normal recipe for an extraordinary treat.
  • Trifle: Why spend hours in the kitchen to achieve the ooey-gooey goodness that's second nature to donuts? Cut day old donuts into bite sized pieces and nestle between layers of pudding or whipped cream.

This is a guest post by Vanessa from Dallas, TX
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9 Uses for Day-Old Bread