We all know about day-old bakery sales, but who wants to eat stale bread? Here are some tips to help you save on fresh bread and get the best bang for your buck.
Best time of day to shop at the bakery is 7:00 AM
Bakers are morning people. Most grocery stores’ ovens are cooking by 5 AM for the store's 7:00 AM opening. Though shopping early won’t save you money, per se, it will get you the freshest loaf. Most of the bakery staff is off by lunchtime, so the only thing that’s fresh in the afternoon is the French bread.
The secret to fresh garlic bread
Here's a little known fact. Unsold loaves of French bread are actually re-purposed and resold the next day as garlic bread. If you want fresh garlic bread, you may simply take a fresh, hot loaf of French bread to the bakery and request that they slice it and put on the garlic spread! Won't cost you a penny more! In fact, most bakeries will slice any loaf just how you want it!
Read bread tags to find the freshest loaf
Bread generally has a 10-day product life on a store shelf: usually 5-7 days at the supermarket and 3 days in thrift store (dollar stores, Big Lots, etc). Note that this rule is going to be different for places that have preservative-free breads such as Whole Foods, where the bread is only on the shelf for 2 days.
Remember, the date on the bag is not the date it was baked but the date it is to be removed from the store. Bakeries stock fresh bread at the back of the shelves, so don't be afraid to reach in and read those dates!