How to Get Bread for $1 or Less

What's Hot

2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Bakery outlets sell multigrain loaves and lots of other products for as little as 50 cents. And no, it’s NOT “old” or “stale.”

Checked bread prices lately? When the staff of life costs $4 or more per loaf, your food budget suffers.

To avoid paying top dollar, search for a bakery outlet in your area. The savings are always good, and sometimes great:

  • Recently I paid just 50 cents for an 18-count package of “stadium rolls,” high-end buns that turn on-sale turkey burgers into a tasty (and frugal!) supper.
  • I routinely buy multigrain loaves for $1 to $1.50; since my life partner packs his lunch every day and often has toast for breakfast, the savings are noticeable.
  • Every now and then I’ll get Little Debbie snack cakes for just a buck a box, as a fun treat for my great-nephews. Or, yeah, a bag of chocolate doughnuts (50 cents) as a treat for the grownups.

But isn’t this stuff really old?

Nope. “Shopping at a bakery outlet doesn’t mean settling for stale or moldy bread,” says Erin Huffstetler, frugal living expert for

“Products may be closer to their sell-by date than you’re used to, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy them, and you can always freeze bread to enjoy later.”

Some “Killer” deals

Think of them as “bread thrift stores,” used by bakeries to sell extra items. Sometimes that means factory overruns or holiday-themed products (e.g., Christmas cookies or Halloween Tastykakes). And yes, it can also mean bread and other products that are approaching their best-by dates.

Having seen close-dated bread on supermarket shelves – where you’d expect it to be super-fresh – I have no problem with this. Then again, I grew up watching my mom buy a dozen loaves at a time at a South Jersey bakery thrift shop.

Now that I live in Alaska, where food prices are high, the price break really makes a difference. We’ve purchased dark rye and pumpernickel as well as 12-grain loaves, and also tortillas, Boboli pizza shells, bagels, hot dog rolls, English muffins, doughnuts and onion rolls.

Depending on the outlet you may find non-bread items, from Bob’s Red Mill baking mixes to Asian spices. Here in Anchorage we’ve found good-quality coffee (a pound and a half for $6), candy, corn chips and even canned sardines at our bakery outlet.

The lineup varies from week to week. Sometimes I get my pick of sandwich rolls and on other occasions find no rolls at all. One week Dave’s Killer Bread was available for 50 cents a loaf; how else are you going to get a deal like that?

Where to find outlets

Looking for discounted bread in your area? Try these locators:

  • Aunt Millie’s Thrift Stores. A Midwestern brand with shops in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.
  • Bimbo Bakery Outlet Stores. With locations in 44 states, this company’s brands include Arnold, Ball Park, Boboli, Earth Grains, Entenmann’s, Freihofer’s, Marinela, Mrs. Baird’s, Oroweat, Sara Lee, Stroehmann, Thomas and Tia Rosa.
  • Franz Bakery Outlets. They have stores in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Labels include Holsum, Seattle International, Seattle Sourdough Baking Co. and Svenhard’s.
  • Holsum Bakery Outlets. Six locations, all in Arizona.
  • Oroweat. Outlets in Alaska and Washington.
  • Pepperidge Farm Bakery Outlet Stores. Stores in Maine, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
  • Schwebel’s Bakery Outlet Thrift Stores. Stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Indiana; makers of Cinnabon, Country Hearth, ’taliano, Roman Meal and Sun-Maid.

Huffstetler also suggests checking the Yellow Pages (actual or virtual) for Flowers Bakery Outlet Stores and Master Bread Outlets. (These two have no aggregator site.)

Note: A local baking company might have its own thrift shop. Check the Yellow Pages for bread outlet or bakery outlet.

Best practices for bakery outlets

A few more slice-of-life tips:

Think ahead. If you find your favorite loaves, extend the savings by getting a couple of loaves for the freezer.

Experiment with flavors. Not sure you’d like onion rolls or Russian rye? It’ll cost only a buck or so to find out. (Hint: Varying the breads keeps those brown-bag lunches interesting.) Fancier breads like cinnamon-raisin or thick-cut sourdough make great French toast for weekend brunches or too-tired-to-cook-much dinners.

Keep good rolls in the freezer. Those stadium rolls make tuna salad seem more interesting than it actually is (especially if you toast the rolls and add a little relish and chopped hard-cooked egg to the tuna). Leftover soup, or even canned soup, becomes a decent meal when served with dinner rolls, especially if they’re brown-and-serve. The aroma will trick your belly into thinking you’re livin’ large.

Check sell-by dates. Different tag colors mean different days. While I’m not above eating bread with two days left on the meter, I always look for loaves with the longest shelf life (even if I plan to freeze them).

Look for special deals. Some outlets have punch-card systems: Collect enough stamps on your loyalty card and you’ll get free products. Huffstetler notes that outlets may further sweeten the deal – “senior stamp day,” “double-punch day” – so be sure to ask.

No outlets in your area? If the local supermarkets have their own bakeries, check the “yesterday’s baked goods” rack for discounts of 50 percent or more. These often include unsold focaccia, garlic bread and other fancy stuff – which, as noted above, can do wonders for an otherwise ordinary supper.

Another good habit: checking the weekly store ad. For example, I recently saw multigrain bread at two for $5 with coupon. Normally such loaves cost $4.29 each.

Bottom line: There’s no need to break the bank for sandwich makings. Visit the bread outlet and save.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Ask Stacy: What’s the Best Way to Borrow?

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,056 more deals!