Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Writing, bread, and t-shirts? Yeah ... those go together.

Craptastic!  I had half of a post written and it dissappeared! *sob!*

Oh, well. I'm sure I can rewrite it.  I'm an aspiring writer after all (been wanting to participate in NaNoWriMo for YEARS but haven't had the time/dedication/talent/guts/insert-lame-arse-excuse-here. Now some of my mates are goading me to do it this year *waves at Rebecca and Barb* and I'm trying to firm my resolve.)

(which totally sounds like a naughty euphemism.)

(Heh. Heheheheh.)

So, where was I? Oh, the post.  Here we go:


"Wait, what?!" you ask, aghast, "Ms bread-is-the-toejam-of-the-devil is going to blog about bread?!"

Yup.  I am.

See, whilst *I* am Paleo and eschew all grains (except for, erm, bourbon), my family is mearly low carb. So I do buy bread, and being The Thrifty Mom, I buy in bulk when I find a good price (I also have a few resources for free bread).

Of course the really tightwad thing would be to get rid of bread entirely.  I have saved oodles of dough (heh, get it? dough? OK, ok, sorry) by simply weaning my family as much as possible off of all sugars: bread, pasta, table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.  (Table sugar, carbohydrates, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup (of which 99% of commercial bread is FULL), are all the same poison. They fark with your blood sugar, make you fat, cause hideous inflammation which opens the door for diabetes, and heart disease - just to name two.)

But if you must buy bread, *big theatrical sigh* here are some tips on doing it frugally, LOL. ;)

First of all, I only buy 100% whole wheat bread. I never could abide that nasty, sticky, white crap bread, even when I was a kid. So I have no idea how well or poorly it stores, sorry.  I've only ever tried this with whole grain breads.

Second of all, of course, keep your eyes peeled for deals. Many stores will put their store brand on sale during the big eating holidays (which in America is EVERY freakin' holiday. Off work? 3 day week-end? Let's invite some friends and family over and inflame their arteries and jack their blood sugar up by serving huge troughs of Carbo Death Bombs, yeah!  But make sure that ground beef is xtra lean!  Don't wanna get fat!)

When my sources of free bread run dry, I seek out the Aldi. If you have one, they rawk for bread prices. Nothing here beats them (by over 20c per loaf). Don't bother with Sam's Club, BTW. Their bread prices (like all of their fresh food and meat) is, in my experience, MORE per lb/package than the WalMart next door.

Day old bread stores or bakery thrift stores are also pretty good but, alas, fewer than way back in the way back time. :(

Like with milk, grab loaves from the very back of the display (look for the change in twist-tie colours) as the shelves are 'fronted' by the bread blokes and the older ones brought forward.

Anyway, when you have scored your largesse of bread (I buy 6-9 loaves at a time), as soon as you get home, make sure all of the excess air is out of the bag (don't squish your bread!) and be sure the twist tie is nice and tight.  Then get out all of your old bread bags (What?  You don't save all your old bread bags and plastic containers?!  Start doing it now!  Those things come in really handy. Remember, if you go out and buy 2 gallon ZipLok bags to put your bread in, you have just defeated the Thrifty purpose.)

Anyway, take each loaf, drop it twisty side down into another bread bag, press out the air, and twist-tie it up tight - I double the excess over and twist the ends of the tie over it a second time - and stack in the freezer.

If you don't have a chest freezer, get one. Go right now to Craigslist and Freecycle and just ask nicely if anyone has one they're not using and/or scour around for great deals / freebies. Tell all your friends and family about how much you need one and ask them to let you know if they hear of anything. Stress your abject poverty. Don't be proud. Be up front that you don't have much dosh to spend.

I have a huge chest freezer, a refrigerator, a washer, and a dryer, ALL for free from different folks who were aware of my need.  Again, don't be proud. No shame in needing to save some bucks!  (The "I really need a fill-in-the-blank!  Mine has gone tits-up. If you hear of anyone ..." thing works for lawn mowers and used cars, too!)

When you need the bread, just take the whole loaf out of the freezer and toss it onto the table as-is (both bags on). In a few hours it will be thawed and ready to eat!  If you need a few slices in an emergency, just carefully unstick them from the loaf and lay them out. They'll thaw in a few minutes.

I've kept loaves for 6 weeks with no discernable changes. If you leave them too long, they get slightly hard - usually along one side - but are still fine for things like French toast, grilled cheese, egg-in-the-basket, etc, or anything requiring them toasted.  Air is the guilty party, not freezing, for this hardening, so wrap 'em up tight!

Well, I hope this helps some of you save some money!  If you have any thrifty bread tips, whether buying or storing, please share them in the comments.

PS: I am totally going to make a t-shirt that says "Bread is the toejam of the devil"!  ROTFLMAO!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:49 am   1 comments


At 7:26 am, Blogger RobertPlantFan said...

Thanks for the bread freezing tip. I've tried freezing it with less than stellar results but I never double bagged it.

And I second the enthusiasm for a chest freezer! I live alone but it still is well worth having. When something is on a big sale I can stock up. Plus, I can cook in big batches and freeze in individual serving containers. So I have "frozen dinners" for pennies instead of $1-3 each. And since it's just me, I don't end up eating the same thing for days when I do cook something like chili or veggie soup.

I found a whole stack of those divided plates with lids for the microwave at a garage sale for a buck so I also make "TV Dinners" that have three items. A weekend of cooking will make for weeks of variety.

Finally, a freezing tip that people might not think of. It's best not to try and keep things long term in your refrigerator freezer, especially if you have a self defrosting fridge. It will cause ice crystals to build up in stuff due to the heat used for the defrosting. That's why the ice cream gets sticky too. Chest freezers rule for food. Fridge freezers rule for ice and... ice.


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