Saving money at bakery outlet stores

Bakery Outlet Stores

by Tricia Goss

Many frugal shoppers take advantage of the deep discounts on bread at bakery outlet stores. These bakery outlet stores, also referred to as bread thrift stores, are usually owned by a name brand bakery, such as Hostess, Wonder or Mrs. Baird's. These shops carry the overstock and "day old" products you find in the bakery aisle of your favorite supermarket, only at much lower prices.

While these stores are terrific for your standard sandwich fare, you can use bakery outlet stores to cut down on your overall grocery bill when you think and shop creatively.

For instance, consider breakfast. Sure, you could do toast. Topped with peanut butter, jelly or cinnamon and sugar, toast is a thrifty yet tasty standby. Do not stop there, though. Most bakery outlet stores carry bagels, English muffins and specialty breads, too. A day old loaf of thick raisin, cinnamon swirl or Texas toast is perfect for indulgent French toast, which, by the way, makes a quick, filling weeknight meal, as well.

If you are packing lunches or even eating at home, you can find hearty whole grain breads to top with leftover meatloaf or chicken slices and your favorite veggies. Pita pockets are a regular feature, too, and you can stuff these with tuna salad or leftover grilled vegetables for unique lunchtime fare. Alternatively, split open English muffins and top with leftover tomato sauce, shredded cheese and your favorite toppings. Heat in the oven for a few minutes and enjoy mini-pizzas anytime.

Dinner ideas abound at bakery outlet stores, too. Hot dog and hamburger buns are a no-brainer for barbecues or chilidogs on the stove. Look for tortillas in a variety of sizes. These versatile wraps can hold everything from typical taco meat to shredded beef or chicken. For an easy weeknight dinner, throw a pound or two of boneless, skinless chicken into your slow cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth and allow it to cook while you go about your day. At suppertime, take two forks and pull apart the meat to shred it. Scoop the shredded chicken into warm tortillas and add your favorite taco toppings.

Look at the other types of breads available. They may vary each time you shop, so use your imagination. Brown and serve rolls could accompany a roasted chicken or they could be sliced and used as buns for cheeseburger sliders. You could use French rolls to make meatball subs, Italian beef sandwiches or homemade hoagies. A crusty loaf of Italian bread can be sliced, topped with butter and garlic, and toasted to perfection, making the ideal accompaniment for a pasta dinner.

Bakery outlet stores usually carry more than just bread, too. If you usually shop for snack cakes at your grocery store, be sure to check out the thrift store's offering first. You can often pick up several full-size cakes and pies for a dollar. Cookies, mixes, spices and other pantry regulars are frequently available as well.

Before you head to bakery outlet stores, be sure to check your local coupon mailers, as many bakeries send out coupons that further sweeten the deal. When you arrive at the shop, be sure to check out the "free rack." Most stores have a special rack at the checkout counter from which you get to pick one item for every five or six dollars you spend. In addition, ask the cashier if they offer a punch card, which can save you even more over time.

Then, let the bakery shelves inspire you. Stock up your cupboards and even your freezer. Best of all, feed your family delicious meals while saving lots of dough!

Take the Next Step:

  • Consider these 6 things you need to know about grocery store aisles that can help reduce your gorcery bills.
  • Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
  • Continue to trim food costs by visiting our food & groceries section to get tips and tools for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.
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