My family LOVES bread. I know that too many carbs are not a good thing, but we love bread with soups, pasta dishes, roasted chicken, sandwiches and well, just about every dish that I make.
I especially love marked down bread. It saves us so much money. I check the marked down bakery section at the grocery store every visit and I regularly find English muffins, rolls, and loaves of bread marked down at 50% off due to a close sell by date.
I have never had a problem with marked down food that I buy. I inspect it closely and if it looks suspicious, I pass. If it looks great, I just take it home and store in the freezer to preserve the freshness and thaw in the microwave when we need it.
When I find Italian bread marked down to 50% off, making one large loaf around $1, I always buy it. I cut it in half and if I’m not going to use right away, I store in freezer bags in the freezer. I always get two meals out of the $1 loaf. We definitely don’t need to eat an entire loaf at one time.
I use those two halves two ways:
Homemade Parmesan Croutons
1. Cut bread into bite-sized cubes. I find these are best when eaten right after they are made, so don’t make too many. It’s not hard to whip up fresh croutons when you want them.
2. Melt 3+ tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Start with enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Put the cubes in the melted butter and toss to coat. You might need to add more butter to melt, if some of the bread didn’t get coated in butter. Don’t put too many bread cubes in the pan, just enough to fit one layer. You might need to do two batches.
3. Brown the cubes over medium heat. Stir often, the bread will burn quickly, but you want the cubes to toast in the pan.
4. Remove cubes from heat and immediately place in a large bowl and if desired, toss with shredded Parmesan.
5. We use the croutons for soups and salads.
Homemade Garlic Bread
1. Cut the Italian loaf in half and slather butter on the cut sides. Sprinkle with garlic powder and/or shredded Parmesan cheese, or any herb or spice that pleases you. Place on a baking sheet, cut sides up, and bake in 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the bread is golden and cheese is melted. Don’t take your eye off the bread, it will burn quickly.
Can’t beat .50 croutons or .50 garlic bread.
Yes, the store bought versions are easy when you don’t have enough time or when you can’t find a discounted loaf of bread, and I have certainly bought those products, but this is a great way to save money on groceries and not deny yourself savory croutons and garlic bread.
Do you buy marked down bread?
This post is linked to Thrifty Thursday.
Jennie @ The Diary of a Real Housewife says
yum!! I make soup a lot in the winter and these would be a great touch!
I would love if you would share on my Friday Favorites linkup!
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Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says
Yes! This also makes great french bread pizza. I slice it in half lengthwise and then again in the other direction to make 4 pizzas. Top & bake. In fact, I have some defrosting on my counter right now. After letting it defrost for a few minutes, I slice it while still partially frozen to help it thaw faster. Sometimes I freeze the loaves after cutting in half and other times I slice it first.
Thanks for sharing your crouton recipe. YUM!
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French bread pizza is a great idea. Thanks for the tip.