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$4.19 for a loaf of bread at the grocery store

About a fifty cent jump on a loaf of whole wheat bread. Time to start making my own I guess...

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  1. I see that you are in Chicago? May I ask, what kind of bread? sheesh! that's expensive, though!

    1. Wow - what kind of whole wheat bread are you buying? That's pretty stiff. Here, it is around $1.95 to maybe $2.50 unless you are going for a high-end artisan type of bread.

      4 Replies
      1. re: boyzoma

        Brownberry Ovens (red label) whole wheat

        Fairly heavy but not dry and not too sugary

        1. re: twodales

          When living in Chicago Brownberry 'Catherine the Great' bread was our favorite, even though it cost somewhat more that other large-bakery brands. That's not distributed out west. The closest I've found is a 9 Grain from Trader Joes. What's the weight of this loaf?

          As for the recent price jump, I haven't noticed one (yet). But I recall news stories about the excessively hot summer affecting the Russian wheat harvest, threatening to push wheat prices up world wide. There was a big jump in wheat prices several years ago, but then with better harvests and the recession, they seemed to stabilize or even drop a bit.

          1. re: paulj

            17 slices plus the two heels & 1# 8oz

            1. re: paulj

              The Trader Joes 9 grain sells for $3 (24oz loaf).

          1. I can trump that with a $4.69 loaf. Alvarado Street Bread. I'm in NYC.

            1. Wow!

              Remember when "bread and water" was a punishment and not a luxury?!?

              2 Replies
              1. re: DoobieWah

                SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Corn and other grains futures shot up Friday after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report pointed to the tightest supply and demand balance for corn in 14 years.

                THis spells repricing for all grain products, watch the cereals, breads, pastries, all shoot up

                1. re: ospreycove

                  Cereal is ridiculously priced as well...

              2. one fancy 'gourmet' grocery in Boca has bread for $4.59, they bake on the premises but it's very expensive in my book and is the round shaped loaf with maybe 10 slices - both sourdough and 5 grain at that price.

                1. Wow! That's crazy! We're still getting really good bread at the grocery store (made at a local bakery) for $1.99 - 2.75 and even some pretty decent breads at Trader Joe's under $3. For reference, we're in Los Angeles, right in the heart of H'wood.

                  Is this pricing consistent for other parts of the country? Maybe we're FINALLY getting something back for the insane rent out here.

                  1. here bread cost $3 and $5 but do u want really good quality bread like levain bread from the bakery u have to be ready to pay for it.. normally it cost around $12

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: L987

                      high wheat prices sounds like a great excuse. but i remember hearing the package costs more than the grain in a package of cereal. its all marketing to get most profit. bread has spiked in wa state recently. safeway french bread that was frequently on sale for 99 cents is now regularly$1.99, sale $1.69. good bread $6-7 for 2 loaves at costco.
                      been fooling with no knead bread, not quite foolproof.

                      1. re: divadmas

                        I've decided all these "foolproof" recipes I've been failing with really ARE foolproof -

                        It's just that *I* am the fool against which they are proof!

                    2. I refuse to pay those prices and shop, for the most part at bread discount stores (Wonder, etc.) where I can get fresh whole grain breads sometimes for $1.00 loaf. If I get desperate & don't want to make the extra stop and am already at a grocery store, if they don't have any on sale, I'll have to go home and make my own (which I've done plenty of times), which really only takes a couple hours to 3 hours.

                      1. Time to move for many reasons... Illinois is broke.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: twodales

                          Shoot, then don't come to California; we're busted too.

                          1. re: mamachef

                            Everywhere is broke. Except maybe Canada.

                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                              Heh don't pack up and move north just yet. In my neck of the woods (between Calgary and Edmonton Alberta) your average whole wheat loaf ranges from $2.50(on sale) to $4.50. Only a few years ago it seemed premium loaves went for maybe $3.00 at the most. I've always wanted to learn how to make a good ww loaf from scratch myself - the hike in prices (and the three growing chowpups in the house) are giving me more motivation.

                              1. re: maplesugar

                                Maybe you could move to Egypt, which provides consumers with subsidized wheat.

                                "This increased budget, Noamani claimed, means “the Egyptian consumer and the Egyptian citizen will not feel the pain of the increase of prices globally.”"

                                1. re: maplesugar

                                  Here in Toronto, you can usually get house brands from $0.99 to $1.49 on sale. Better quality name brands like Dempsters' Whole Grains are normally $2.79-$2.99, but they go on sale frequently. I buy them and freeze them, normally paying $1.79-$2.29 per loaf.

                                  1. re: FrankD

                                    In fact, I bought Dempster's Flax and Sunflower Flax whole grain loaves today for $1.99. Wish I had more space in the freezer!

                          2. Wow. For basic, sliced wheat bread? That's pretty nuts, and it makes me crazy when I see what the stores throw away (or, if they're conscientious, give away to a food pantry). I'm paying two bucks plus, sometimes three, for decent bread unless I go up to the Cheeseboard for a truly artisan bread (artichoke and sharp cheddar sourdough rolls, anybody?) and then I fully expect to be kicked directly in the wallet. So that's on me.

                            1. I think I'd chimed in on the ridiculous price of bread at one point this last year too. Then we were blessed with a Winco. The bread a bit cheaper, but then I just bought bags of bread stuffing for 1.98. Thinking about it maybe not such a great deal for stale bread.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                Haha, chef chicklet. I know just what you mean. I actually found a really good deal at .99 per/bag, and still felt ripped off. I feel much happier about the cornbread that's staling up nicely in the kitchen.

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  It's making me gladder and gladder that I picked up 50 lbs of bread flour for $12.49 the other day at Costco . . . .

                                2. This is going to sound like gloating and I suppose it is. There is a huge commercial bakery near us that has an outlet store. This bakery ships artisan type bread of all kinds to restaurants all over the country, frozen. They appartently have a bit of an inventory problem because they sell excess bread at 3 loaves for $2.50. There are sometimes smaller loaves that sell for .50 each and rolls like ciabatta and other kinds typically found in restaurants are .10 each. The only problem with this situation is that I discovered this treasure just as I was attempting to lessen my consumption of carbs.

                                    1. re: abiaandrews

                                      In So Calif. I've been paying $4 a loaf for artisan breads by La Brea Bakery. The bread is fabulous but it gripes me to pay that much. Has anyone tried that "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" book? Is it a big project to do? Big cost investment? Is the bread really that good?

                                        1. re: ZenSojourner

                                          Now that's a minimalist response. Are you sure you're not one of those taciturn yankees?

                                    2. I am in NYC/Northern NJ area and I pay $4 something for a plain loaf and specialty breads for up to $7. I can also go to a local supermarket and buy $1 loaf of bread but would I ever? nope. As long as that $7 bread is good, I am willing to pay $7...but you are right...it's outrangeous.
                                      I pay about $2.50 for a long baguette here in America but in France, I paid about $1 to $.1.50 for a really nice baguette. Bread is staple in both Europe and America..I don't know why Americans have to pay more for similar(or lesser) quality bread.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Monica

                                        Plain old Arnold went from $3.79 to $4.19 at some recent point, I always buy it on sale for $2 or $2.50 so can't say exactly when. But, just received a notice from our pasta supplier that there will be a giant price increase in the next month, before the end of the year. Their explanation is: the wheat market is up over 55% since early July due to extremely hot weather in the US and Canada that delayed the harvest and damaged the crops. The declining value of the US dollar has led to one of the highest export levels of wheat in many years. And the USDA recent lower corn crop estimate and increased exports have driven up all agricultural commodity values. I've been hearing these explanations for a few months I don't always remember it all but just got the memo so I can quote it directly. At least the price of butter is coming down, just in time for the holidays.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Went to Costco earlier and saw that the Pine nuts (1 1/2 pounds) cost $30. Whoaaa! When did that happen? Bad harvests and increased demand. Glad I don't need them at the moment.

                                          1. re: twodales

                                            Yow, I got 5 lbs last year and I think I paid around $50, which I thought was high at the time; luckily still working my way through them. I'll have to inventory the freezer before cookie time, or eliminate the pignolia cookies.

                                            1. re: twodales

                                              There are a couple of recent threads on pinenuts. That price is GREAT! Trust me.

                                        2. I noticed the increase in bread prices as everyone else It's global...the wild fires in Russia (a major wheat producer) started a chain reaction and shortage.

                                          1. I wanna know why whole wheat flour costs more than the bleached, and enriched? They do less to it, and charge quite a bit more.

                                            The whole corn for ethanol fuel debacle may be driving corn prices up. It uses more fuel to make than what you get.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                              The manufacturers do deals on popular items. Plus maybe the fact that it's more prone to spoilage, so more waste?

                                              1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                This is a misinterpretation. Any fuel uses more energy to produce than you get when you break it back down - there is no lossless fuel production (that includes oil). However the source of the energy being used in production is what counts. In the case of ethanol it's mostly electricity which comes from hydroelectric, wind, solar, and (unfortunately) coal. We don't want cars fueled by coal and 100% electric cars are thus far unacceptable to the general public. Hence, the use of electricity to produce ethanol which can be burned in a combustion engine. Oil is not only a dead loss in energy exchange but is also a non-renewable resource, unlike corn.

                                                Much electricity does come from renewable resources, btw (hydroelectric, solar, and wind).

                                                The issue of corn for fuel versus corn for food has some merit but that's a totally different issue.

                                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                  The big problem is we cannot grow enough fuel. If we planted every available acre in the country we would get less than 1% of our fuel needs, and no food. Solar isn't there yet (cost, reliability) although it has some potential. Wind does better in certain parts of the country, but they are still having some issues (windmill downtime). We have enough coal for 200 years, and plants are getting cleaner. Natural gas is abundant, and being used. The big one would be to open more nuke plants, which I have no problem with. Our nuke subs get fueled once and it lasts the life of the sub.

                                                  I don't have time today to pull it up, but it takes something like 1.5-2 gallons of gas/diesel to make 1 gallon of ethanol from corn. I don't see the benefit.

                                                  We are getting way off track from the original question. Don't need the MODS coming down on us =)

                                                  1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                    The picture is just as bad for oil, plus the oil is non-renewable. I don't think ethanol is THE answer either. But this is where a lot of the impetus comes from for being a "locovore", favoring local farmers and growers instead of trucking produce clear across the country.

                                                    Locomotives use a tiny fraction of the energy used by trucking, but trucking is still how most stuff gets moved. And of course Americans are addicted to our automobiles.

                                                    It's way too complex to try to pin the blame on one fuel alone, or to pin our hopes to one method of creating energy alone. Ethanol is a part of the picture, but it's only ONE part of the picture. Wind and solar can contribute way more than they currently do to reducing the problem.

                                                    Basically we need to stop being so lazy and selfish and start paying attention to the long term costs more than the short term benefits. (Saying coal is getting cleaner, btw, isn't saying much - it's still filthy stuff that destroys the environment several times. Just ask anyone living in West Virginia where they can't eat fish out of local streams any more because of the slag dumped down the mountainsides. That's assuming they can even still find the stream).

                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                      Folks, this is way off-topic for Chowhound. We'd ask that you please let this tangent go.

                                                2. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                  Especially when done on an industrial scale, 'doing less' to a ingredient does not mean it is going to be cheaper. Once they've invested in the equipment to remove the bran, the cost of producing white flour is basically the same as for whole. And over all the cost of milling wheat into flour is a minor part of the final price.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    It is probably just more of that they sell WAY more white than whole wheat.

                                                    It just rubs me the wrong way when I look at a $5 price difference on a sack of flour, and know that one was just ground, and the other was ground, bleached, enriched, etc. Kinda like diesel which is far less refined than gasoline. The prob there is that when the last U.S. refinery was built over 30 years ago the main diesel users were industrial, or agricultural. Now we have millions of diesel cars, and trucks competing for the same fuel from plants that were designed to maximize gasoline production. If we want less expensive diesel we need to build some more refineries.

                                                    I may go the route of my coworker , and mill my own. He mills all of his own flour ,and says the wheat berries have a very long shelf life before they are milled.

                                                    1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                      I'll settle for baking my own bread.

                                                      Speaking of which, does anybody have a recipe for grocery-store-like hotdog buns? That's what my son likes for hotdogs. He'll eat real bread otherwise, but he's used to the squishy stuff for his hotdogs.

                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                        If you do have a recipe for ZenSoujourner, please share it over on the Home Cooking board and post a link to it from here, so all our Home Cooking hounds will see it, and it'll be in the right place for people searching in the future. Thanks!

                                                      2. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                        Farmer in my dad's church *gave* me a five-gallon bucket full of wheat berries, so I've got no excuse! And they do last ages, especially if you keep 'em in the freezer.

                                                        Course, I haven't bought bread (except to make something particular) in years.

                                                  2. I don't know where you buy your bread twodales, we live in western Kane County, Illinois but we bought Arnold Whole Wheat at our Wal-Mart for $1.89 today, Brown berry was a dollar more. Arnold and Brownberry are both owned by Bimbo Brands which also owns Sara Lee, Thomas and a few other US products. BTW, our Woodman's in North Aurora sells Brownberry and Arnold for about the same price as Wal-Mart.

                                                    1. Store brand, folks! Buck or buck and a quarter here, and "here" is an expensive area!

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: wayne keyser

                                                        store brand wheat bread? Isn't that just Wonder bread with caramel coloring?

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          To Paulj:
                                                          No. The particular brand I am talking about is about as solid as you will get in a grocery store or even at Trader Joe's. Not the usual colored white bread doughballs passed off as wheat.


                                                          Even bakery whole wheat doesn't cut it. Will start baking my own.

                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                            My last comment was directed at wayne who talked about $1 bread. That Arnold loaf is what I figured you were talking about. I found your $4.19 price on line a Meijer; couldn't get a price from the Walmart link.

                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                              LOL. Sorry. Got it. Found the Arnold loaf at a nearby Target today for $1.19 less than at Dominick's. (It was $2.99.)

                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                Arnold Whole Wheat recently went to $4.19 here (suburbs of boston). Going to have to stock up when or if it goes 2 for $5 ever again.

                                                      2. Try your local bakery. Honestly. I'm a baker, and I don't think any of our breads are more than 3.50, for specialty breads. Whole wheat is only 2.50 and it's handmade, fresh, and all of the ingredients are easy to pronounce, ahah.

                                                        I'm not about to discourage anyone from making their own though!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: wildwoodflour

                                                          Hi there,
                                                          I second that. Make! Make! :)

                                                          Regarding the price, would it help if you think about the farmer that grew the wheat, his family, the work they put into the fields every day, the water it consumed to grow, the work it took to harvest, the people (or people operating the machines :)) who ground it. The people (see other parenthesis :)) who made the dough, shaped the bread, packaged it... The people who are working to sell it to you?
                                                          It takes a village for a loaf of bread ...
                                                          Happy eating, Oana