I have been replacing some older white flour that is starting to smell a little old and my bread loaves were not rising like they should. Some that white flour was 5 + years old so it was my fault not using those a couple of hidden buckets of flour before it started going bad. I can say that once the Artisan bread was baked I could not taste any difference but my loaves were a bit denser compared to using newer/fresher flour.
White flour prices for 5-10 pound bags of flour you get in the local mega-mart are on sale right now and still low priced. I looked at the price at the local restaurant supply store and all types of flour have doubled in price for 25-50 pound bags. In addition many brands of flour like Gold Medal have disclaimer’s that it is a special order or call the store to see if they have that flour in stock. If flour in bulk is going up in price or is hard to stock then getting flour in smaller bags at the local grocery store will probably start going up in price very soon! It is cheaper per pound (.25 compared to .50 cents) for me to buy 5 pound bags of flour from Albertson’s than to buy a 50 pound bag from a restaurant supply store. I live in an agricultural state so it won’t be long for those prices to start hitting non-wheat producing states. Store bought bread will probably jump another dollar in price per loaf in the near future.
This is a great time to stock up on baking supplies and spices as many stores have those ingredients on sale. I am also stocking up on yeast and baking powder as those items were hard to find last year during the shopping rush at the start of the lock downs. Don’t buy those little yeast packets! buy the largest container of yeast in the store or the 1-2 pound bags of yeast. You can freeze the yeast up to 5 years so you won’t waste your money. Conversion for bulk yeast in a recipe compared to using a packet of yeast called for in a recipe. I use about 1 tablespoon of yeast for every 3 cups of flour in my bread recipes. That generally works out that 1 tablespoon of yeast equals 1 packet of yeast. This is just a rule of thumb and your results might vary depending on the recipe.
One more advantage of baking is your oven will add heat to your home while you bake so you are getting bonus heat while you are making food that will save you money because you made it at home rather than buy something ready made from a store.
Coffee supplies are looking awful for the USA because of the supply SNAFU and bad weather/poor harvests in most coffee regions. I have read some “rumors” that Starbucks is having problems getting in coffee beans in the USA. Now I always keep a good stockpile of coffee on hand but I keep restocking every month as most of my local stores have coffee on sale every week.
I think the stores are getting rid of older stock or are looking to downsize packaging again. I don’t normally see bagged coffee like Dunkin Donuts cost $5.99 a bag even on sale. I think there will be coffee for sale in the USA but I think the price will go much higher. I think this years rising prices are giving us a hint about how much faster cost can go up.
This is not the time to live off your preps unless you have no choice. Now is the time to perfect your storage/preps. I know I have found foods that went out of date because some stuff got bought and stored and I did not use it as fast as I thought I would use it. Or some items just got lost in learning how to prep. Goodness knows I trashed a lot of food to Rotation of FIFO, freezer burn and improper storage. I won’t say all preppers make that mistake but I sure as heck screwed up on that part of prepping. Now is a great time to double check, do an inventory and replace those items that might seem a little iffy in your preps. You may also find some pleasant surprises that you had prepared but did not have to use and they can’t spoil.