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Q&A Tuesday: Buying yeast in bulk?

You do a lot of yeast baking. What is the most cost efficient way to get yeast? I find that buying it in the jars gets pricey, but I am nervous that by buying in bulk it will lose its effectiveness. Any suggestions? -Brandy

I highly suggest that you buy yeast in bulk. The last time I price compared, it would cost $20 more to buy yeast by the jar at the grocery store versus in 1-lb. bags at Sam’s Club. And I’m guessing prices have only increased since then.

Since we’ve not found it to be cost-effective to purchase a Sam’s Club membership and we don’t have Costco here, we buy yeast once a year on the get-in-free days at Sam’s Club. It’s currently priced at $4.68 for two pounds–which is enough to last us for a year.

The yeast comes in vacuum-packed bags. These do not need to be refrigerated or frozen, but I go ahead and stick them in the freezer. Once I open the bags, I put the yeast in a ziptop freezer bag and continue to store it in the freezer.

I just use the yeast straight from the freezer in my recipes. For more information, you can read a very detailed tutorial on yeast from King Authur’s Flour.

I’d love to hear from the rest of you: What’s your target price for yeast? Any great suggestions for where to find good deals on yeast other than buying it at a warehouse store?

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  1. Ruth says

    It honestly depends on how much you bake bread. We make bread a couple of times a week, plus pizza twice a month and the 1 lb yeast from Sam’s lasted us almost 4 months. We store the packages in the freezer and then after we open one, it goes in the fridge. So we will go through 2 lbs of yeast in under 8 months.

  2. Rachael says

    I also buy my yeast at Sam’s. Incidently, I noticed that our Sam’s Club is now carrying 25 lb. bags of flour for around $7. This what I’ve been paying at Wal-mart for 10 lbs. For a lot of staples and baking supplies, they are so much cheaper than the regular grocery store.

  3. says

    We also use Sam’s yeast. I have a membership, but once I drop it, I’ll just drop in with my mom when she comes to town as she has a membership.

  4. Amy says

    I buy it in bulk from Costco. It lasts over a year and I just store it in the refrigerator without any problems. Just make sure if you are transferring it to another container it is one that will keep it from being exposed to light.

  5. HEATHER says

    I stock up on Yeast, Beans, spices, vinegars, oils, flours, sugars at an Amish Store in central PA when I go home for the holidays. They have this old school walk in “cold” room where they keep cheeses, meats, yogurts and fresh veggies and fruits. It sure beats the hustle and bustle of a grocery store in the city!! No debit or credit cards, and definitely no coupons!!

  6. Paula Laird says

    I buy 1 lb cubes of Fleischman’s Instant Yeast at HEB for just over $3. Not as cheap as Sam’s apparently, but I don’t have to go anywhere special. One lasts me probably 6 months. I hadn’t thought of keeping it in the fridge or freezer. I’m going to try that!

  7. Rebecca says

    This is kinda off subject but I also buy bread flour at Sams. I find it’s way cheaper that way than at my local grocery store. Does any one else have ideas to get cheaper bread flour? I buy my yeast in bulk at Sams, also.

  8. says

    Yup, I got the bulk yeast from Sam’s on one of their get in free days 2 years ago- haven’t had to buy yeast since then! I keep it stored in the fridge in a tight fitting container (pyrex glass tubberware) once opened. The other unopened package I keep in the freezer as is. I’ve not had a problem with it yet! It still works great! Oh and I use it in my bread machine all the time.

  9. says

    I buy mine at Costco two. It’s been a while since I had to buy it so I’ve forgotten the price on a 2lb pack but it was around $3 or so. I keep it in the freezer. I used to keep small jar of it in the fridge and the rest in the freezer but for the last 3 years I keep the whole thing in the freezer and use it from there.

  10. Rachelle says

    Your yeast will last longer if you store it in a dark-colored container in the fridge or freezer rather than a clear bag.

    I use a Costco or Sam’s pack of yeast in an old, plastic coffee can, and I usually split it up between family members (who don’t have a membership) so I can buy it more often and share the blessing of a good price. Even giving most of it away, it’s a huge savings to buy that way!

  11. Brandi T says

    I don’t remember if you’ve blogged about this before–I’ve been a reader since Biblical Womanhood–but have you posted a list of things that you typically wait to buy until Sam’s get in free day (or Costco, we have one of those too)? If you have, I’d love a link! Or, if you know of another blogger that has posted something similar, I’d be interested. Thank you.

    • says

      Mostly just yeast, since I’ve been buying honey through Azure now. There isn’t much else that is less expensive than sale/coupon/bulk prices I pay elsewhere. I know it does vary for different areas, though.

  12. Louise says

    I owned a restaurant for many years and bought the bags at Sam’s. I just kept it in the fridge and it lasted forever, even after the expiration date. Be sure to check the dates when you buy and get one with the best date.

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