Posted by Caroline Booy on

 By Guest Writer - David Whalen


THE COST OF INGREDIENTS - WHERE DOES ONE TURN FOR RELIEF? Like many of you fellow pie-makers, I wind up spending a small fortune on the ingredients that go into my production . Flour is a major cost that we all must contend with. Some of us insist on ONLY using a brand like "Robin Hood" which some consider to be the elite product out there. Others find little or no difference between it and other more generic flours - like the grocery store brands, or "Five Roses", etc. In my case, I have had good success using any good, Canadian hard wheat flour. Since I give away all of my production (and am retired), the price I pay for all ingredients is of concern to me. Robin Hood flour here in my hometown is usually priced at $13.99 per 10 kg. bag of their "All Purpose Flour". The generic, store brands of places like "Loblaws" ("Superstore" here) and "Sobeys" - will run around $10 to $11 for the same sized bag. At Costco, I can purchase their bag at around $8.00 or a little less, while our Wal-Mart sells their store brand currently for $ 8.56 per 10 kg. bag. Interestingly, Wal-Mart here is selling 2.5 kg. bags of all purpose, white Canadian flour for 77 cents per bag. That is an amazing price but I am assuming that it is a "one shot deal" and will not become a regular item at that price. If you convert that to the equivalent of a 10 kg. standard, large bag of flour, you are only paying $ 3.08 ! I could not resist trying this product and so far I am very happy with the results I am getting from it. They currently have it in the middle of a major aisle - piled very high on several large pallets. No wonder! Again, this is probably just a "loss leader" and being sold way below the store's actual cost. I plan to go back again and this time really load up on this bargain. It is packaged in a mostly green bag and the brand name is "Miller's Pride". Good, Canadian, prairie-grown, wheat flour. What is not to like? When this sale is over, I will shift back to the lower cost, store brand flours. Last December, one store featured the 10 kg. bags of Robin Hood for a little over $8.00 & with no limit on the quantity. I definitely took part in that deal but just can't afford the product at $13.99 or even $14.99 for their 10 kg. product. I am retired and every dollar, out of necessity, I must watch. Each year I make several thousands of the 5 inch, single-serving fruit pies which go to charities, especially rural food banks in my area. Again, the cost of ingredients is the biggest factor I face in being able to produce these pies.

Thanks to one of our customers - David Whalen for writing some blog posts for me during my busy times!
Guest Writer - David Whalen

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