The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cheapest way to buy yeast?

pseudobaker's picture

Cheapest way to buy yeast?

I've been baking lots of bread lately, and have gone through a LOT of yeast (using Fleischmann's Instant Yeast).  It's about $8 for the large jar.  What's a cheaper way buy yeast?  (And yes, I do have a sourdough starter - but I like to bake non-sourdough loaves, too). 


bottleny's picture

Buy 1-lb bag of yeast at costco or Sam's. And store it in freezer (better to split it into small amounts)

wmessin's picture

I bought a 1 lb. bag of SAF active dry yeast oh, about 8 months ago or so and was using it a good bit.  I've taken some time off and I'm interested in getting back into my bread baking but I'm unsure if the yeast would keep this long in the fridge.

How long should it last in the refrigerator??


Floydm's picture

Yeah, Costco, Sam's Club, Winco, Food 4 Less, whichever monster store you have in your area ought to have something cheaper.

I got a pound of Saf Yeast at Winco here for about 3 bucks.

sphealey's picture

Just a note on SAF yeast. Despite the well-designed French-style packaging, all the SAF yeasts (they have several brands) I have found in the United States are manufactured in Mexico. I have nothing against Mexican yeast (we drink plenty of beer brewed in Mexico) but I do think their packaging is a bit deceptive.



Paddyscake's picture

I also noticed that the package I finally found was from Mexico. Quality..anyone?

Floydm's picture

I bought a pound of Saf Yeast back in May for $2.50. I've kept it in a glass jar in the fridge. I baked with it today and it is still peppy as can be. So no complaints here.

talanhart's picture

If you are doing a lot of baking, you might want to check out this company. No matter how big your order, they will ship it for less than $5.00 UPS Ground. I order from them all the time and I have never had any problems.

mij.mac's picture

Save a piece of dough and keep it going, feed it and store it in the fridge when not being used. You can keep it going forever without having to buy any more yeast.


L_M's picture

At what stage would you save the piece of dough to keep it going? Partly or fully mixed, or after bulk fermentaion? How do you feed it? This sounds interesting...


mij.mac's picture

At the shaping stage take as much as you think you're going to need and put it in the fridge. Remember it's commercial yeast and it will grow much faster than natural leaven. 


L_M's picture

Then you just throw that back into your next batch of dough and repeat the process to keep it going?


Sylviambt's picture

If you've got one nearby, you may also want to check out your local food co-op or natural food store.  That's where I buy my SAF yeast for under $3/lb. 

Like you, I like to have both my levain as well as instant yeast on hand.


Drifty Baker's picture
Drifty Baker

I have been getting my instant yeast from Sam's Club for a couple of years now.  It does come from Mexico.  I keep it in the fridge once I open the bag.  I have not had any problems with it.  In fact I have even used it right out of the fridge without letting it warm to room temperature and other than taking longer for the first rise it has worked great.


This is the same yeast that I used when I made buns for schlotzsky's Deli.

graz's picture

I have a home vacuum sealer I take out the amount I want to use and place it into a mason jar with a rubber gasket and keep it in the refrigerator, the rest I vacuum seal and store in the freezer.

LadyBreadBaker's picture

I vac seal my yeast too and keep it in the freezer. 

TRK's picture

I buy SAF instant and have never had any problem with it.  I buy it in one-pound bags from Smart and Final (I don't know how widespread this store is, but it is like a Costco-light sort of place).  I think it is under $3 for the bag.  Costco has only active dry yeast here.  I keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest in a mason jar.  I have never had trouble with it even as it gets months old.



hefeman's picture

 Yeast will keep forever in a cold environment. Freeze it in small jars. Just scoop

it out when needed.

pseudobaker's picture

I didn't mention that I'm in Canada - but I'll try Costco and other sources.


inspsfj's picture

Costco 1 lb Red Star, I just keep it in a tupperware in the fridge and spoon it out as needed.  I have seen the bulk in the bin at WINCO but I don't know how many kids have stuck their hands in there, and we all know where their hands have been.

nurseratchit's picture

I just bought some tonight for 2.35 @'s in the bulk section but is in it's own vac-pac so no worries about germy fingers :-)

rose1234's picture

I have mine in the cabinet. Will something bad happen to it if I don't refrigerate it?

mij.mac's picture

yeast will absorb moisture from the air, when it absorbs enough moisture to metabolise it will need food or it will die. So to get round that you should store it in as small a container as you can and keep it dark and cold. You can freeze it, but even in the freezer it won't last forever. I don't uses yeast much so I always end up throwing most of it away however I store it.

Thordawggy's picture

I get the one pound bricks from Sam's Club too.  Since finances are limited, it always hurt to buy those little jars or packets in the store.  They are so expensive!  Sam's is $3 a pound or less! 

Someone on this thread mentioned Honeyville Grain.  I get unbleached high gluten bread flour from them and it is great.  They have many other flours and specialty flours too.  Also, they make excellent flavored hot chocolates and fuit smoothies along with a bunch of other stuff.  Less than $5 shipping for any size order.  Your UPS guy will hate you. Sorry for the drift.  And no, I don't work for them or anything like that.

tattooedtonka's picture

I know this may sound odd, but have you ever looked into local auctions.  Here in Upstate New York we have an auctioneer who does auctions for closed store's, bakery's and such.  At the last one my friend was able to purchase (and share with me) Over a dozen 50lb. bags of Artisan Flour, a half dozen 1 pound bags of Fleischmans Instant Yeast, 40lbs. of brown sugar, a couple 50lb. bags of white cake mix, misc. 50lb. bags of muffin mixes, and such, and a dozen or so boxes of baking soda, and baking powders. This was from a bakery that had closed.  My friend paid 12 dollars for everything.  If any of you are in New York check out the auctioneers site. 

Again it may sound kinda odd but I love getting great deals on good materials.

Have a nice day folks,


verminiusrex's picture

I also buy my instant yeast at Sams Club, two 1 lb packages are sold together for about $5.  After opening the package I store the rest in a 16 oz jar that formerly held matzo ball soup.  I've had a jar of yeast last for over a year in the freezer before.


lahamdani's picture

I buy yeast (fresh, compressed) from a commercial bakery for $5 for 5-1 lb. bricks. Others have made comments about not freezing this type of yeast, but I have had success. I just wrap each 1 pound block tightly in plastic wrap and then put into zip-top bags. I unwrap the block and thaw in the refrigerator. It works great!

Emily's picture

I'm a firm believer in SAF yeast.  It's very "forgiving".  No need to "baby" it.  I keep a small jar in the refrige and the rest in a ziplock baggie in the freezer.

I have used this yeast directly from the freezer and it worked great!

Too bad you didn't ask this question last week.  I had purchased a CASE of yeast from Mountain Tops Milling and was begging my friends to take it off my hands.   The price was great however that's a lot of yeast!

I did purchase mine online because I couldn't find it locally.  It was still less expensive than what is in my grocery store!


deblacksmith's picture

Both SAF and Red Star are from the same company.  Very high quality, professional company.

Corporate website is

For technical information click on their commerial website.

I really like and use their products.


bassopotamus's picture

I was buying 2 1lb vacuum packs for about 5 bucks.

LynnKay's picture

$4.16 for 2  16 ounce bags of Fleishmann/s Instant yeast...ya can't beat it! Sams club

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The local CostCos have Red Star(SAF) active dry yeast in 2# vacuum pack bags for $3.69. I keep mine in the freezer in a Rubbermaid container. It keeps on working.

prof_fr's picture

Here in England I pay 15p per ounce from my local neighbourhood bakery - then divide it into 10g portions and freeze them. No waste and it only takes 10 to 15 minutes to defrost the yeast. And it works every time


abunaloaf's picture

I buy mine at Costco and put some in an old dark brown yeast jar in the cupboard.  I leave the rest in its original foil container in the cupboard folded over well and closed with a clothespin.  It keeps just fine. 

JBeddo's picture

I'm just going to add my name to the list giving you the same information that everyone else has. I buy yeast at Sam's Club it's generally near the large spices and big bags of flour. There are 2 - 1 lbs packages that are bundled together each is vacuum sealed. I open one and keep it in the frig in a jar and keep the other one sealed in the cabinet. It's the same Fleischmann's Instant Yeast you buy in the jar but you get 2 lbs for the about the price as the little jar in grocery store.

bobkay1022's picture

I have had great luck with SAF  10 times nmore ++++ for the same money in the super markets.

ybuybread's picture

I saw a lot of CostCo and Sams Club.  But didn't see Gordon's in the thread.  Its sorta of a restruant/food service/ business supply place open to the public.  I head there when ever I'm cooking for a large group.  I buy a 1lb bag of red star or SAF for the same 3-4 bux and I don't have any membership fees.

kimemerson's picture

Is there a restaurant supply business near you? There's one about 40 miles from whre I live. They are providers for many local commercial food businesses and it's where a restaurant would order, say, a 50# block of butter. I buy 2# pkgs of ADY for about $6.00. I did the math once and though I have no memory of what I came up with, the regular store bought jars of 8 oz or whatever are something like 36 times the cost. Trust me, it's worth the 40 mile drive.