Even with the vast number of delicious meals you can make with bread—fluffy French toast, avocado toast, paninis—chances are that you aren't going through a whole loaf in the span of a couple of days unless you're cooking for a whole household of people.

Bread has a relatively short shelf life. Homemade bread lasts only three to four days and store-bought bread lasts about a week

But according to experts a, how you're storing your bread makes a huge difference in terms of how long it maintains that just-baked quality, either extending its life or drastically cutting it down.

Keeping it fresh comes down  to avoiding three things: heat, moisture, and air. This will prevent fresh bread from becoming stale and moldy.

The best way  to store bread?

Use a paper, plastic, or reusable bread bag.

If you want to make or buy bread that can last as long as possible, go for sourdough. The naturally occurring enzymes in sourdough bread act as a natural preservative, keeping homemade bread fresher for longer.

If you don't plan on eating your bread in the next week, you can always freeze it, saving it for weeks and even months later. 

If your bread  does go stale?

You can still make delicious croutons or breadcrumbs.

Whether your loaf is just-baked or starting to harden, really what using it all comes down to is mindfulness. Taking the time to store your bread properly will make it last as long as possible—and that's good advice no matter how you slice it.