Since a couple of years I have the excellent Panasonic Automatic Breadmaker.
The quality of bread it produces easily matches and with some help surpasses the quality provided by the bakery. Here are a few hints that help make the experience better.
Use more water!
A 1kg bread based on 600g flour typically requires between 360 and 380 ml of water. I always use 400ml. This makes your bread a bit stronger and it'll dry out less fast.
Use less salt
You can easily get away with 4-5gram less salt then the recipe requires and it'll still taste great.
Ready-made flour mixes
There is nothing wrong with using ready-made flour mixes.However in my opinion they tend to contain to much salt and tend to produce bread that is quite light in structure. I prefer stronger bread.
The solution is adding some other non-mixed flour like rye. For example I typically replace 600g of mix with 150g rye and 450g mix. It's not needed to add any extra salt or yeast. The bread will still rise fine.
The bread maker also makes dough and the pizza dough is highly recommended. It only takes 45 minutes in the machine to make a nice dough. That being said, if you have more time I recommend making the dough earlier and letting it rest a while in the fridge.