How to Keep Holiday Baking Costs Down
Planning to make loads of Christmas cookies and treats? Here’s how to keep your holiday baking costs down, so all of those sweets don’t sour your budget:
Settle on Your Must-Bake List – Go through your recipe box, plus all of those recipes that you pinned, and decide which ones you’re going to make this year. Take a look at the ingredient list for any recipe that you’re considering, and rule out any with exotic ingredients or a long list of ingredients that you’ll have to buy. If it’s a recipe that you’ve never made before, take a minute to look at the reader reviews; it’s a great way to rule out a dud without wasting food or time.
Make a Shopping List – After you’ve finalized your baking list, check your pantry to see what supplies you have on hand. Then, make a list of all the ingredients that you’ll need to buy (including the quantities), so you’ll know what deals you need to watch for. Baking supplies go on sale in November (ahead of Thanksgiving) and remain on sale throughout the month of December, so you should have plenty of opportunities to stock up.
Look for Coupons – Check the Sunday coupon inserts and coupon sites like Valpak.com and Savings.com for baking coupons that you can use. This is one of the only times of the year that you can find coupons for basics like flour, chocolate chips and nuts, so take advantage of it while you can.
Save on Spices – Don’t let spices run up the cost of a recipe. Buy the spices you need at World Market, an international grocery store or the bulk bins at your local health food store, and you’ll pay a lot less than you would at your regular grocery store. Drug stores like CVS and Walgreens can also be a great place to snag spices on the cheap.
Save on Eggs – Normally buying eggs by the dozen is the way to go, but if you need a bunch of eggs for your holiday baking, you may find it’s cheaper to buy your eggs by the tray. Check to see if your grocery store offers this option. Then, compare prices to see which way comes out cheapest for you.
Freeze Your Extras – Buttermilk and heavy cream freezes beautifully. Pop your extras in the freezer so they don’t go to waste.
Use Substitutes – If a recipe calls for an ingredient that you don’t think you’ll use again or one that you simply don’t have on hand, check to see if there’s an ingredient substitute that you can use in its place.