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Baking is a Christmas tradition in many households. Whether you are making fruitcake or cookies with the kids, baking is way to spend time with family and have fun eating the results. Here are some ideas to save money as you bake this holiday season.
The best way to save money is plan ahead. If you know how much of each ingredient you will need then you can buy one ten pound bag of sugar instead of three four pound bags and you will save money when you buy in bulk.
Watch for sales both on the web and in the paper to see if there are baking ingredients for sale including flour, sugar, frosting, and pie filling. A good time to get items on sale is around Thanksgiving and stock up while you are doing shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and just add those items to your list.
Buy off-brands instead of name brands. Often times they do just as good of a job and for less money and are several percentages cheaper than national name brand items.
Use simple decorating on cookies such as red or green sugar crystals, icing, or other colored sprinkles. Toppings don’t have to be elaborate like chocolate layers or candies.
Use food coloring for all of your coloring needs such as making your sugar cookie batter green or red. Do the same for frosting if you frost cookies afterwards. Buying inexpensive food coloring will save you money over buying items that have special colors for the occasion and are only listed as seasonal.
When you are baking pies, buy your fruits fresh instead of canned, Dry them in a food dehydrator if needed.. The price per unit may actually be cheaper in the fresh section than in the canned section for apples or cherries or whichever fruit you are making. If fruits are out of season, then it may be cheaper to buy them canned and open with a can opener, then jar them.
Bake several things all at once if you can to save on utility costs of using your oven and bake a lot in one day for the same reason. Whether your oven is gas or electric you will save on utility bills from having to wait while your oven preheats.
Save time and oven usage by preparing several items while stuff is baking in the oven. Get that next batch of pies or cookies ready while one set is baking in the oven already.
Bake for a small group of people like your immediate family as opposed to a large Christmas party. The larger the party you are baking for, the more economical it will be for you to just buy baked goods already at the store instead of baking from scratch.
One excellent way to save on baking costs is to pick one baking project to do with the entire family and stick with that. Whether it’s a batch of cookies or a Christmas pie, get the entire family involved in the process from start to finish and make it your one project this year.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!