With all the cookies, pies and squares you have to whip up over the holiday season, it’s easy to spend a fortune. But with these simple tips you can create the same delicious goodies at a fraction of the cost.
Buy early and store away
The chances of all the items you need for your holiday baking going on sale at the exact moment you require them are slim to none. So if you want to score the best deals, you have to get some of your shopping done a little early. If you plan to make pies over the holidays, keep a lookout for sales on fresh or frozen fruits and berries. If you notice a good sale, buy as many as the recipe calls for, and keep them in the freezer until you need them. Butter also freezes and thaws very well, so don’t be afraid to load up on a few bricks when they’re on sale and stow them away in the freezer for later. Other common baking ingredients, such as flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, sugar and molasses, have long shelf lives, so don’t hesitate to buy them up when they’re on sale. If you plan to do a lot of baking over the holidays, you’ll go through these ingredients in no time, and if not, you’re sure to use them up in the new year!
Use the bulk store to your advantage
Bulk stores can be huge assets if used right. Many boxed or pre-bagged products have high prices and aren’t worth your time, but if you stick to the bulked goods and keep an eye out for sales, you can score some incredible deals. If it’s your first time using a bulk store, be sure to weigh each item as you go and calculate the price. The last thing you want is to get to the counter and discover you’ve racked up a huge bill without even knowing it. Stores such as Bulk Barn have regular sales, and it even offers coupons on its website, so take advantage of the opportunity!
Use what you have
It can be tempting to try out a whole bunch of different recipes for the holidays. And though there’s certainly nothing wrong with adding some new items to your repertoire, picking several creations that will need a variety of different tools and ingredients will be tough on your bank account. To save a little money, look for recipes that make use of the devices and ingredients you already have.
Avoid brand names
For the most part, the difference between a brand name and the almost identical “no name” product sitting next to it lies entirely in the price. Take a peek at the ingredients, and see if you’re really sacrificing anything by choosing the less pricey option. In many cases you can shave off at least 50 cents or a dollar with every swap.
When you get excited about all the baking possibilities, it’s easy to make big plans that may have equally big repercussions on your finances. So before you get ahead of yourself, take into account how much money you have to work with and how to use it best. If you’re making baked goods for several people, pick an inexpensive recipe, such as brownies or oatmeal cookies, and make a large batch that you can divide and present separately. And if you really want to make a particularly fancy dessert for a special event but know buying all the ingredients will cost a fair bit, be prepared to look for cheaper ingredient alternatives or to make cuts in your other baking plans to account for that. If you stay focused, you can make some great treats and still keep your finances in check!