It's that time of year for holiday baking. I love to bake more than I like to cook, so I love this time of year. My kitchen smells so good with holiday treats coming fresh out of the oven.
Holiday baking can be a budget buster, but with these holiday baking tips and tricks you can save money on holiday baking:
- Plan Your Holiday Baking List – Before you start baking, make a list of which holiday treats you plan on making as well as a list of the ingredients needed. You'll be able to see if you can buy some ingredients in bulk to save some money.
- Find Multiple Uses for Expensive Ingredients – If you're going to spend $12 for a jar of Cardamom to make Speculaas (yes, I've done that!), be sure you have some ideas for other recipes using Cardamom to spread out the cost. You don't want to only use expensive ingredients on one baked good and have the rest go to waste. Or, you might reconsider making a recipe with an expensive ingredient.
- Buy Baking Ingredients on Sale – Since many people are baking this time of the year, stores tend to have good sales on baking ingredients. Be sure to stock up when ingredients are on sale, and match the sale with a coupon (if you have one) to save even more.
- Buy a Few Ingredients Each Week – Rather than taking a hit to your budget by buying of all your baking ingredients in one trip to the store, take your list and buy a few ingredients each week so you're ready to bake during the holidays. You can freeze butter, and most other baking ingredients have long shelf lives.
- Buy Generic – For the basic ingredients, don't worry about buying name brand ingredients. You can shop at Aldi or Costco to save money.
- Bake from Scratch – Rather than starting with a mix or refrigerated cookie dough, find recipes to bake from scratch. They really don't take much extra time and they cost less to create. Plus, then you know all the ingredients that are in your goodies.
- Host a Cookie/Holiday Goody Exchange – Rather than buy ingredients for 20 different kinds of cookies or holiday goodies, consider starting a holiday exchange with a group of friends. I did this in the past with a group of friends in Michigan. We each made 13 dozen cookies and exchanged them among the 12 of us. We each went home with a nice assortment of cookies for the holidays, and I only had to bake one kind.
How about you? How do you save money on holiday baking?