5 Expert Tips to Save Money on Holiday Baking
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Holiday baking is a tradition in many American households -- including mine -- that not even the pandemic can stop.
However, with prices of baking essentials like yeast and flour rising due to the coronavirus, this year’s grocery baking trip will be a hefty price to pay for delicious Christmas goodies.
But rather than picking and choosing which of your favorite sweets you can afford to make, there are simple, easy measures available to make this Christmas feel a little more normal AND a little less pricey.
Grocery savings expert and CEO of Makeena, Karen Frame, has a few tricks up her sleeve to keep Christmas baking costs down! She shared them with me below (and I've added my comments as well!)
1. Write out your baking list
Writing down an exact list of what you need will help limit grazing and keep you focused on purchasing only what you need, and not adding extra items you may never use.
This is a tip that can be used year-round, of course, but it's super useful during a stressful time like the holidays!
2. Check exactly what you need, and what you can borrow
Often times, we end up with 2 bottles of vanilla extract because we didn’t see the one hidden in the back of our pantry. This can become costly as more excess products are purchased.
By simply checking the inventory of your pantry, you can save yourself a lot of money. Like, a LOT. Plus you cut down on time spent in the grocery store, which can lead to unnecessary impulse purchases.
You can also check with a family member, friend or neighbor to see what ingredients they are willing to share -- or even consider checking your local Buy Nothing groups on social media! Why buy a whole bag of flour if you need one extra cup? Borrowing from those you know can remove items from your list and cut costs.
3. Keep your recipes simple
Despite Pinterest dragging all of us into making complicated, but beautiful recipes during any time of the year, they aren’t always necessary.
Shifting your focus to classic favorites that everyone loves means you can use more of the ingredients you purchase for other recipes and are less likely to have too much leftover of a treat that no one enjoyed.
This also cuts down on baking stress, since you're using your tried and true recipes that you know like the back of your hand! No one wants to have to worry about dry cakes or overbaked cookies this time of year.
4. Buy generic when you’re willing to make the “sacrifice”
Generic products tend to be a good bit cheaper than their name brand counterparts, yet they often times contain the same ingredients. I personally buy store brands all the time for things like sugar, flour, and baking powder.
And if there is one particular brand you’re a diehard fan of, purchasing one or two name brand won’t cost you an extra $25, but substituting as much as you can has the possibility of saving you even more.
5. Check for deals and digital coupons
More often than not, stores will have deals for many of the commonly purchased baking items, but this isn’t always reliable.
However, there are many new apps that offer consumers digital coupons. Apps like Makeena are offering consumers cash back for purchasing baking supplies such as brownie and cookie mix, organic flour and more. In fact, I checked my app and right now we have rebates on assorted chocolate brands, organic pumpkin or apple pie, organic sugar and lots more. And if you're new to Makeena, you can use my code JVYSWS to get a $1 bonus on your first rebate receipt!