As, I was deciding what to share on the first day of The Ultimate Virtual Cookie and Goodies Party, I started thinking back to my holiday baking experiences in previous.
While baking is one of my favorite holiday (and every day) pastimes, I am sometimes limited by how much I can do because of the expense of holiday baking. So, I had a great idea! Why not look at ways we can make the most of our baking by making the most of our holiday baking budgets? Let’s be honest, nothing is worse than walking up to the cash register and not being able to purchase all of your baking ingredients because you’ve gone over your grocery budget, or even worse, getting home only to realize you need to go back to the store to pick up ingredients when your budget is already busted…
With that in mind, I thought back to my holiday baking last year and came up with a few suggestions for how I was able to make all of the goodies I wanted without going out of our budget. These practices are going to be even more important for me this year, as the mister and I are sticking to an even stricter budget to meet our financial goals for the year.
Maximize Your Holiday Baking Budget
I’ve “been there done that” when it comes to spending too much on baking ingredients, but more recently, I’ve focused on stretching my baking goods budget to make the most with a limited spending amount. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to do the same.
1. Plan Your Baking
Planning out what you plan to bake and when you plan to bake it is absolutely key. This single practice alone can help you save tons. Just think about it, if you don’t plan and stop by the store to pick up ingredients on a whim, you’ll pick up excess ingredients that you could have overlapped to save. Likewise, if you don’t plan, you may have ingredients that go bad before you can use them.
2. Look for Sale
While companies don’t always offer coupons and sales at the best time, you can be sure that you’ll see coupons and discounts offered on holiday baking items. By watching for sales and collecting coupons to use when you’re doing your holiday shopping, you’ll be able to stretch your budget. Check brand websites, like Pillsbury and Land O’Lakes, for specific coupons, and keep an eye out for your local grocer’s mailer for the best deals.
3. Buy in Bulk and Split Your Ingredients
No matter what else I make, every year I know at some point I’ll make a mega batch of chocolate chip cookies as well as a variety of chocolate dipped pretzels. One way I save on ingredients is buying large bags of chocolate chips and splitting the chips between the two. By buying the larger bag, I’m able to save at least 2 to 3¢ per ounce, a savings that really adds up. You can also save by purchasing bulk bags of flour, sugar, and other items.
4. Consider Different Brands
I, like many of you, am partial to certain brands, particularly with my baking, but you know what I’ve discovered? Some of my brand loyalties aren’t so important. I’ve shifted to baking with the Aldi brand butter versus my old standby Blue Bonnet, and I’m able to save at least 50¢ on each pound of butter I use. Consider trying different brands to save on your holiday baking ingredients.
No matter how you’re saving money on your ingredients, one thing you don’t want to skimp on is holiday-worthy packaging. But, guess what…You can save here too! I’m sharing these adorable holiday cookie tags with you so all you have to do is print and add one to your favorite cookie package. I purchased these cellophane bags for $1.00 for 30, and then added the tag and look how festive they are!
Remember, you don’t have to spend your entire budget on your baking this holiday. Bake budget-wise, and you’ll enjoy this holiday season even more!
What are your tips for budget-friendly holiday baking? How do you plan your baking to save money?