Below we will look at ways to save on all baked good, including those store bought and made from scratch.
Save On Home Baked GoodsI love home baked goodies. I don't have much time to spend on baking, but it cost so much less to bake goods, rather than to buy them. My solution?
- I buy dry ingredients in bulk like flour, sugar (white and brown), baking chocolate, nuts, marsh mellows and store them in my freezer in large zip-lock freezer bags or storage containers. I place the flour in four-cup batches and sugar in one-cup batches.
Buying these ingredients in bulk will save you money, gas and time. Also, if you live in a humid area, keeping these items in the freezer will help ward off any nasty grain weevils.
- After the holiday season you can often find the large bags of shelled nuts on sale. Invest in your favorites and freeze. Freezing actually helps to retain the natural oils in the nuts.
Another option, depending on where you live, is to visit a nut farm, for example a pecan farm. Typically you will find better prices than what you will find in your grocery store. Plus, if you get friends to chip in, the more you buy, the less it will cost.
- Store bought cookies are too expensive and I no longer get tempted to buy them since I've been following this system:
When I bake cookies, I make several batches of the dough, shape and place the dough onto cookies sheets and let them freeze. I then remove the dough and store the individual uncooked cookies in freezer bags. When we are in the mood for a snack, I can just take out as many cookies as I want and bake them in the oven. There is no need to wait until they defrost.
- Do you have a child that must have store bought cookies? Many stores now offer cheap cookies for around $1. Put them in a cookie jar and your child will probably eat them as fast as the expensive cookies with the eye-catching packaging.
Other Ways to Save on Baked Goods
- Clip coupons and have one section of your coupon folder devoted to baking supplies. It is also helpful to keep a price sheet in the folder so that you can compare prices before buying an item just because you have a coupon.
- Coupons for holiday baking usually start to show up in the circulars and online about six to eight weeks before the holiday. Start checking the websites and Facebook pages of the companies that make baking supplies and essentials for promotional information and coupons, for example:
- Buy boxed cake and cookie mixes from stores like Dollar General when they are on sale and you can stack the savings with a coupon. Also, take advantage of double-coupon days at the grocery stores in your area.
- Pre-baked goods from your grocery store's bakery get discounted quickly if they do not sell. Items like potato rolls, pies, seasonal cookies, and some of the more exotic breads can be bought at half the price. Look for the sale display racks which are usually in the back of the bakery department.
Save On Decorative Cakes and Cup CakesIt is always tempting to buy expensive decorative cakes and cute cup cakes for special events, but you really do not need to do it if you are prepared. If you want to prepare special desserts like event-themed cakes, cup cakes and cookies, take time to browse the sales at stores like Michaels Arts & Crafts store. If, for example, you see a dozen little flags on sale in January, leftover from July 4th., buy them and store them away if you think that you will use them. They are perfect for sticking on cup cakes for your next Fourth of July party.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for a good deal on a large cake pan. Many of the craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby stock them and often times you can print a coupon from their websites for 30 to 40% off of an item. If you bake a lot of large cakes (or want to) using a high-value coupon will help, even if the cake pan is not on sale.
The internet is full of cake and cup cake decorating ideas. Practice doing some of the more difficult and intricate designs on cakes that you serve to your family. It won't take long before you will find a decorating technique that you feel comfortable enough doing for special events.
You may also find free cake decorating classes within your community. If you do and you can spare the time, sign up. It is fun, resourceful and you will meet people.
If you feel that you completely lack in the decorating skills department, you can always go with simple elegance. For example, a carrot cake with a delicious buttery cream icing is always acceptable.
Save On DoughnutsWhen it comes to baked goods, doughnuts are one of those items when store bought is probably the best way to go, unless you really know what you are doing. If doughnuts are a must have for your family (or in my case, my husband) check into joining a loyalty club, like Dunkin Donuts offers. At least you will be able to score a free cup of coffee or free doughnuts every once in awhile.
A Few Last Quick TipsMost store brand whipped cream that comes in the plastic containers (similar to Cool Whip) freezes really well and cost a whole lot less than the name brands. Keep some handy as a quick topping for baked desserts.
Nut breads, carrot breads, banana breads, etc., can be frozen and taste just as fresh as the day that you baked them. Place them in a freezer container so that they do not get crushed. Visiting a sick friend? It makes the perfect quick gift. Want to say a special thank you to someone? Pull one out of the freezer, let it sit for a few hours, warm it up in the oven and they will think that you baked it just for them.
Speaking of banana breads. Do not throw away your rotten bananas! They are perfect for banana bread. Just peel them and freeze the meat and you'll have it for the next time you bake.