Tips for saving money on baking supplies from the ThriftyFun community.
I use the red and green M & M's to decorate a lot of my holiday cookies, so I buy them after Christmas and throw them into the freezer for next year. I also do that with the marked down pecan halves after Thanksgiving for the following year's pecan pies. Also stock up on flour, butter, margarine, etc. when on sale and put in freezer.
Check to see if there is a food co-op in your area sometimes (not always) co-ops have 50-70% savings especially if you can volunteer a couple of hours a week.
For baking equipment, try your local craft store. I use the 40-50 percent coupons that come in my mail or newspaper almost every week to buy pans, cookie sheets, etc., and they also sell cookbooks.
The way we manage to save on baking supplies started about 25 years ago. We collected all the 5 gallon pickle buckets we could find. At that time, restaurants were giving them away. Wash them thoroughly and fill with water and let them stand overnight. When you dump out the water, the bucket should smell clean. Since I do my Christmas shopping early in the year, it's easy to put away a few dollars now and then for that special period between Halloween and Thanksgiving. That's when the sugar, flour, chocolate chips, coconut, yeast, etcetera, go on sale for unbelievably low prices. Store these supplies in the (very dry) buckets and they will last a year. I spend about $50 and am set for the two of us plus friends for the year. Of course, for about one month before Halloween there are case lot sales and the prices can be very reasonable.
By Coreen from Rupert, ID
A follow up on Betty's idea above, use the red M & M's for Valentines day and the green ones for St. Patricks Day.
Like Coreen, I stock up on flour, etc. while they are on sale. Another idea is to go to the bulk food places, such as Sam's or Costco. I store all of my nuts, chocolate chips, etc. in the freezer. If there are any "specialty" ingredients, I shop for those during sales too or I use a coupon if I have one.
I used to bake a lot more than I do now. I still can and will usually give a basket of home-canned items I know my family likes...salsa, jams, syrups, pickles, etc.
Use a wreath cookie cutter to make homemade doughnuts. Its the right shape.
I also stock up on bake supplies at Holiday time. Last year, I bought about 12 of those beautifully painted caramel candy tins that are about the size of a 5 pound bucket on sale after the Holidays for less then half the price. I emptied the craamel corn out and gave that away. I use the tins to store bulk flours (each tin can hold at least 20 pounds of sugar, flour, etc). Some tins are storing other baking supplies, some even have favorite recipes stored in them. The tins are colorfully displayed on my kitchen shelves, in easy access when I want to bake, and I have the beautiful snow scenes to look at all year long. In each of the tins, I also have a one cup measure. For good measure, that is.
I love the idea of the pickle buckets, too.
We have several dollar stores in our area that carry food stuffs. The week between Christmas and New Years everything is buy one/get one free so stock up then. Since I have made the acquaintance of the store managers, they will also let me know which day the 1/1 deal will be over and things are 2/1 or 3/1 to get rid of. Not only do I save a lot of money buy buying the holiday baking supplies to freeze for next year, that is also the time when I buy cards, wrapping paper, etc. Saves a lot of time and money down the road.
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