Baking holiday treats is one of the best Christmas traditions! There’s nothing better! But what if I told you this year I could help you save money on holiday baking?
Keep reading to learn how! Oh, and you’re going to save time too~
Spending time with your kids in the kitchen mixing cookie batter creates memories you’ll both cherish for years to come.
But waiting until the last minute to start your baking with a long list of several different kinds of cookies to make can be a recipe for holiday stress!
Holiday baking is a lovely way to show your family and friends that you care; after all, you bake each treat with love.
It’s also a great way to save on gift giving. You can give your co-workers, neighbors, and friends homemade goodies instead of going shopping and blowing your budget. But with a long list of treats to make and people to give them to, holiday baking becomes both expensive and time-consuming.
And doesn’t that defeat the purpose of baking instead of shopping? It doesn’t have to be expensive or even time consuming though.
5 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON HOLIDAY BAKING
You probably have memories of baking with your parents or grandparents around the holidays and you want to pass the tradition on to your own kids. So you write your list of recipes, make your grocery list, and gear up for lots of baking.
All the while thinking about how you really don’t have time to get it all done.
You don’t need to cancel your annual holiday baking in order to eliminate the stress, but finding an easier way to show your love with a box of goodies can be better than spending several days covered in flour and butter.
These holiday baking tips will not only keep you from spending days in your kitchen when you have other things that need to be done, but they’ll also save you money on your grocery list and allow you to serve up some fresh baked goods right out of your kitchen!
And you’ll probably find it so much easier to bake with these tips, you’ll create new holiday baking traditions to use year after year.
If you’re looking for a collection of cookie recipes that are sure to please your family and friends, check out this amazing roundup of recipes from some of my friends.
USE RECIPES THAT MAKE LARGE QUANTITIES
Recipes that only make a dozen or so cookies will require several batches and lots of ingredients to make enough to cover your list. Instead, choose recipes that make at least three to four dozen cookies or bars.
Sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies can be cut with smaller cookie cutters to go further and make more. Shortbread cookies can be made in one large pan and cut into small cookies. Brownie recipes can easily be doubled, baked in a rectangular cake pan, and cut into small, bite-size pieces for more quantity.
Look for recipes that offer the quantity you need in just one batch, no more than two.
Try these amazing large quantity cookie bars I’ve found at Yellow Bliss Road. Wrap them up nice and they’ll be a big hit!
MAKE NO BAKE RECIPES
Not only do no-bake recipes save on electricity or gas, they usually require fewer ingredients. Look for great no-bake bar or candy recipes on Pinterest.
Not only will you save baking time, but you’ll also save time on clean-up with fewer tools and bowls. Peanut butter balls and bourbon balls are two favorites that don’t require any baking.
You can even make easy bake cookies with cake mix. Yes, a box of your favorite cake mix can be used to make cookies. Check the box for recipes or search “cake mix cookies” on Pinterest. You usually only need to add eggs and oil or milk, cutting your expense and your prep time.
Or just head over to Prudent Penny Pincher and check out the collection of 50 No Bake Recipes she’s curated. I’m not sure which ones I’m going to make first. They all look so yummy!!
Did you know that many cookie dough recipes can be made in advance and frozen until you’re ready to bake?
Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, gingerbread and sugar cookies are just a few the freeze well. You can make the batter up to a month in advance, roll the dough into balls (for chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin) or logs (for sugar cookies). You can even pre-cut gingerbread or sugar cookies with cookie cutters.
Place the dough balls or cut cookie dough on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour. Just long enough for the outside to freeze. Take them out and place them in a freezer bag, labeling the bag with the type of cookie, cooking time and temperature, adding a few minutes for frozen cookies.
Then just place them back in the freezer. When it’s time to put your cookie platters together, just bake.
If you’re not sure the best way to freeze cookie dough so it stands up to baking, follow the instructions at Sally’s Baking Addiction. She walks you through the process step by step and includes lots of tricks to make it perfect.
DECORATE STORE BOUGHT COOKIES AND TREATS
You don’t have to hand bake everything for your treat boxes. You can give store-bought items an extra special touch with a little chocolate or decoration without too much effort or expense. And they make a great filler to supplement your homemade treasures in your gift boxes.
Oreos and Nutter Butter’s are delicious dipped in dark, milk or white chocolate and topped with holiday sprinkles.
Ever tried a chocolate covered Twinkie?
If not, you’re missing out!
Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies can be made into sandwich cookies by spreading frosting in between then rolling in sprinkles. Round chocolate wafer cookies can be spruced up with a little decorating to look like Christmas ornaments. Just take a stroll down your grocery store cookie and candy aisles, you’ll be surprised at what ideas pop into your mind.
Go here for some inspiration from Love From The Oven and see how simple and easy decorating store-bought cookies can be!
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Things usually become stressful when we overcomplicate them.
Simplify and reduce your holiday stress. Limit the number of different recipes that you plan to make.
If your plan for baking is to put gifts together, make all your gift boxes with the same items and limit your baking to just 3 or 4 different recipes. If you feel like you need more in your boxes, review the previous tip and look for ways to decorate store bought items; it will save you both time and money.
And, don’t forget to package them in the prettiest way possible. I love these ideas from Autumn from It’s Always Autumn. She makes it look so easy and simple and the step by step directions on these packaging ideas WON’T have you pulling your hair out!
While holiday baking can be fun and we love giving homemade treats to the special people in our lives, getting stressed out over too much time and money for baking can take away the joy of the holiday. Instead, make a few treats that your best known for, the ones everyone looks forward to every year, and either make larger quantities or supplement with store bought treats. It’s more important to enjoy time with your friends than spend time in the kitchen.