It's that time of year. I can hardly believe that Christmas is only two weeks away. As we all know, this time of year has a way of getting rather expensive rather quickly. If you are like me and you enjoy having a variety of baked goodies kicking around during the holidays, this can end up being an added expense. So, with the help of my father, last night I devised a strategy to cut back costs on Christmas baking. There are five steps you need to take to significantly decrease the expense:
1. Plan - make a list of all the things you are going to bake. Try to choose a number of recipes that include the same ingredients. For example, if you have a recipe that calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips (1/2 a bag) then try to find another one that calls for 1 cup as well so you can maximize that purchase. Once you have a list of all of your recipes, make a list of the ingredients you will need so you are sure to get everything required and avoid unnecessary purchases.
2. Drive - Travel a short distance to the house of an unsuspecting woman, who also likes to bake. Mothers and mother-in-laws work perfectly.
3. Scrounge - Sift through the cupboards of this unsuspecting woman while she is at work to see which ingredients she already has in her cupboard and then cross said ingredients off your list.
4. Shop - Have the unsuspecting woman accompany you to the grocery store to pick up the rest of your supplies where she will undoubtedly pay for the entire purchase.
5. Enjoy a day of baking with the unsuspecting woman, who, upon completion, will tell you that this is far too much baking for her to keep around the house for the holidays and send half of it home with you.
I estimate this plan will save you anywhere between $30-80 per year (depending how much you like to bake). There you have it. It has worked for me for the past three Christmases. It's foolproof.