How to Bake on a Budget

Contrary to popular belief, baking need not be an expensive proposition.

A lot of people are under the impression that good baking requires one to shell out a lot of money. While some items can pinch your pocket, there are hordes of other ingredients that can be used to get the maximum results with minimum expenditure.

For those looking to control their costs, shop less, and save more by stretching every dollar, budget baking is the key.

By this, I do not imply that you will have to compromise on quality or taste.

The best thing about baking this way is that you get to enjoy delicious and wholesome treats without burning a hole in your pocket.

Want to know how to bake fabulous goodies in an inexpensive way? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Buy in Bulk

If you bake frequently and tend to use a lot of basic raw material like flour, eggs, sugar, dried fruits, and baking powder all the time, then it makes sense to buy these ingredients in bulk.

Doing so with such ingredients is a great idea not only because it helps you save money, but also because they can be stored for months and therefore turn out to be more cost-effective in the long-term.

Opt for Basic over Expensive Equipment

You don’t need fancy and expensive electrical equipment to bake. All you need are some basics like a couple of mixing bowls – one small and one large; a whisk; a sieve; a spatula; a measuring jug and spoons; a baking tray and a cake tin, and parchment paper.

Get these basics in place and you should do well in baking almost any item – sweet or savory.

Invest in Flavor

Instead of spending on unnecessary extravagant equipment, it would be better to invest in delicious and high-quality flavors like vanilla, lemon, strawberry, etc. which will take your dish to another level and enhance its taste tenfold.

Admit it, when you bake something, you want it to taste amazing. That’s where the buck ultimately stops – the taste! So, while you cut costs in other places, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a little extra where it matters the most.

Weigh Your Ingredients Carefully

Ingredients Carefully(Image credit: http://www.splendidtable.org/sites/default/files/styles/lede_image/public/measuring_cup.jpg?itok=NqScqBTn)

This has two purposes – you will be able to cook your baked items to perfection and ensure they taste Divine, plus you will avoid wastage.

You don’t want to end up wasting a cake which didn’t rise properly just because you didn’t add enough baking powder to it, or because it tasted weird due to less sugar! These mistakes can be easily avoided by measuring your ingredients to precision.

Split Expenses with Friends

If you’re lucky enough to have family or friends who enjoy baking and live close by, you could consider shopping in bulk for expensive ingredients together and splitting the expenses. That way you get what you want, and you spend less.

Utilize What You Have

This point applies to ingredients as well as equipment.

You might want to consider using your leftover cooked rice, mashed potatoes, and overripe bananas from the previous night and cooking recipes involving them.

Similarly, you could use a wine bottle to roll out your dough in the absence of a rolling pin, cut a hole in the corner of a sandwich bag and use it as a piping bag, use dried chickpeas in place of ceramic beans when making pastry/pie cases, or even use a fork in place of a whisk, and so on.

Check Your Supplies before You Go Shopping

Plan to go shopping this weekend to refill on your baking supplies? You may want to check your kitchen cupboard before you head to the nearest supermarket.

Make a note of the ingredients you have along with the available quantity so that you know what and how much of it you need to buy. This ought to save you a lot of unnecessary expenditure!

Don’t Hesitate in Buying Supermarket Brands

If you shop at a good supermarket, do not hesitate in buying their brands. There is nothing wrong in doing so; in fact, sometimes they turn out to be better in quality compared to a lot of other ones.

They’re also cheap, so buying staple baking ingredients such as sugar, flour, baking soda, etc. should help you save a lot, without compromising on the quality.

Shop during Sales and Look for Deals

Yes, you will have to wade through crowded aisles and things can get quite chaotic, but shopping during sales guarantees that you save money even if you buy items which can be expensive otherwise.

If supermarket sales are not your thing, look for online sales and deals on baking products. If you can buy two items for the price of one, it can turn out pretty lucrative.

Stick to Simple Recipes

Simple Recipes(Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/311311392964022222/)

Bake simple but classic recipes such as chocolate cake or a vanilla sponge to ensure you do not get carried away and overspend on baking products.

Such recipes are delicious, plus they require ingredients which can be used to make other recipes as well, as opposed to recipes that may be extravagant and whose ingredients can be used only once.

Use Seasonal Produce

You do not need to be a genius to realize that cooking with seasonal ingredients is going to lower your costs. Apart from being cost-effective, fruits and vegetables taste best when they are in season.

So whether it is mushrooms, berries, or apples you’re looking to use in your recipes, use more of fresh ingredients as per changing seasons for variety, taste, as well as health.

Conclusion

With a little planning and careful shopping, anyone can produce mouthwatering delights without breaking the bank. Whether it is cakes, muffins, cookies, or candies, it can all be done without having to endure the monstrous grocery bills from overspending on costly ingredients and baking supplies. Give these tips a try and let me know how it goes!

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