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Have Fun Baking

Save Money on your Food Budget

Baking can save money on your food budget. It's fun for adults and children alike. I actually get a good feeling about producing fresh bread, cakes, muffins, and cookies. Knowing that I can do it without Betty Crocker is a great comfort as well. And, the aromas that engulf the house are heavenly. There's no denying that! If you play your grocery savings tips right, you can cook your way into some great food budget savings.

Purchasing pantry staples in bulk, especially yeast (it's really not economical to buy the little packets) and spices, can really trim down the food budget. But, be careful, bulk prices aren't always the best. You'll want to compare prices at local grocery stores and bulk suppliers (or warehouse clubs), to get the best prices. Flour, corn meal, salt, baking powder or soda, sugar, and brown sugar are pantry items you'll always want to have on hand. Stock up, if possible, when these staples are on sale.

Baking goods yourself can amount to substantial savings, as compared to prepared boxed mixes, if you practice grocery savings strategies. You'll find some master mix recipes in our Frugal Recipes to help save time and money on your baking projects.

Even the busy parent should find time to bake with the children. Kids just love it and you'll have a captive audience and participant. Co-operative cooking is a must to squeeze in some more of that valuable quality time we are missing with our kids in this fast paced society.

So, try to find some time to bake with your kids. If you're too busy during the week, schedule some fun baking time for the weekend. I bet you'll enjoy it as much as the kids.

Baking with Children is Fun and Educational!

Baking is not only fun it's educational. Cooking in general is a lesson in math for children. My kids love helping me mix up pancakes or funnel cakes, or scrumptious desserts. Cooking desserts and bread is a great way to spend time with your kids. But, being prepared can make a difference in the fun factor.

My dad, who is a master carpenter, always stressed having the right tools for the job. The same is true of cooking! Having the right tools and utensils can mean a less frustrating, and more fun, experience for the baker and the helper.

When first cooking with your children, take the time to show them the cooking tools and explain what they are for. Take it slow and show them how to measure properly and prepare for mixing ingredients. Have bowls and mixing spoons, or mixer, ready. Measure liquids and dry ingredients carefully using appropriate tools.

Always measure liquids in a liquid measure cup, set on a level surface, and look at measure from eye level. Measure dry ingredients using dry measure cups, fill loosely with spoon, and level with a straight edge (like the back of a table knife).

We've all watched those cooking shows where everything is measured neatly into little dishes and all that is required is for the cook to pour it into the bowl and mix. Well, there's a logic to that method. Take the time to measure before hand and mixing goes along a lot more smoothly. Measuring is an important part of getting the recipe right and can mean the difference between a great baked dish and a mediocre dish.

America's favorite restaurant recipes revealed
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get ready! I've invested in some of those little clear Pyrex dishes, when I came across at a great sale on them. But, I only have a few. I use those and any little container I've managed to recycle as my measured ingredient dishes. Little margarine bowls, single serving pudding and yogurt cups, or any small recycled container is sufficient for separating ingredients until ready to mix.

Thrift stores usually have a good supply of kitchen utensils and are great money saving resources for your baking needs, including measuring utensils, electric mixers, mixing bowls, and pans.

When cooking with children, be sure to let them measure and calculate recipe changes. This is great math practice if you are doubling a recipe. Measuring is a terrific way to introduce and/or practice fractions. You'll be teaching more than one valuable lesson by letting your kids help with the cooking. Plus, most children have fun while helping to prepare delicious desserts or bread. Children seem to find it especially fun to knead bread dough.

Teach your children to bake not only to save money but, to provide healthier home cooked foods for the family, spend quality time together, and have fun! You know what goes in that bread, cake, or cookie when you make it at home.

Check out our Grocery Savings Tips to maximize savings on cooking and baking needs. Maximize savings on the food budget! My favorite frugal recipes include a great master baking recipe including several recipes for baked goods using the master baking recipe.

You'll also find master mix recipes for pancake mix and muffin mix that save you money over store bought box mixes.

Go bananas! Try some of these delicious Banana Bread Recipes. They make great gifts also!

Be sure to check out these fun recipes that kids will love to help prepare and eat!
Funnel Cake Recipe
Corn Dog Recipe
Monkey Bread Recipe

Send us your Fun Baking Ideas or Recipes!

You'll find lots of great recipes in our back issues of Cheryl's Sensible Cents Newsletter.

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