Friday, September 17, 2010
The picture above shows the 6 bags of flour and 4 packages of chocolate chips I bought today.
Also, one of my favorite blogs about frugality, The Simple Dollar, posted a how-to today on making your own real vanilla extract. Check it out here.
Now, you may start wondering what these have to with one another. Baking can add up quickly. Regular price for a 5 lb bag of flour is about $3. Chocolate chips cost $3 too. A 8 oz bottle of imitation vanilla extract costs about $2.50 and the real stuff runs between $3-5.
Chocolate chip cookies take 3 cups of flour, 1 bag of chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vanilla. At regular prices, these ingredients will cost you $0.51 for the flour, $3 for the chocolate chips and $0.52 for real vanilla extract for a total of $4.02 for just these three ingredients (not counting sugar, butter, eggs, etc).
I bought a 5 lb bag of flour for $0.99, chocolate chips for $1.50. According to Trent, 8oz of the homemade real vanilla extract will cost you $2. At these prices, the same Chocolate chip cookies will cost me $0.17 for flour, $1.50 for chocolate chips and $0.04 for the vanilla for a total of $1.71 for these three ingredients.
Now, here are a couple of great baking tips. Flour can be stored in a cool dry place (like the back of the pantry) for a minimum of six months and you should have no problem with it for up to a year. Chocolate chips can be frozen and stored for six months as well. Vanilla extract has an indefinite shelf life, but I can tell you for sure that it can last a couple years without a problem.
Buying all of these ingredients when they are on sale and storing them can significantly cut down the expense in baking. It's not a surprise that baking your own cake is more expensive than buying a box mix. But it also has less preservatives and other junk foods.
Buy on sale and store. It will save you money and it will save you time!