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Budget Desserts

Being Frugal When Making Desserts

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With the economy the way it is today, everyone is working with a tight budget. Plus to make it even worse, we all seem to be working twice as hard for half as much. Even with all of that, we just can't give up our desserts. Here are several tips to help you fit desserts into your budget.

What do you do to save money on making desserts? Please tell us.

1. Make it From Scratch

Festive Flourless Chocolate Cake Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The next time you go grocery shopping, try this experiment. Only purchase items that you have to make your food and desserts from scratch. I promise, you'll notice a much lower grocery bill.
Festive Flourless Chocolate Cake
Lil's Pound Cake
Basic Yellow Cake
Italian Cream Cake
Dessert Recipes

2. Shop the Sales

I can always make shortbread as I always have flour, sugar and butter on hand in my kitchen.
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
I'm still using the butter I bought on sale at Christmas. It was $2.50 a pound, and now it costs over $1.00 more. In this case, I bought as much as I could put in my freezer. If you can afford it and store it, purchase as much as possible when it's on sale.
Butter Cookies
Mediterranean Butter
Apple Butter

3. Buy it in Bulk

Using a cake mix make making these muffins so much easier.
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
I'm just not able to go to the store for one item. Buying in bulk means I already have the item on hand, therefore I won't be tempted to spend extra money at the grocery store. Although, this contradicts Tip#1, but one of the items I purchase in bulk is cake mixes. I buy Cake Mixes because they can be used to make more than just cakes. They can be used to make cookies, cobblers and more. Other items you could stock-up on are sugars, flours, dried milks and so on.
Baking with Cake Mixes

4. Make Your Own Last Minute Desserts

Tropical Carrot Cake
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
You've got company coming tonight and you just don't have time to make dessert. Instead of purchasing a costly dessert from the store, pull one right out of your own freezer. Many desserts can be frozen. So the next time you make dessert, make one for now and another one for later.
Quick and Easy Desserts

5. Know What You Have

You can make many recipes if you already have the ingredients on hand.
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Eliminate excess spending at the grocery store. Check your pantry while making your shopping list. This way you won't be purchasing expensive unnecessary baking items.
Stock Your Pantry with These Items

6. Make Your Own Gifts

You could put other homemade sweets in these glasses.
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.

7. Participate in Potlucks and Supper Clubs

Tunnel of Fudge Cake
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Potluck, supper clubs and other groups where other people bring food too can be a lot of fun. You get the dining-out experience without the big restaurant bill.
Potluck Desserts

8. Get a Variety for Less Money

Everyone will enjoy this really big cookie stuffed with semi-sweet, milk chocolate and white chips.
Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Host, or better yet, talk someone into hosting a cookie exchange. This way everyone will go home with a variety of cookies and only have to bake one type themselves. It's much easier to budget one type of cookie compared to many.
Hosting a Cookie Exchange

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