5 Way To Save Money On Baking
Hi everyone. Mrs. Coupon Dad here. Now that the weather is cooler, I want to bake. I am sure I’m not alone so I thought I would share 5 ways to help you save money on baking.
There is nothing like the smell or taste of a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie or apple pie. However, by the time you purchase all the ingredients, it can cost a small fortune. I am here to help! Here we go…
1. Don’t buy brown sugar! What on earth are you talking about? You can’t bake a batch of cookies without brown sugar!! True. However did you know that the average cost of brown sugar is $1.92 for a 2 lb. package??? Did you know the average cost for the same amount of granulated sugar is $1.20??? But, how do I get granulated sugar into brown sugar???…. That’s simply. You just add molasses. Granulated sugar + molasses is all brown sugar is. Nothing special but the price.
Add 1 tablespoon of molasses to 1 cup of sugar and mix with a fork!
Take that same 2 pounds of sugar and 4 T of molasses and your cost will be the same $1.20 for the sugar and $.46 (an 8oz jar is $2.79) for the molasses and the total cost is $1.64 for the same 2 pounds!!
Of course, those are the prices before coupons on the sugar and molasses. Check out FREE coupon list
2. Don’t buy powdered sugar! Seriously??? Yes. Remember sugar cost only $1.20 for that 2 pound package. But, realistically it comes in 4 pounds and up, so a 4 pound bag is $2.39. Powdered sugar costs about $3.94 for the same 4 pounds. That’s $1.55 more for the same thing…. sugar! So how do I get it all powdery and fluffy??? Simple. Just added the amount of sugar that you need (1 cup granulated = 1 cup powdered) to a high speed blender or food processor and blend for 5 minutes. Now if you want to make a batch for future use, I add 1 tablespoon of corn starch per cup of sugar. This prevents caking. Corn starch is also in every commercial brand so if you want “authentic”, add corn starch!
3. Don’t buy buttermilk! How many times have you had that one recipe that called for a cup of buttermilk and you have to buy the whole quart of half-gallon for that one recipe?? I love to be in the kitchen especially when baking is concerned. Most of my grandmother’s recipes call for buttermilk. But I don’t alway have buttermilk and when I buy it, the container will go bad before I use it all. So, here a few things that you most likely have that will give you the exact same results as buttermilk. The acidity is what you are wanting to make those pancakes rise, biscuits flakey, and cake moist! It’s a good chance you already have some or all of these ingredients on hand to prevent you from buying buttermilk.
– 1 cup of milk to 1 T of lemon juice
– 1 cup of milk to 1 T of vinegar
– 1 cup of milk to 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar
– 1/4 cup of milk to 3/4 c. of plain yogurt (this is my favorite substitution and I use Greek yogurt)
– 1/c cup of milk to 3/4 c. of sour cream
4. Don’t buy fancy flours! The cost of 5 pounds of All Purpose Flour (APF) is $2.44. Bread flour will run you $3.44 for 5 pounds, self rising will cost you $4.29, and cake flour will set you back $6.98 for the same 5 pounds! Now, if you are just doing everyday baking like cookies, cakes, and pies, there is no need to buy bread flour, self rising flour, AND cake flour. All you need is APF! The exception to this rule is if your are gonna make crusty breads and pizza crust. If you are making those things, you will want to purchase bread flour. APF will work just fine and dandy for all other purposes… hence why it is call all purpose?
The difference in bread flour, cake flour, and self-rising is the amount of protein in the wheat! While self rising and cake flour have a low protein content, bread flour has a high content. APF is right in the middle. We are talking a couple of percentages in the difference. Really and truly cake flour is just self rising flour without the baking soda and salt. The protein content is why you will want to purchase your bread flour when needed because it’s very hard to add wheat protein. You could, but it would be more expensive than just buying the bread flour.
I know many people who use self-rising flour just because they don’t know the ratios for the baking soda and salt. Stop the madness. Not only are you wasting money, you aren’t getting the best baking results you can. Self rising is a very soft, and low protein flour. For pies, cookies, and most breads, all you need is APF. You don’t need that soft flour for sturdier baked goods.
To make your own “self rising flour” just add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of APF. That’s it. See how easy!
Now, store bought self rising flour and cake flour are gonna feel softer than APF. If you have a recipe that specifically ask for self rising flour, like my grandmother’s chicken and dumpling, or cake flour this is what you do. You are gonna make cake flour… Yes, cake flour. Remember cake flour and self rising flour are the same flours one has the leavening agents and one does not.
To make cake flour, measure out 1 cup of APF, take out 2 T, add 2 T of corn starch and sift 5 times.
The sifting process is where you want to take advantage of that free kid labor! By taking out the 2 tablespoons and replacing it with cornstarch, you are diluting some of the protein. By sifting it, that’s gonna give you the soft flour that will yield the same fluffy, flakey results. To make it self rising, just add the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for every cup of flour before you sift.
5. Don’t buy baking powder! Wait, what?? That’s right. The reason I don’t buy baking powder isn’t so much about cost, its more so about health. Being unhealthy can cost a fortune so I guess it’s to save money too.
Baking powder is used as a leavening agent. A leavening agent is what makes your breads and cakes rise.
Baking power is corn starch, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium aluminum sulfate, and monocalcium phosphate. It’s the sodium aluminum sulfate that concerns me. There has been much debate in the scientific world over the last few years on whether or not sodium aluminum sulfate is linked to Alzheimer’s. If the scientific world is unsure of it, I really don’t want to consume it, so I avoid it. Besides, there is a really easy substitute!
Instead of baking powder, use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar!
So there you have it! There are my 5 ways to save while baking this fall! I hope you have as much fun in the kitchen as I do. Please feel free to email me sandy at coupondad dot net or just leave a comment here if you should have any baking or cooking questions. Also, feel free to share your favorite recipes!!
a.k.a. Mrs. CD