Even if you’re not giving food gifts, you probably still have a lot of holiday baking to do. Between contributions to various parties and holiday meals, this is the season when nearly every family bakes. Fortunately, the grocery stores have noticed this trend and offer stupendous deals on baking supplies in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Stock up this week!
Where to Find Deals
If you have a LOT of baking to do, consider stocking up at a store like Costco. Experts say that flour keeps for six months, but I’ve used flour that was two years old without issue. That said, don’t buy a 50 pound bag if you can only reasonably use a 10 pound bag in the next year. Instead, check the store circulars in your region for stupendous deals.
If you get the Sunday paper, this weekend’s inserts included several coupons for baking supplies. I also used Hot Coupon World to find printable coupons and compare the deals at my local supermarket. Here are some of the deals I’ve found at my local Ralph’s the last two weeks:
C&H sugar, 5 lbs: $2.50, less a 35 cent coupon (doubled to 70 cents)
Carnation evaporated milk: 50 cents each, less a coupon for $1 off 2 (free!)
Libby pure pumpkin, 15 oz.: 2 for $4, less a coupon for $1 off 2
Eagle condensed milk: 1.50 cents, less a 55 cent coupon (doubled to $1)
Brown sugar, 1 lb.: 99 cents
Nestle chocolate chips: $2 bag, less a $1 off 3 coupon.
How to Buy Baking Supplies On Sale
The first step is figuring out what you need. Get out your recipes and note all the ingredients. You may have some on hand, but consider replacing them with sale items if this year’s baking will empty your supply.
Next, go online to compare ad circulars and hunt for coupons. You may have to sign up at some manufacturer websites, so have a Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail address handy. Also make sure you have an inkjet printer. I haven’t been able to print coupons with my laser printer, but our inkjet works fine.
Now it’s time to go to the store. If you walk into any supermarket, you’ll find large displays of the most popular baking items near the front. Although you can check there, they don’t necessarily show the prices. Instead go to the aisle where those items are normally kept to compare prices. Compare the sale prices (when coupons are factored in) to the prices of store brands. The store brand is usually cheaper, but it might not be if they’re having a rock-bottom deal and you have a coupon.
Use the calculator in your phone, or a small hand calculator, to calculate the unit price of each item you’re comparing.
Be especially mindful of mix and match deals. For example, right now you can buy 10 of certain marked 50 cent items to get $5 off your order at Ralph’s. They also have deals for $1, $1.50, $2, and $2.50. The key is that you have to get 10 of the items at the specific price point to get the deal. Take advantage of these deals to stock up on baking supplies and household supplies, which are also included in these specials. If you can combine these deals with coupons, you’ll save a bundle. You’ll save even more if your store isn’t stingy with the doubling like the stores in my area.
When Do Prices Go Up?
The prices will rise after Thanksgiving, so stock up before Thanksgiving while you can. If you miss the pre-Thanksgiving sales, start checking the shelves after Christmas when stores want to unload the excess supply that didn’t sell. You can buy it cheap and save it for the next holiday season.
I don’t actually plan to use all of my supplies this holiday season, but I know that I will manage to use everything up within the next year or so. I’ll be a lot more willing to bake on a whim knowing I got great deals on my supplies.