Having the right baking ingredients on hand makes home baking easier and helps you save money.
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We are down to one jar of homemade baking mix today. Time to mix up some more. I’m heading into the kitchen in just a few to bake up some Bulk Zucchini Bread. It’s been on my to-do Post-it for the last three days. Time to get ‘er done. I’m hoping to be inspired to do some other baking stuff while I’m in there: Maple Vanilla Almond Granola, Muffin Mix, Snickerdoodles, and maybe some brownies. Oh yeah, and my new bread pan came so I may get one of the kids to make the dough so we can try out some new sandwich bread.
It’s gonna be a long day, isn’t it?
I’m ambitious when it comes to baking. But, the work always pays off. The commercial equivalents of home-baked goods are usually two or three times the price of doing it myself. Having the right tools for baking bread or cookies totally makes it easier, too.
Stocking a frugal baking pantry
I keep all my baking supplies in a separate corner cupboard right above my stand mixer and my measuring cup drawer. I read that in a book long ago. Store things near where you use them. When I have the space many of the grains I use in baking are stored in the refrigerator.
My basic rule of thumb is to stock up on baking supplies when I see them on sale, which is typically at Christmas time. I store the flours and grains in the freezer for longest shelf life.
Since I’ve been trying to increase the nutrition of our home-baked goods, I’ve been spending a little more on ingredients to get better quality. I can close the gap during off-peek times by ordering via Amazon’s Subscribe & Save. I find a good deal on something and then stock up that way.
Here are the items that I keep on hand all the time:
- wheat flours: unbleached, whole wheat pastry, white whole wheat, and whole wheat
- corn products: corn flour, corn meal, corn starch
- sweeteners: organic evaporated sugar cane juice and demerara sugar (cheapest at Walmart), honey and maple (cheapest at Costco), powdered sugar, brown sugar
- leavening and baking agents: aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda, salt, SAF yeast (refrigerated), cream of tartar, vital wheat gluten
- powdered dairy: milk, malted milk
- extracts: vanilla, maple, almond, and lemon
- chocolate: cocoa powder, chocolate chips, baking chocolate
- oils: sunflower, olive, coconut
- dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates and prunes (in the fridge)
- nuts and seeds: almonds and cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas
- spices: stored in a separate cupboard, separate post to come
- other: oats, flax seed meal, wheat bran, wheat germ (in the fridge)
Build a Frugal Pantry
This is part of a larger series where I share tips for buying the foods that pack the biggest punch nutritionally as well as dollar for dollar. Posts in the Frugal Pantry series include:
- Favorite Pantry Staples
- Favorite Fridge Items
- Favorite Baked Items and Baking Ingredients
- Favorite Freezer Ingredients (coming soon)
- Favorite Spices (coming soon)