We enjoy Christmas baking but it’s important for us to have the best baking ingredients stocked in our pantry but without the high costs.
Today I’m going to discuss with you which of those baking ingredients you WILL want to stock up on now or risk paying a heavier price closer to Christmas and New Years.
The moment Halloween is over and done with the Christmas flyers and holiday sales start appearing just about everywhere.
Product sales throughout the year are orchestrated to perfection in chronological order because they know exactly what the consumer is looking to buy every month.
Come November any savvy grocery shopper knows that the grocery stores start pumping out baking ingredients for great prices. Mrs. CBB and I don’t save money as a projected expense for Christmas baking ingredients so the money will come from our $235 monthly grocery budget or $25 stockpile budget.
Each week when we menu plan we know that we have to start incorporating some of these baking ingredients if we intend to whip up our famous holiday treats in December. Most people don’t wait until the last-minute to bake for Christmas especially if their baking is for gift-giving. This is why you will see baking ingredients on sale in November.
If you wait and try to buy your baking ingredients in December be prepared to possibly pay a steep price for some of those well-known money busters like unsalted butter for instance.
Many of you might shop at the Bulk Barn which is a great place to buy baking ingredients but you still have to compare prices because they aren’t always created equally. Probably one of the few reasons I would shop there is for variety and because of the $3.00 off when you spend $10 coupon they often have for customers online and in the weekly flyer.
Popular Christmas baking ingredients in our house
Depending on what Christmas baking recipes someone uses baking ingredients will vary from person to person. If you come from a Greek background or plan to bake Greek desserts you might invest in baking ingredients such as honey, flour, butter, nuts and sugar while they are on sale in November. Every culture has different types of signature treats for the holidays.
In our house we bake a variety of Christmas balls that are a hit every year with our friends and family which means we have to stock up on butter, peanut butter, sugar, flour and baking chocolate.
I would also include nuts, vanilla and almond extract, maraschino cherries, dates, icing sugar, condensed milk and coconut but these generally don’t break the bank apart from the nuts, pure vanilla and almond extracts. This is where that handy Bulk Barn coupon comes in to save the day.
Some of our favourite Christmas recipes to bake for our friends and family are:
The great part is you don’t have to wait until November to stock up on baking ingredients for Christmas especially if you have a stockpile budget like we do. Every month we have $25 to spend on items we need to stock up on if we are low in the pantry.
If you know what baking ingredients you will need it’s easy to watch for the flyer sales and coupons to help cut costs. If you can match baking ingredients with a sale, coupons and coupon app rebate you are well on your way to spending much less for Christmas baking. This will lighten the load come November when even more baking ingredients go on sale.
Below are what I believe to be the Top 5 Christmas Baking Ingredients to stock up on right now in Canada.
Unless you don’t mind paying $6.99 lb for butter or you churn butter yourself you should keep your eyes open for a great sale in November or even earlier as butter will last up to 3 months or more in the freezer.
The lowest we’ve seen this year for butter is $2.88 lb for Lactancia butter which is amazing. If you have the spare cash grab what you need and save some money and freeze it.
Every passionate cook who loves homemade food will have some form of flour in the home. There are many kinds of flour on the market but Whole Wheat flour, Gluten-free flour, Cake flour, Organic flour and All-Purpose flour are very popular and pricey.
Over the past couple of months I’ve seen a 10kg of All-purpose Robin Hood flour on sale for $6.99 compared to upwards of $14.00 a bag regular price. If the price is right before November don’t be shy to stock up on a bag or 2 to fill your pantry needs for the rest of the year. If not you can bet it will be on sale at some point in November so don’t miss that sale.
Christmas baking with nuts is essential in many cultures which means finding the best deal on many varieties of nuts mainly almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans and cashews is critical. Nuts can skyrocket your grocery budget to the moon if you are not careful. Buying 2lbs of almonds for instance at the Bulk Barn will cost $12.99lb unless they go on sale for $8.99-$9.99lb.
Alternatively if you plan to bulk buy nuts you can buy them at Costco for about the same price as you would find them on sale at the Bulk Barn. Almonds at Costco for instance costs $49.99 for 2x 1.36kg bags. If you don’t want to chance it buying nuts at Costco is a way to save unless you have a nut wholesaler in your community that sells for less.
Chocolate types and prices differ all over the world depending on whose brand it is and the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate. If you plan to buy chocolate chips to bake with even a large 1KG bag of Hershey’s will cost you $9.99 or $6.99 on sale. Bakers Secret chocolate squares are also popular but pricey $4.99 but you might even get lucky and find coupons for those and a sale at the same time.
If you plan to use some of the best chocolate in Canada maybe you can bargain with your local chocolatier and see if he/she will give you a deal for bulk buying.
Although sugars such as icing sugar, brown sugar and granulated sugar do go on sale from time to time that may change as time gets closer to Christmas. I can typically find granulated for about $1.97 for a 2kg bag on a regular ongoing basis, I’ve also seen it for $1.44 which is a great stock-up price. Come December you may or may not see some sugars go on sale so my suggestion is to get it while the price is hot.
What the fans are saying….
I asked my Facebook fans what 5 Christmas baking ingredients were must-have stock-up items in November and here is what they had to say.
- Nicola D. – Flour, icing sugar, brown sugar, lard and baking soda.
- Christine W. – I’d say flour, sugar (white, brown and icing), butter, eggs and cinnamon.
- Colleen K. – Cocoa, sugar, flour, eggs, lard
- Beth Anne – Candied fruit for Christmas cake, suet for Christmas pudding and some for the freezer ’cause I can’t get it the rest of the year, butter, sugar, and flour, for most everything.
Remember if you are a Costco member November is another great reason to watch those sales. Buying in bulk at Costco has its advantages for some products but pair that with a sale price and you can pick up cheap baking ingredients.
What 5 Christmas baking ingredients would top your must-have list to buy in November?
Where are the best places to buy your baking ingredients?
November Grocery Game Challenge posts
Join in the Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and if you have any questions feel free to email me.
New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only.
NEW!! If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10CDN via PayPal.
I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.
October Winner- Ballot #8 Angela M. Congrats Angela, please email me your address.
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week here for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. This makes posting a bit easier although all you need to do is click on The Grocery Game Challenge on the homepage sidebar and you will see them all.
Free Tools to get you started with your grocery budget
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.
NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.
If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email.
2015 Grocery shop results
Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month:
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $140.00
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 54920
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0.98
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Snap Groupon to date: $28.00
- Zweet to date: $18.00
- Checkout51 to date: $6.00
Grocery Shop This Week
- 2 x 2% milk $3.97 each
- 1x 3.25% milk $4.97
- Tahini Sale $7.99
- Cheerios Sale $4.97
- Bananas $1.47
- 6 x Black Diamond Cheese bars $3.97 (stockpile) $23.82 (stockpile budget)
- Yogurt Astro $0.99 reduced Reg $2.99
- Prune Yogurt $1.99 reduced
- Red Cabbage $4.07
- 2kg Bag of Beets reduced to $0.99 on sale for $2.47
- 3 x Nano Yogurt $1.50 reduced from $2.99 each
Total Out-of-Pocket: $63.70-$23.82 stockpile budget $39.88
- 2 x Peanut Butter 1kg $2.47
- 2 x large dozen eggs $2.74 each
Total Out-of-Pocket: $10.42
- Total to spend this month
$235$188.10 (overspend from October to catch up on)
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $25.00+July $14.44+Aug $25.00+Sept $25.00+ Oct $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $23.82
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $34.50
- Total in-store discounts this week: $8.98
- Total in-store discounts to date: $655.52
- Total spent this week: $50.30
- Total spent so far this month: $50.30
- Total over/Under spend this shop: under
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $188.10-$50.30=$137.80
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $218.12+ June $235.67+July $212.16+August $118.15+ September $130.37+ October $281.89+ November $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
We don’t need much this week but I picked up a few flyer specials including the peanut butter and cheese that was on sale. There is a small grocery budget for us this month although we don’t have much to buy apart from baking ingredients for Christmas although we are scaling back this year. We just don’t have the time like we used to bake.
Canadian Coupons Found
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!
We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
Frequently Asked Questions
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?:
YesNo, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.
You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.
This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.
If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.
Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.
If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!
Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.
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