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Holiday Baking

Last post Sun, Nov 21 2010 5:38 PM by Juneflower. 11 replies.
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  • Thu, Oct 28 2010 2:59 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Holiday Baking

    The Dollar Stretcher needs your help this holiday season! 

    We know that many of you will be struggling with the extra expenses that come with the holidays. So we'd like to ask you to help us put together some holiday guides. We'd like your best ideas for frugal holiday decorating, gift ideas, holiday recipes and entertaining, and holiday baking. 

    Gary

     

    Let's help with some tips on baking special dishes and treats.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, Oct 28 2010 7:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Holiday Baking

    My two frugal tricks for using mixes are to grease the pan with real butter and to add a teaspoon of pure vanilla to the mix (cookies or cake mixes).

    People used to think my Duncan Hines pound cakes were from scratch because of those two tricks.

  • Wed, Nov 17 2010 12:40 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Holiday Baking

     Do you have any delicious plans for meals?

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 12:10 AM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Holiday Baking

    cheap treats!    some things like fudge and truffles can be easy and cheap to make but a little goes a long way because you can't eat alot at one time.

    or a twist on things like I think recipes Gayla posted a while ago...rootbeer popcorn instead of caramel popcorn.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 8:39 AM In reply to

    • Thrifty1
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 28 2010
    • South Carolina
    • Posts 179

    Re: Holiday Baking

    I'm sure a lot of you, if not all, have heard of this. The most fun we have at our family gathering are the gift exchange. We have a set limit of around $10 per gift. Everyone draws a number from 1 to however many people are there. The person that draws the # 1 goes first in choosing a wrapped gift. The person who drew #2 can either take that gift or choose from the pile of gifts and so on. No one gift can be exchanged more than three times. The person who drew #1 is the lucky one because at the end of the game, that person can trade the gift he has with any other gift that hasn't been exchanged up to three times. This is a blast because it pulls everyone together for a little while and we always have a ton of laughs over some of the gifts chosen and the "fight" over the best gift!

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 11:08 AM In reply to

    • Lee
    • Top 75 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Thu, Jul 23 2009
    • Texas
    • Posts 1,356

    Re: Holiday Baking

    Thrifty1, we do that on my side of the family and I think it's called a Chinese gift exchange. It's funny to see what some people will bring for $10.00, some really nice gifts that get fought over and some gag gifts that no one wants to get stuck with. There's an ugly ceremic gecko that gets thrown into the mix every year and the trick is to not get stuck with the gecko. It's been involved for so many years that no one really remembers where it came from. 

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 11:55 AM In reply to

    Re: Holiday Baking

    I love to use what nature provides. We have fir and pine trees. Cheap, beautiful and it makes the house smell wonderful. I use cut branches on my mantle and tuck in ornaments in what ever color I like (red, green, gold or blues and silvers or golds and silvers). The dollar store has glass ornaments and often you can buy on clearance on Dec 26th. I put cut branches in a clear glass vase and tie a bow or ribbon on the vase for another decorating idea. You could make a wreath or a swag for the front door. My MIL uses real evergreen on her dining room table. Pine cones also add to the look.

    Instead of buying Christmas gift bags (if you didn't buy them on clearance the year before), use brown paper bags from the grocery store. I use leftover wrapping paper scraps and paste the scraps over the side with the store name. The bags are large enough for the big gifts that would be awkward to wrap,too. As a filler for my gift bags, I run scraps of wrapping paper through my shredder and have colorful filler. Good to use in place of tissue paper, too.

    For gift tags, I use last year's Christmas cards. I save the cards for one year (I keep them with my decorations) and after I look through them again and finalize my card list, I cut the front of the cards off and use those for my gift tags or paste onto plain gift bags for a Christmas look. I recycle the other parts of the Christmas cards.

    The only time I bake cookies en masse is at Christmas. I usually do a big batch of sugar cookies and either roll them in colored sugar prior to baking or make red and green frosting and let my boys decorate them. Sugar cookie recipes range for very easy to lots of ingredients so a simple recipe is easy to find. I usually just do round cookies but you can do the roll and cut out with cookie cutters bought at the dollar store.

    Soups are easy and frugal. We usually do a soup meal on Christmas Eve and I invite all the family over after 5:00 church for soup and breads/rolls. Easy to make ahead, keep warm in a crock pot and goes a long way.  

    My BIL and SIL and DH and I have decided to forego giving each other gifts. We have more than enough "stuff" and give the gifts for the children. Each child receives one $10-15 gift ( I have 4 nieces and nephews).   

    I look forward to reading other ideas!

    Erika
  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 12:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Holiday Baking

    Christmas breakfast is designed to be decorative and for those who get up at different times. On a baking sheet, place a can of biscuits in a tree form. Shape the top one into a star. Randomly decorate with bits of cherries or craisins, using some pineapple for the star. After it is baked, drizzle with green powdered sugar icing. This is easy to pull apart for eating with the fresh apples and oranges which are part of the holiday decor and perhaps a bit of ham left from Christmas Eve dinner.  AM

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 12:34 PM In reply to

    • w8tin
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jul 14 2010
    • Posts 83

    Re: Holiday Baking

    I don't really have any tips but wanted to say thanks for this thread. I really need the ideas.

    I'm trying to come up with something to do for our neighbors. I would love to bake something pretty but I'm not that talented.  Tongue Tied

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 1:09 PM In reply to

    • Thrifty1
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 28 2010
    • South Carolina
    • Posts 179

    Re: Holiday Baking

    Lee, you're right, it is called Chinese Christmas. I know I had posted about it on another thread, but thought it was appropriate for this one, too. I think it's fun when there is a horrible gift involved and there always is. Unfortunately, I'm usually the one that picks it! lol One thing that always goes over really well are scratch off tickets. One year my daugher and her husband brought two dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts that they picked up hot and fresh on the way over. Everyone was fighting over the donuts.

      W8tin, If you can't bake pretty, maybe you can present your item in an inventive way. One example (which I also posted in another thread, sorry) is that our daughter used two liter bottles to give the gifts in. You cut a "U" in the middle of the bottle so that you can pull back the flap and insert some red or green "grass" and place whatever goodies you want to inside the bottle. Afterward, use clear tape to seal the flap back and place a label over the cut side of the bottle that says, "Bottled especially for you by __________" and then tie curly ribbon on top (leaving the cap on the bottle). Our daughter placed homemade fudge, hershey's kisses, post-it notes and pens, etc. inside the bottles. Everyone loved them and some had a time trying to figure out how she got the items in the bottle.

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