The first pies and breads of the holiday baking season will be filling the kitchen counter just days from now.
So it’s time to stock up on pantry staples that you’ll use the entire season — especially if you give baked goods .
I combed through several sites online and developed a list of 13 items that seem to cost a little more than others, and set out to find where you can get them for less.
While I was out and about Wednesday and Thursday recording prices, I noticed a couple of good sales on spices and extracts. For example, Bashas’ and Fry’s each have a 40 percent-off discount when you use their club cards. At Safeway, the McCormick spices are buy two, get one free with the Safeway club card. Albertsons has a buy one, get one free on its extracts.
Spices last longer than most of us can use them , so they’re a good investment. For example, the folks at McCormick say ground spices like cinnamon or nutmeg can last up to two or three years. If you’re unsure of how long they’ve been in the cabinet, pour some out and check the color. Chances are if the color has faded, so has the flavor.
I checked prices of rum, as well. (Can somebody say “rum cake”?) The prices listed are for a 750 ML bottle of Bacardi Gold. It was cheapest at Bashas’ — $9.99 with its club card. If you’re not picky about brands, Albertsons sells its own for $5.49 for the same size bottle. The two Target stores I went to do not carry rum.
Even if you find yourself replacing some of your favorite varieties, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to restock your baking pantry — especially if you use a club card at some stores. For example, using Bashas’ club card saved $14.57 on the items on my list. And what you buy now, you’ll use all year.
I left things like flour and sugar off this list because, even though they are necessities for baking, they’re always fairly inexpensive.
I chose the least expensive of each item on my list. Prices are listed with the regular price first, followed by club-card price, where applicable.
Mmmm. Let the aromas begin.