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Tips for baking on a budget

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Baking is a craft that anyone can enjoy. From butter to flour, everyone has the access and tools they need in their kitchen— and most people have an oven. It doesn't take much for us bakers at home; all you really need is an oven and some basic ingredients like sugar, eggs, milk etc. So let us give you some tips for the cash conscious baker…

For many people their mother is responsible for both introducing them to baking early on and teaching how cooking can be done affordably without sacrificing quality ingredients like eggs (an essential ingredient found in many recipes) which are more expensive than flour but are a vital ingredient for for a good cake.  Even if you are plant based or vegan, you can now buy egg replacements that do a great job, along with plant based milks and spreads.  No matter what your dietary requirements, there is a bunch of ingredients easily available at most supermarkets to cater to your cake making needs.

Baking on a budget can be fun! The only thing is, you need the right gear and know which recipes are worth trying (and which ones to avoid).The best way to get started on an inexpensive hobby such as baking is by being mindful of where expenses are coming from. Initially, these will be related solely to the cost of tools- but before long this number should start dropping because what's most important when starting out isn't how many different types you own/have access to; rather just getting one piece at a time until you have naturally assembled your baking arsenal.  You can also borrow tools off friends and family if you have nothing to start out with, or check out your local charity shops where you may find a whole array of baking trays and tools, perfect for your baking quest! 

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If you are taking your first foray into the world of baking, don’t feel the need to rush out and buy an expensive food processor — mixing by hand delivers results which are just as good. What you will need is a good pair of scales. Many good cooks find baking much harder than cooking a savoury dish; measurements do need to be exact. 

As a beginner, start out with the basics such as flour, sugar, butter and eggs etc. which can be found at your local supermarket. Once you get more comfortable with baking or find that people really enjoy what they're eating then stock up on other ingredients like nuts and fruits (these will come fresh). And lastly, always keep an eye out for sales;  the larger supermarkets will often do ‘price war’ deals on things like butter which is totally fine to freeze.  And, as mentioned above, you can buy plant based butter nowadays too!

You are ready to bake on a budget. You’ve got your equipment, you stocked the pantry and now it is time for some delicious recipes that will not break the bank.

Sweet and simple, sugar cookies or biscuits are a great way to get your feet wet in the world of baking. These easy-to-make treats will make you feel like an accomplished baker with their fun shapes and endless add-in options - choose from sprinkles or citrus zests for extra zing! Cookies also give bakers more creative freedom than other bakes because they don't require dough chilling before being baked off so there's no need for any fancy equipment either. 

Next up: cakes. Our advice for the cash conscious baker is to give the layer cakes with its pricey buttercream frosting or ganache for a swerve. Instead go for coffee cake muffins topped off by topped off with sugar or nuts. Pound cakes (a cake made with a pound of each ingredient, baked in a bundt mold) are great if you want to avoid costly fillings too - the possibilities are endless when baking without expensive ingredients; citrus zest can be substituted berry glazes or even just powdered sugar will suffice- it all depends on what's affordable and in your kitchen right now. 

Once you are comfortable making a basic cake, you’ll find that you will want to experiment. You can easily throw in some over ripe fruit to a basic pound cake mix and you will find that you have baked something which is totally unique but also delicious. 

Once you have mastered the basics you may want to check out for some inspiration for your choice of appropriate decorations.