Holiday baking is a family tradition and a thoughtful, inexpensive gift. Planning ahead can help you save money on baking and cooking.

* Bake in bulk. Instead of making cookies for your friends, bread for others, and fudge to share with coworkers, bake one recipe for everyone. This will save you time and help you save money on ingredients.

* Purchase everything in one location. You can purchase all the ingredients and tools from one location. Dollar General, a deep-discount store, offers dry baking goods such as flour, sugar, and chocolate chips. They also sell milk, eggs, and cream. There are also kitchen tools like measuring cups, spatulas and hand mixers. You will also find the accessories you need to wrap your delicious treats such as paper bags, sandwich bags and tissue paper.

* Give private-brand products a try. Shoppers can save huge on ingredients by switching to private-brand products.

These recipes are easy crowd pleasers that don’t cost a lot.

Holiday Party Dip

2 cups sour cream

1 package Cloverval Onion Soup mix

1 cup finely chopped cucumber

1 cup finely chopped green pepper

1/3 cup pimiento, finely diced


Combine ingredients. Chill for at most one hour before serving. Serve with crackers, raw veggies, or chips.


Chocolate Candy

1 cup Clover Valley starlight mints, crushed

12 oz semisweet baking chocolate, or white chocolate


Place chocolate in saucepan and heat on low heat. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet. Spread half the melted chocolate over the wax paper. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy over the melted chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining melted chocolate on top. Refrigerate until firm. Cut the pieces into small pieces. Store in a covered container at room temperature.

Crispy Macaroons

1 cup sweetened condensed Milk

1 cup cornflakes

1 cup crisped rice cereal

1 cup coconut


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit Mix the coconut, cornflakes and rice cereal together. Mix in the sweetened condensed dairy milk. Drop the dough by using a tablespoon. Keep cookies approximately two inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Allow the macaroons to cool on a cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Then, place them on a wire rack to cool completely.