Use Clearance Baking Items Creatively (Frugal Friday)

Yesterday’s Birthday Cake Round Up was a testimony to the creativity of moms and home bakers. Wow! What fun stuff! Go check out all the cakes and be inspired to make your own.

Baking and decorating your families celebratory cakes can be a wonderful way to eat your cake and save money, too. Not only do you get to choose the decor and the ingredients, but you can also do it for less than half what a fancy — or not so fancy — bakery charges.

If you paid full price for baking ingredients at the store for a boxed cake mix and a can of frosting, you would pay, at most, $5. With sales and coupons, you can cut that price in half.

Now here’s a little trick to saving even more:

Use Clearance Bakery Items Creatively

Allow me to explain. After Christmas I strolled the clearance aisle of my local Ralphs several times. And each time I found amazing deals. One day it was organic pumpkin for 5o cents a can. Another day it was fresh cranberries for 69 cents a bag. Another day, I found frosting and cake mixes for super cheap!

Canned frosting was 40 cents a can. Cake mixes were 30 cents. Now, obviously at first glance, these are very Christmasy items, right?

Wrong.

You don’t have to use the sprinkles. The red, white, and green sprinkles are what scream holiday season at you, but underneath, this is simply green frosting and white cake. Leave out the sprinkles and you’ve got a very inexpensive birthday cake. Use coupons and the store will be paying you to take it from them.

You will find these holiday items after Christmas, Valentines, Easter, Fourth of July, and Halloween, and the store is motivated to sell them quickly. Often the expiration dates are months, if not years away. So, check the dates and then stock up. You can save them for next year, or just tuck the sprinkles away for a later date — and eat all the cake you want  today!

Still not convinced?

I created this Narnia birthday cake, using the above mentioned holiday clearance items. In fact, those “flowers” on the cake are actually snowflake sprinkles. Who would have thought that this was a cake baked with Christmas baking items?

Clearly, holiday clearance baking items can be put to good non-holiday use and save you a bundle of cash.

‘Nuf said. ;)

How do YOU save money?

Tell us in the comments or leave a link to a recent money-saving post.

Next week on URS: SuperBowl Food

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Comments

  1. Ha! I totally used Christmas sprinkles on my Birdhouse Cake. I picked out the “red berries” from the green and red sprinkle mix and just used the green sprinkles. I also use “snowflakes” as flowers – they’re perfect!

  2. I really should start stocking up baking items – when a birthday rolls around, it just costs too much to buy several cake decorating items at full price! Thanks for a great idea!

  3. Your cake turned out cute! I buy marked (way) down Christmas candy – kisses, rolos, etc and then use the red for Valentines and the green for St Patricks day- the silver and gold are good for anything.

  4. Very creative. Creative thinking and creative cake.

  5. Jessica, I love your Narnia cake! Beautiful! :)

    We’re in the midst of our family’s “birthday season” with 4 birthdays in less than 4 weeks, but I’m not tackling any fancy decorating projects. ;) My kids are excited just to get candles! ;) Maybe someday they can help me create cakes like what you write about. :)

    Thanks for hosting Frugal Fridays as always! :)

    Tammy

  6. That is good to know about the cake mixes. I see them on clearance after the holidays, but have never picked them up because the cake appears to have sprinkles in it. I didn’t know the sprinkles were a separate ingredient. I just assumed it was part of the cake mix.

    Thanks for the link-up.

  7. These days every birthday person around here wants a gluten-free black forest cake. (Yum!)

    Obviously that’s expensive, but it helps if we can find the whipping cream at half price.

    Thanks for hosting!

    Annie Kate

  8. Great idea’s! I’m not a huge cake mix person but I do enjoy buying leftover candy to use in my baking!

  9. So sorry, but I double posted in the Mister Linky box. I didn’t think the first time took.
    Thank you.

  10. This is sooo funny! Just today I made a coffee cake for a presentation I am giving with clearance Halloween Cake mix and brown sugar and cinnamon! All for less than $1 GO ME!

  11. I make my own frosting usually, but prefer box mixes for the cake – such good ideas for how to use holiday clearance. I am definitely going to be on the look out after Valentine’s Day. Thanks!

  12. How do we save money? I found that doing it from scratch is just as easy and cheaper. Not to mention I like to avoid the additives in cake mixes and it tastes way better :) I’ve used a baking mix a couple of times and hated it personally. For decorating, I believe less is more. Nature has already provided us with such amazing colors and textures in the form of fruit, I prefer decorating with fruit and heavy cream (whipped) without anything artificial. This of course will not save you money! ;) But I only do that for special occasions. Otherwise I just dust with cocoa powder on a pattern I cut out of paper (like a heart, snowflake, etc.). It makes it look very impressive and sophisticated even though it is easy. :)

  13. The day-after sales are great and your take on it was really very good. Lots of things can be adapted for wider use.

  14. Love. It! I bought a clearance shaker of Christmas-themed sprinkles one time, and I was able to use red sprinkles for Valentine’s Day and the green ones for St. Patty’s Day (as well as other occasions where I could make the colors work). The little gingerbread men presented a greater challenge for re-use, though! lol!

    I’m totally inspired by your 30-cent cake mix find. I need to haunt the grocery store after Valentine’s Day. I wonder if there will be some post-Super Bowl specials I can cash in on as well…

  15. How fun!

  16. I always keep an eye out for seasonal M&Ms. Just stash in the back of the freezer so they dont’ get eaten right away. My kids love oatmeal cookies with raisins and M&Ms–they don’t care if they are black/orange or red/green.

  17. Thanks for hosting a party!! :)

  18. Very clever! :)

  19. like the narnia cake! we use holiday cake stuff for other uses as well. thanks for affirming this great way to save money!!

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  3. [...] made these cupcakes using a funfetti cake mix without the ‘fetti. I’ve found that I can purchase “holiday” cake mixes for a very low price and then omit the holiday element to use the mix for any occasion. In this case, I just [...]

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