The holiday season is full of opportunities to enjoy goodies from the kitchen. Grocers and manufacturers are offering great deals and coupons on baking essentials, including flour, sugar and spices. Take advantage of these deals and stockpile.
According to RealSimple.com, here are storage guidelines on some of the baking items you will find at their lowest prices over the next five weeks:
Baking mixes such as brownie and cake mixes: 1½ years
Baking powder: 6 months (unopened), until the use-by date (open)
Baking soda: 1½ years (unopened), until the use-by date (open)
Bread crumbs: 6 months (dried), 2 months (panko)
Chocolate, bar for baking: 6 months
Chocolate chips: 1 year
Cornstarch: Indefinitely if kept in a dry place
Corn syrup: 3 years
Flour, white: 1 year
Shortening: 1 year (if open, keep in a cool, dark place)
Spices: 3 years (whole, such as nutmeg and cloves), 2 years (ground)
Sugar, brown: 4 months (tightly wrapped)
Sugar, confectioners: Indefinitely if kept in a dry place (unopened); 2 years (open)
Sugar, granulated: Indefinitely
Vanilla, pure extract: Indefinitely
Yeast, active: Until the use-by date (unopened)
Tips on saving time when holiday baking
Make cleanup as easy as possible. Consider purchasing a silicone baking sheet liner. They wipe clean easily and help cookies bake evenly.
Small bites are best. If making brownies or even fudge, consider cutting portions into bite-size pieces. Less guilt with as much delight.
Bake all at once. Choose one day to do your baking so you will only have to clean up once.
Make it a party. Since everyone usually ends up in the kitchen at parties, gather friends and bake for a charity.
Black Friday is coming – check MomsCharlotte.com for the latest on the craziest shopping day of the year.
Black Friday news
Wal-Mart is offering a 1-Hour In-Stock Guarantee this year. It promises that these three door-busters will remain in-stock from 10-11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night:
Emerson 32" HDTV for $148
LG Blu-ray player for $38
Apple iPad 2 w/ $75 Gift Card for $399
If one of those items sells out, Wal-Mart will let you purchase the equivalent of a “rain-check,” which ensures delivery of your item for in-store pickup before Christmas.