I'm saving up to go to baking school right now, but in the meantime, I can't stop myself from baking up a storm. Unfortunately, I don't have as much money as I wish I did to spend on baking and decorating all the treats I want, so I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to bake and decorate on a budget. I really want to keep working on my skills in preparation for school, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much! Have a very happy day!
AI feel you on this subject matter. I too love baking, but good pieces of equipment are expensive along with the best ingredients. So do as those of the olden days did. Fake it! They didn't have fancy tools or igredients. With simple know how, you too can produce magnificent peices, that not only look like a million bucks but didn't break your bank. Shop at thift stores ,yard sales, Ebay, and dare I say it "look in the garbage"! But be discerning with that one and use the utmost of common sense. Only do that from places that specializes in baking or cooking needs, they sometimes throw away defective products that can't be sold on the sales floor, but to a simple person as self, that little nick, dent or ding is a meer undersight. You can sometimes ask them if they have any peices they're throwing away. But to do this you'll need to build up a repoire with the associates to get that inside scoop. That little tid bit of info will cover you on the tool aspect.
Now for ingredients. Shop what's in season, on sale and or simply grow your own like I do. I have a mini greenhouse sitting (built from random things I've found. Its a very cheap diy project) in my living room. I have a plethora of herbs that I dry (using a dehydrator from the thift store for meer dollars) or use fresh in both cooking and baking. You don't need fancy name brand products to achieve the best quality, just having a great skill set can produce the same results. And yes being trained doesn't hurt (I was, but in culinary), but a simple and CHEAP way of learning how to produce fantastic peices is... "The Internet" its the best thing on this planet. Many bakers, professional and beginner alike are always posting tutorials and new techniques on how to create marvelous pieces and ideas. A very great reasource the I flock to daily if I want to learn something new and cutting edge is "YouTube". Its one of the best online sources you can think of, there you can learn how to do just about everything (like I do!). I believe in frugality in pretty much everyway. With that being said, where you saved on one cost, you can then splurge on another item. Like say for instance you needed chocolate, search through the isle and find what's on sale for all the other ingredients and then you can dish out a little more on that must have item. Couponing never hurts either. Its simply the best.
We must think as our ancestors did. Do everything from scratch. Buyin simple tools like vacsealers, dehydrators and canning units will help in this process. Because when you buy in season or on sale these simple tools will and do come in handy. Mainly because you'll have on hand items that you built up on.
Hopefully this little snip of info will help you on producing fancy and tasty peices!
To practice decorating, invest in a few cake dummies. Practice that new technique on the dummy, dont forget to take a picture of your work, and then you can wash, or peel away and reuse. Saves on the ingredients :)
To practice piping you can practice on the bottom and sides of upside down cake pans. Make a batch of buttercream, fill a bag and practice piping, then scrape it off and re-use it. You can re-use it over and over and get a lot of practice with the same icing. Of course, don't eat or serve the abused icing, just for practicde
Those are great tips, Dougho. There are a lot of thrift stores in my area and Bulk Barn would probably have much cheaper ingredients than buying name brand stuff. And Ebay! Why didn't I think of that?! I also envy your mini greenhouse. I'm thinking of growing a garden next spring. It will put some of your good ideas to great use.
And those are such good ideas, practicemakesperfect and denetteb!! They would definitely help to save on all the ingredients...and my waistline, haha. Thank you all so much for your comments. I know I would have never thought of those ideas on my own. I was so discouraged that even thought I had to give up on baking altogether until school started. I was pretty upset, but now I am so excited. Thanks again! You have no idea how much this helps me :)
As much as possible stock up on certain ingredients when they are on sale. You can freeze butter which is expensive so get extra when you see a good price. I buy shelf stable milk (in juice box type containers) this way I don't buy milk for it to go bad. Sugar and flour also last a long time. Invest in good quality baking pans and equipment because they last forever and will always give you a good result. Be creative! Have fun! Good luck!
Also see if you have a professional restaurant supply store near you.
I got 8" round 3" deep cake pans there for $6 each. (Much better than if I bought them at Bed Bath and Beyond)