I’ve been known to blow my grocery budget on holiday baking supplies every time I want to bake.
From cute cupcake liners, sprinkles, new cookie cutters, and of course, several different flavors of icing.
But that’s just the cute stuff…let’s not even get into all the pantry items you need to make the items! It can get so expensive quickly when you need to buy more vanilla, spices, and all the other ingredients on your holiday baking supply list to make the goodies!
That’s why I devised a plan to make a holiday pantry list to stock up on items that way I would be prepared when the baking inspiration hit.
And, I’ll share the best pantry items to stock up on when the prices go low that way you’ll know when to stock up and when to pass.
Plus, I’ll share with you the pantry items to always have on hand so you’ll never have to make a last-minute run to the store. Because who has time for that when you want to bake!
So let’s take a look at these pantry items so you’ll be prepared to bake, create, and of course, eat your lovely creations!
First Things First: The Big Purge
It’s something I do every season with my pantry items – a purge. That’s right. If you haven’t cleaned out your kitchen lately, it probably needs a good purge!
Those leftover crackers, stale chips, those old baking mixes…you get the idea. It’s time to take everything out, clean, and purge the old items that are left lurking in there from 2 or 4 Christmases ago.
My kids always search for the “oldest” item to see if we can beat the 5-year-old tofu we found one time. Ha!
By purging first, you’ll be able to organize your pantry into zones of like items so that all the baking supplies are one section.
While you’re adding the good stuff back into your pantry, do a pantry inventory so you’ll easily know what you have and what you need to buy.
Next, move on to your spices. When was the last time you threw away the old ones? Can’t remember? Then it’s time for some tough love on those little jars and throw them away. You’ll be glad you did after the old baking powder and baking soda result in flat banana bread and flat cupcakes.
Now since you’ve done a cleanout of your spices, do a spice inventory too. This will help you know what you need to buy and what not to duplicate because you can’t remember which spice you need.
Now is also a great time to purge your fridge, freezer, and deep freezer. Throw that freezer-burned food away to make room for those cheap turkeys and hams. You’ll want the room in your freezer to store those extra baked goods as well – so get busy!
If you plan on doing a lot of baking or making specialty dishes this holiday, take a list of what pots, pans, kitchen tools, and specialty items you have and another list for the things you might need. You’ll want to add these items to your holiday pantry list to get. Do you remember how you didn’t have enough cupcake pans last year and you were up till 2 am making cupcakes? No? OHH, that was me. Nevermind. The more you plan ahead this year, the more prepared you’ll be when the time comes.
There are a couple of more items to do while you are getting ready for the holidays. The first one is to clean your oven. Ugh, I know! But now is the time to do it before Aunt Mary comes over and judges your cleaning habits (and it’s always more fun to be able to see in the front door). Once you are done you can line it with oven liners to make clean up a breeze.
You can also get these silicone gap covers that cover that little space between the counters and the oven. That way when your kiddos come to help cook, you don’t have to pull out the oven to clean it again.
Why You Should Stockpile Pantry Items
The first thing you should know about stockpiling pantry items and holiday baking supplies is that you should not go overboard. The point is to spend a little more now while the prices are lower, then, you get to save the difference by not having to pay the full price when you need it later on.
I’d rather pay half price now when it’s on sale than pay full price when I need it. If it’s something I know I’ll be using in the next couple of weeks or months, then I don’t feel bad about stocking up on something I will be using at a great price. I will add a little extra to my grocery budget each month to pay for these pantry items to stock up on.
I’m sure you’re wondering how much you should stockpile of an item? That all depends on how many times per week or month you will use it.
If you’re a big baker, and you normally go through two 4 lb bags of sugar a month, then you would try to stock up on more when it goes to it’s lowest price.
But how do you know when an item is at its lowest price? You can start a personal price book. Simply start by jotting down the normal price of the items you buy. Then, record the sales prices too. You’ll be able to see quickly how low an item goes with a sale so you can stock up when you need to.
The other reason why I stockpile is simple. During the holidays, other people stock up on their holiday baking supply list items leaving little product on the shelf. So if I can stock up a little here and a little there, I’ll have what I need when I need it.
Holiday Pantry Items To Stockpile
Butter: Butter always goes on sale during the holidays. Keep an eye on the prices and stock up when the lowest price hits. This is one of those pantry items to always have on hand. And since it freezes well, I always stock up on extra when there’s a sale.
Buttermilk: If you often use buttermilk, then grab some when you think of it. But since I hardly ever use it, I often make a buttermilk substitute if I need it.
Dough (Cookie, Biscuit, Pie & Croissants): If you love making your own dough, then look past this. But sometimes these time savers are just the thing to help us keep our sanity and save our time during the holidays. Keep an eye out for sales and BOGO deals that will help you save more.
Eggs: While I don’t remember a sale on eggs except during Easter, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good deal. Keep an eye out for sale and where you find the lowest per egg price. The stores I frequent usually have a per ounce or per item cost analysis right on the price sticker. Take a picture of the lowest price item so you can compare the prices at another store.
Heavy Whipping Cream: This is one of those pricey pantry items I like to have on hand. The good news is that it lasts a while as long as it’s not opened.
Milk: Milk is just expensive. But don’t forget to look at other places like at drug stores for better deals on milk.
Whipped Cream Cans: If you don’t make your own whipped cream, straight out of the can is just as good. There will be sales and I’ve even seen a BOGO deal in the past years. Keep an eye out for this yummy stock up item!
Here’s how you can make your own Whipped Cream for less!
Cheesecakes: Did you know it’s actually cheaper for me to buy cheesecakes on sale than it is to make them? It is. Plus, I can buy them when my local store has BOGO or half-price sales so I’m really saving some money. Plus, it’s an easy dessert to bring to someone’s house for the holidays.
Frozen Biscuits/Bread: If you frequently make frozen biscuits or bread, you know how delicious they are! While there may be a few sales, you’re best bet is to price compare against stores before the holiday hits.
Pie Crusts: We usually make our own pie crusts, but every once in a while, I need to buy one to save time. If this sounds like you, keep an eye out for deals. Frozen crusts aren’t always advertised so you’ll need to take a peek when you go to the store to see if they are on sale.
Whipped Topping: I know what you are thinking…I don’t use this either. But, there has been a time when it was cheaper and faster just to buy the already whipped topping just to plop it on a pie. My local store has BOGO or half-price sales so keep your eyes peeled at the right time to buy and stock up.
There are more pantry items to stock up on! Keep reading!
Baking Chocolate: No this isn’t the same thing as chocolate chips or even powdered cocoa. It’s a bar that has no sugar in it, but it can be added to make delicious chocolate treats. It makes delicious pudding, ganache, cakes, cookies, and so much more! It’s a must-have in your holiday pantry list.
Baking Cups: Have you ever run out of these? Yup. Grab a pack or two when you think of them so you’ll be ready to bake the night away!
Baking Powder & Baking Soda: These two items you should replace every year. While I know there are tricks to make sure they are still fresh, they are cheap enough to just pick up on before the holiday baking season.
Baking Mixes: Since coupons are hard to come by these days, half price or BOGO deals are your best bet to get these mixes at their lowest price. Keep an eye out on sales for the items you normally buy and stock up when you can. You’ll be able to whip up a quick gift of brownies or a cake in no time because you’ll be stocked up.
Cooking/Baking Spray: I hate running out of things and baking spray is one of those pantry items that I forget about. If you know you’re almost out or on your last can, pick up one or two when you can so you don’t run out.
Chocolate Chips or Baking Chips: This is one item my pantry can’t be out of. We stock up when we find sales because it’s something that can be used all year long. Plus, they can be frozen making sure they aren’t eaten as a snack.
Coconut Flakes: Coconut flakes are one of those things I forget to buy and then need. I always grab a couple of bags when I’m stocking up for the holidays.
Cornstarch: While I don’t use this item very much, it sure comes in handy when you do need it. Make sure yours is fresh!
Dried Fruit: What are the holidays without a fruitcake?! Just kidding. But there are many recipes you might want to make that use dried fruit in it. Even if you don’t use it for holiday baking, it can quickly be turned into a trail mix for a quick on the go snack or guest appetizer. Dried cranberries can spruce up green beans, a plain salad, and even make the most delicious cranberry orange muffins!
Evaporated Milk: This is another item I only buy a couple of times a year when I need it. Since I don’t use it very often, I only buy a couple of cans at the beginning of the holiday baking season, and a couple more before the season ends.
Flour (Whole Wheat, Bread, Cake, All-Purpose): Flour will go on sale during the holidays. Make sure to stock up and put it in the freezer. Adding it to a vacuum-sealed bag will help prolong its shelf life and it won’t absorb and freezer smells.
Honey: Don’t throw away that crystalized honey! It’s still good! Just carefully microwave the bottle for 10 seconds to get it more fluid again. And if you need to buy some, check out your local produce stand. I’ve found better prices than the stores on this yummy treat!
Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Fruit Butters: Simple morning biscuits can turn into a decadent breakfast with a heaping spoon of deliciousness! Make sure you are stocked up by adding it to your holiday pantry list. And jelly makes Linzer cookies delicious!
Maple Syrup: If you use real maple syrup on your pancakes, then you can also use it for baking instead of a traditional sweetener. Many people use it for baking and I have to say that it’s scrumptious on Maple Nut Scones!
Molasses: Many recipes call for molasses. But did you know that if you run out of brown sugar or light brown sugar, you can make your own with molasses and sugar? You can! It helps to have those secret ingredient recipes in your kitchen toolbox.
Nuts (Peanuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds): While I love using nuts in my recipes, they can be often expensive. Keep an eye out for sales and even BOGO or half-price deals. This is the best time to stock up since they freeze well.
Oats: From a quick bowl of oatmeal to oatmeal cookies, oats are a must to have in your pantry. Plus, they can easily be made into a quick low sugar apple crisp! My local store has BOGO and half-price deals often so stock up when you can.
Premade Icing: Do you often find yourself with no time to make fresh icing? Me too. That’s why I keep a secret stash of icing in my pantry for those times when I’m running late.
Shortening: While most don’t use this anymore, there are some tried and true cooks who will only use this in their biscuits and pie crusts. If it’s a staple in your home, make sure you have enough for the holiday season.
Spices (Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, etc): Don’t forget about adding Salt, Pepper, Poultry Seasoning, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Parsley, Garlic, Cream of Tartar, and Ginger to your pantry items list. At my store at least one of the name brand spices goes BOGO so this is my time to stock up. Take stock of what you have and what you normally need. Add those items to your shopping list and grab a few every time you go shopping unless there’s a sale.
Sprinkles: Who doesn’t love a pretty cake or cupcakes with sprinkles? It’s like the magic touch that takes a plain cake to fabulous! Keep an eye out for sales during the holidays. While they may not be huge savings, every little bit of savings helps!
Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is another item I hardly use, but I’ll pick up one just in case. I’ve looked for this item before right in the middle of the holidays and they were out. Don’t make the same mistake if you use it often in your holiday baking.
Vanilla & Other Extracts: While I know this is one of the most expensive items in your pantry, it sure does make things tasty! Check the amount you have of your extracts and stock up while you can. Or, if you have around 6 weeks until the holidays, you can make your own extracts! It’s so simple and it makes for great gifts too!
Vegetable Oil (Coconut Oil or other oil): Vegetable oil normally goes BOGO or half-price sale at my normal store. Make sure you are paying attention to the sales so you can stock up for the holiday season. Keep an eye out for sales on Coconut oil. This is also another item that I have found to be cheaper at Sam’s Club.
Yeast: Making bread? Then fresh yeast is a must. Pick up a couple of fresh packets before the season or they may be out.
Candy (Peppermints, Candy Kisses, Chocolate-coated Candies, etc.): The lowest price point for me on candy is when it goes BOGO or half-price. This is when I’ll stock up on several bags just for baking. Of course, I have to hide it in the back of the freezer until I need to use it. But at least I know I didn’t pay full price if it does disappear on me.
Freezer Bags & Other Food Storage Items: We often make several items ahead of our holiday meals and then freeze them. It helps to make the holidays less crazy and hectic. I’ll stock up on freezer bags and food storage plasticware when there’s a good sale. I’ll send home the holiday leftovers in these and not my good pans or plasticware.
Foil, Wax Paper, Plastic Wrap & Parchment Paper: Parchment paper is one item I don’t go without in my kitchen. It lines the cookie sheets and it also helps to make for some quick meals. And all the other stuff is just handy for making cookies, freezing cookie dough, and other fun baking stuff. I always keep these pantry items on hand.
Metal Baking Pans: This is one of those pantry items I always stock up on because I hate giving away my good pans and not knowing if they’ll get returned. These also go BOGO or half-price sale at my normal store so keep your eyes peeled for sales.
CANNED GOODS AISLE:
Canned Goods (Cream of Soups, Cranberry Sauce, and Canned Pumpkin): These canned goods don’t often go on sale unless it’s at a drug store, but I do keep an eye on the prices and check several stores for deals so I can stock up.
For the past few years, Aldi has been my favorite store to stock up on canned items. They’ve had the cheapest prices on canned items for the holidays.
Whole Lemons or Oranges: Sometimes recipes call for the zest of a lemon or orange. While I hate to buy fruit that might go bad before I need it, this is one reason why I try to plan out the recipes I want to make during the season so nothing gets wasted.
Holiday Pantry Items You Can Freeze
There are several pantry items you can freeze that will not only help protect them against bugs but will also extend their shelf life.
Baked Goods: Of course you can freeze baked goods! If you’re wanting to get ahead of your holiday baking, cookies, pancakes, french toast, loaves of bread, and even cupcakes can be frozen.
Don’t forget that you can also freeze pre-baked goodies too. Make up that cookie dough and freeze it so that half the job is done already and all you have to do is thaw and bake!
Butter: Yes you can. I would make sure it is vacuum-sealed so it doesn’t catch any off-flavors from other foods in the freezer.
Cheese: Yes you can freeze blocks and shredded cheese. Shredded cheese will be just fine after it’s thawed, but cheese blocks will become crumbly if you try to grate them. You can either use it like it is or shred the cheese before freezing.
Cream Cheese: Did you know you can freeze Cream Cheese? You can! Although the texture changes slightly, you can still stock up when you find a great deal on it. You’ll still be able to use it in recipes, but maybe just not be able to smear it on your bagel.
Do you normally freeze your holiday baking supplies? Answer below!
Nuts: Yes! Nuts are one of the easiest things to freeze. Just freeze in the bag they came in, or transfer them to a vacuum freezer bag.
Oats: I always freeze my oats because of what can live in the oats (That’s a story for another day!). Anyway, it’s best to store them in the freezer until you need them. I also store the container I am currently using in the fridge just to make sure.
Sugar: If you find a good deal on sugar, then it’s time to stock up for all that holiday baking. Add it to a vacuum-sealed bag and into the freezer. It will stay good until you need it…or until you need the extra freezer space.
Other Holiday Pantry Items To Stock Up On
A cold winter’s day just isn’t the same without hot cocoa and marshmallows. Make sure you are stocked up on these items for the chilly days. I always add these to my holiday baking supply list.
We drink a lot of tea and coffee during the colder months too. Keep your eyes peeled for deals so that you have enough if unexpected guests stop by.
Here are a couple of other items that you might need to add to your holiday baking supplies:
- Coarse Ground Sugar
- Coarse salt
- Corn Syrup
- Marshmallow Creme
- Melting Chocolate
- Maraschino Cherries
- Cookies, Oreo Cookies, Graham Crackers
- Ritz Crackers
- Pretzel Rods
- Powdered Milk
- Rice Krispies
- Large Marshmallows
- Piping Bags for Icing
- Food Coloring
I hope this list helps jog your brain for items you can add to your holiday pantry list to stock up on so that you’ll be prepared when the baking inspiration hits.
Plus, it’s important to have some of these pantry items on hand so you won’t have to make a last-minute run to the store in the middle of making something.
Taking the time to stock up before the holidays are here will save you money so that you can spend more on other things at Christmas.