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Great British Bake Off is back, but can baking save you money?

Release your inner star baker and save

It’s our favourite time of the year. A time when we all imagine what life would be like if Mary Berry was our Grandma, worry about soggy bottoms and delight in Sue Perkins’ double entendres.

Yes, it’s time for another series of the Great British Bake Off.

In honour of this event, which frankly should be declared a national holiday, let’s take a look at how to save money in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to baking!

Don’t throw away, bake!

We throw away an estimated seven million tonnes of food and drink each year, according to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. This costs each household between £470 and £700 a year, or roughly £60 a month!

Rather than chucking them in the bin, turn them into something Mary would be proud of.

A couple of bananas going brown in the fruit bowl? Make some banana bread.

The last bits of flour and butter can be turned into a quick shortcrust pastry and combined with any leftover meat and vegetables can create delicious pies and pasties.

Even those last few carrots rolling around in the fridge can become a beautiful sugar-free carrot cake.

Fresh in the freezer

On the subject of leftovers, the most important thing you can do to reduce waste is learn how to make your freezer work for you.

If you keep bread in the freezer, not only does it last longer, but it can be defrosted very, very quickly.

Leftover slices of cake can be last for months when frozen, as long as you wrap them up well. In this way you always have a nice slice of something in case Paul Hollywood pops round for tea.

Bake don’t buy

We all know it simply isn’t a special occasion unless there is a cake. So next time there’s a birthday, why not take some inspiration from Bake Off and make your own, rather than waste money on buying one from a shop.

As much as we might want to be, we are not all Nadiya’s, Paul’s and Mary’s, but you certainly don’t need to be a star baker to rustle up a good cake.

Basic recipes like Victoria sponge, chocolate brownies and red velvet cake might not be final round showstoppers, but are really quick and easy to make.

Not only do these taste better than the shop-bought versions, but will save you money and make it more personal. 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

If you’re inspired by Bake Off it can be really tempting to rush off and stock up on vast quantities of crystallised ginger, edible flowers and sugar paste, not to mention the baking gadgets that go with them.

But unless you bake regularly, or have a large family, you probably aren’t going to see the financial benefits. Worst of all, you end up having to throw away a lot when it’s past its sell-by-date.

Be realistic about how much you are going to be able to use, make sure you store it correctly and keep an eye on the use-by dates.

And don’t forget the freezer. Lots of food can be kept on ice and it’s a great way to keep leftovers out of the bin.

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