Save Time and Money with a Holiday Cookie Exchange

Who knew that saving money could be so delicious?

Holidays are often associated with certain foods. Both Christmas and Hanukkah bring to mind visions of cookies and other sweet treats. However, the holidays also bring a lot of time and money pressures.

Why not consider a holiday cookie exchange? It could be a fun, inexpensive and simple way to celebrate the season.

What Exactly Is a Cookie Exchange?

For a cookie swap, a handful of people organize their holiday baking ahead of time and exchange their treats — and the recipes for them.

Each participant makes a different kind of cookie or dessert.

There are a few directions you can go from there. You could host a cookie exchange party, where all of the participants come and fill up their boxes. Or, you can box up each dozen and make cookie deliveries. It’s up to each group to set its cookie swap rules.

How Does a Holiday Cookie Exchange Save Money and Time?

Cookie recipes often share basic ingredients — eggs, flour, salt and baking soda. Then, depending on the recipe, there are spices and nuts and chocolate chips, candied fruits and butterscotch, peppermint and sour cream and a myriad of ingredients to purchase. Christmas cookies often have higher-end or harder-to-find ingredients, since they can be gifts.

Participating in a cookie swap limits how many ingredients you have to buy, and can help you stay within your holiday budget. Getting a bigger amount of the same ingredients likely won’t cost as much as getting a variety of items.

For example, the cost of ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies for the home baker comes out to about $2.40 a dozen. If you also want to make gingerbread cookies, the different ingredients will cost you about $2.90 per dozen. Butter cookies, if you use good butter, will cost $3.50 a dozen. These recipes don’t have any special ingredients in them.

Recipes with special ingredients like pecans, mint, food coloring, crème fraiche, pumpkin, etc. will cost…

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