The link has several tips to save on Christmas baking. One person says she adds a teaspoon of real vanilla to cake mix batter to give it a more homemade flavor. Another person says she uses real butter to grease pans for baking to give extra flavor. You can use the paper that butter quarters are wrapped in to grease them with.
Another person makes homemade cinnamon rolls (very inexpensive, but not easy) and makes a Christmas tree shape with them. I’ve done the same thing with cinnmon rolls that come in a can for many years. My daughter begs for them every year! I use 2 cans of the smaller size rolls & place them side by side on a cookie sheet. I first cover the entired cookie sheet with foil so that it looks a little nice. It also helps with clean up later. I start with 1 roll for top of the tree, put 2 just under that one & increase the size of the rows by 1 with each row. The last rolls become the “trunk” of the tree. After they come out of the oven, put the white icing on that comes with the cans of rolls following the directions on the cans. Then I decorate the tree with small pieces of dried fruits, candied citrus, candied cherries, and nuts that I save out from my baking supplies for this. One tip I got from the linked article is to use candied pineapple to make the star on the tree. Nice touch! I leave the “tree” on the foil covered cookie sheet on the island in the kitchen with other goodies on Christmas morning, but you could maybe transfer the tree onto a nice platter if you are careful with a pancake turner. Or just transfer it with the foil & then tear away the foil once it’s on the new platter. This is a fairly inexpensive, but yummy treat. and it’s so cute! You can even use the cheapest cinnamon rolls for this if you like.
Click title for link at Stretcher. Click any of the labels below this post for more inexpensive treats.