Most bakery and deli areas have deeply discounted "day olds" - day old donuts, day old bread, end-of-day salads....etc. This is the most economical way to get the best way on bakery deals.
But if I stopped there, this would be the shortest post in history!
Birthdays are right around the corner. In our immediate family alone, we celebrate 6 out of our 7 birthdays in the next three months - 4 of them being the children! It goes like this: one on Oct 24th, 29th, Nov 5th and Dec 7th. In a 12-day stretch, we have THREE cakes - YIKES.
One thing that (to me) is absolutely necessary is that each child get their own cake - sometimes they get a party, a sleep-over, go bowling/skating - but ALWAYS a cake.
Of course, the simplest way to save on a cake is to make it yourself. If you can frost a cake, this can be easy - simply make your favorite cake, frost and add small toys (cars, figurines, etc). If you can't find the figurines that you want....ask your bakery! They are often willing to sell the ones that they use on their cakes - of course, for MUCH cheaper than buying a $20+ cake!
Another great option with homemade birthday cakes is to ask your local bakery to buy some of your favorite frosting from them - then YOU control how much goes on, but still get that "store-bought" taste.
One last idea: there are many "shape" cake pans - usually available at local craft stores - for about $12 each. If you have multiple, same-sex children it may be a great idea to invest in some of these. Another option: ask your local "variety" or "hardware" store if they rent them out. We have a hardware/variety store that will rent them out for $3 for about 3-4 days - bring back clean and presto - easy cake!
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