The school year has begun, along with PTA, fall sports, scout troops, etc. All of these well meaning groups and organizations need funding in an increasingly poor economy. So what do innovative moms do? They bake!! Bake sales are a tradition that have been passed down from generation to generation. They give moms a way to provide for their children when they can’t pull out the ol’ checkbook. Now, all of this expected baking was good and well back in the 50’s when women majored in Home Economics. But what about now in the 21 century? Today’s bake sales face two major challenges. 1) There is a plethora of junk food on the market today that can be had for pennies on the dollar for what you will have to price your goods at to make a profit. 2) A growing number of moms do not know their way around the kitchen like they used to. Well problems solved. Here are a few tips to maximize your group’s bake sell potential and some super yummy and easy recipes that any mom can whip up.

Tip #1: Location, Location, Location

Don’t set up shop next to the cheap stuff. I always cringe when I see a group trying to sell food outside of a grocery store. Sure it is for a good cause, but you are only going to have so many people willing to overlook the fact that you can get something similar to what you are selling just a few steps inside the store at half the price. And, really, you don’t want people to buy your stuff out of guilt. You want them to buy it because it looks delish! Try staking out places like your kids sports games, the overpriced mall, community events, school events like back-to school night or even the local park during busy play hours. Just be sure to get permission from the establishments when necessary.

Tip #2: Set Up Stations

Nothing sells like innovation! Think outside of the cupcake box and prepare goodies on site. Try a caramel apple station by assembling apple slices, caramel dip, whipped cream, sprinkles, etc. in a cup. Or a pudding cup station with a similar idea using pudding as a base.

Tip #3: Be Creative

Again you don’t want to guilt folks into buying your burnt brownie squares. Most people will think, I can make my own brownies and they would probably taste better. Yes, families want to support your cause, but many families are on a tight budget and can’t justify throwing money away just to be nice. But if you have just the cutest little ladybug cupcakes on the table, a mom may just splurge because she know that her daughters will be thrilled to have them for dessert. There are a lot of super creative dessert recipes in women and parenting magazines that people would love to make, but don’t have the time. If they see them on your table, they will be more apt to buy something. Here a few ideas:

Black and White Whoopie Pies

Hoot Owl Cookies

Popcorn Cupcakes