How it crumbles: Here’s where making Christmas cookies will cost you

Local News

(ABC4) – The holidays are nearly here and many families across the U.S. are likely gearing up for a common tradition – making holiday cookies. But those living in some cities will be paying more to make a batch of cookies, according to the latest Christmas cookie price index.

This year, the price of just about everything is going up. Sometimes it has been obvious – like at the meat counter or the car dealership – and sometimes it’s more subtle, like in the grocery store aisles. That’s because in lieu of raising prices, many manufacturers are choosing to shrink packaging instead – a trend called “shrinkflation.”

Still, rising prices likely won’t keep Americans from making those holiday cookies. In some cities, a batch of cookies will cost you less than $3. In others, you’ll be paying more than $12.

For its 2021 Christmas Cooke Price Index, meal kit company HelloFresh analyzed the costs of baking ingredients in 60 U.S. cities to find where you can get the “most bites for their buck.” To determine the prices, HelloFresh relied on this list of ingredients courtesy of a butter cookie recipe that makes 100 cookies from Peppy Kitchen:

  • Flour: a 2lb package of flour (32oz / 1kg)
  • Eggs: a box of 12 eggs
  • Butter: an 8oz serving of butter (200g)
  • Baking soda: a 1lb packet (16oz / 0.5kg)
  • Sugar: a 2lb package of sugar (32oz / 1kg)

Using local online supermarkets, HelloFresh calculated the total prices of these ingredients and the price to make the recipe. In doing so, they found these 10 cities are the cheapest places to make holiday cookies in the U.S.:

City, StateCost for a batch
Charleston, S.C.$2.23
Charleston, W.V.$2.90
Des Moines, Iowa$4.13
Portland, Maine$4.62
Dallas$4.76
Charlotte, N.C.$4.92
Lincoln, Neb.$4.97
Albuquerque, N.M.$5.05
Cleveland$5.20
Pittsburgh$5.20

On the other end of the spectrum, here are the 10 most expensive cities to make a batch of cookies in:

City, StateCost for a batch
San Diego$12.40
Burlington, Vermont$12.08
Los Angeles$11.41
Salt Lake City$11.40
Wilmington, Dela.$10
Bridgeport, Conn.$9.92
Milwaukee$9.79
Phoenix$9.21
Detroit$9
Little Rock, Ark.$8.91

There is nearly a $10 difference in the cost to make cookies in Charleston, South Carolina, and San Diego. Nationally, HelloFresh found the average cost to make a batch of cookies in the U.S. is $6.10.

Among the most expensive cities is Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City. According to the report, butter is the most expensive ingredient for a Utahn making a batch of cookies the most at $9.25. Overall, the average cost to make a batch of cookies in Salt Lake City is over $5 higher than the national average.

Want to avoid the shrinkflation and help keep your cookie costs down? Make sure you’re calculating the per-ounce price of goods. That could involve whipping out the calculator, but often the grocery store will do the work for you – just read the smaller print on the store’s price label.

For the full Christmas Cookie Price Index, click here.

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