There are big decisions you’ll have to make in life, like whether to rent or buy a house. Then there are small decisions, like whether to make a gingerbread house. If you’re determined to get festive this season, a gingerbread house could be the way to go. It’s a cheap form of entertainment that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a screen. How much will it cost you? Let’s talk numbers.
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Why a Gingerbread House?
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, making a gingerbread house can be a fun winter activity. Like carving a pumpkin, building a gingerbread house is a hands-on, seasonal activity that doubles as a way to get kids engaged and entertained. It’s the stuff enduring family memories are made of.
Unlike other typical wintertime family activities (think: building a snowman), making a gingerbread house isn’t weather-dependent. All you’ll need are some supplies you can get from a supermarket. If you want to get competitive, you can invite other friends over and have attendees vote on the most impressive gingerbread house. Even if you don’t have kids, making a gingerbread house could be just what you need to get in the holiday spirit.
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How Much Does a Gingerbread House Cost?
What do you need in order to make a gingerbread house? Well, gingerbread, for a start. You’ll also want some frosting and probably at least one kind of candy to use for your decorations. The more lavish you want your gingerbread house to be, the more you can expect to spend.
According to a widely cited 2014 article, the world’s most expensive gingerbread house costs over $78,000. That’s the cost of a custom gingerbread house designed to look like your home – and decorated with real pearls and rubies. If that sounds a little steep, you can buy a pre-assembled gingerbread house kit from Dylan’s Candy for $45. The Trader Joe’s gingerbread house kit goes for around $8.
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DIY Gingerbread House
Of course, you don’t have to use a kit. You can assemble your own house and even bake your own gingerbread. For that, you’ll need butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, baking soda, flour and water.
You can make your own icing by combining powdered sugar, egg whites and vanilla extract. Then you just need one or two kinds of candy for decorations, or food coloring to make different frosting colors. You can buy a box of gumdrops for under $2.
When you add up the cost of all those ingredients (including pricier items like butter and eggs), you might not save money by making your gingerbread house from scratch. Your costs will depend on how many of those ingredients you already have on hand. If you’re trying to keep holiday costs down, know that a completely DIY gingerbread house might not be cheaper than a kit you buy for less than $10. But we’re guessing the DIY gingerbread will be tastier, and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself while you make the cookies. Plus, you’ll get extra bragging rights.
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