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Time to Whip Cream!

At any holiday party you'll usually find pies for dessert, with whipped cream for topping them.  Our own holiday party is coming up this Sunday, and I was tempted to buy Reddi Whip or some other canned whipped cream to accompany the desserts.  But one look at the high prices for canned whipped cream, not to mention the waste of packaging, reminded me why I always whip my own. 

A can of whipped cream, which is enough to top two pies, costs anywhere from $2.50 if it's on sale to $5 regular price, and that's assuming you're not buying organic. The can is a nightmare for recycling facilities because it's made of metal that is interlocked with plastic components. 

Meanwhile a half pint of heavy cream (enough to top two pies) costs 99 cents on sale, and at most $1.75 (again, not organic).  The packaging is more environmentally friendly as it's made of biodegradable cardboard, albeit with some sort of thin plastic coating for the printing.  Of course, canned whipped cream has the upper hand in convenience, but not by much- whipping heavy cream from scratch only takes about 3 minutes with an electric wisk, plus the time it takes to wash the bowl afterwards.  Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons maple syrup, agave nectar, or sugar and you've got truly decadent whipped cream.

Bon appetit!

How will you save money and reduce your environmental footprint when preparing holiday food?

The Daily Citron is a blog containing tips for frugal living, money management practices, ideas for living "green," thoughts on parenting, and recipes that tie it all together.