Hi Kirsten. Not only can the ingredients to make the cookies be costly, but I find just making them to be very time consuming. Personally, I'd rather be decorating. So I'm going to offer a different suggestion. Not all aspects of cookie decorating require actual cookies. You can practice making royal icing flowers (I literally did this for two weeks straight once). You can practice working with fondant or wafer paper. Or you can practice fontwork or making royal icing transfers by placing a sheet of acetate over a printed page of lettering or whatever you want to try. Actually, I've practiced and experimented with many techniques (marbling, lace, linework, etc.) this way. Sometimes I will even flood icing onto a sheet of acetate in the shape of a cookie. I'll wait a couple of days for the icing to dry completely and voila - I have a base to decorate without the cookie. And relative to the price of the actual cookie, icing sugar is relatively inexpensive. And if you like what you've created you can save it as a wonderful decoration to adorn your cookies when you do make them!