Last week in the Surviving the Holidays series, I posted about making a budget for gifts.
Well, buying gifts for others can add up quickly. You have family, sometimes including family outside of the immediate family, coworkers, friends, neighbors and more! It’s crazy how long the list gets! You find that decent gifts cost about $10-$20 each, so yeah…talk about tightening the wallet!
However, there is a great way to spread the holiday cheer without spending that much on the gifts: edible gifts! It may take some effort in the kitchen, but really, it isn’t too bad and the savings will be worth it!
There are many ways to go about this.
Homemade Spice Mixes
You can buy some basic spices in bulk at Sam’s Club for cheap and make your own mixes, place them in cute jars or tins and give as gifts. A cheap idea for packaging? Wedding favor tins, like these. (Use 40% off coupons at places like Michael’s to get them even cheaper!) Just customize the labels with the spice mix name.
You can also make your own vanilla extract very easily, and that makes for a very impressive gift as well. I purchased bottles from this site when I made them for gifts last year, because the price was great and shipping wasn’t too crazy expensive, either.
If you have a canning kit, this is really simple. Just go to Sam’s for cheap produce in bulk or a local farmer’s market. There are some great recipes here. Just make sure that you follow a recipe that is meant for canning, because those recipes are specifically made for canning and those that aren’t could grow toxic bacteria, which, I’m sure no one wants to eat as a gift!
If you want to make something really interesting, be sure to make some jalapeno jelly. It really is tasty on crackers!
This is the most common edible gift, but who doesn’t like homemade cookies and treats? I made these last year for coworkers, along with a mix of other goodies and they were well received. Some ideas?
Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies
Fortune Cookies (dye them red or green and add in fun holiday messages!)
Cuccidati (Italian cookies that kick Fig Newton’s booty!)
Biscotti (cranberries/pistachio/white chocolate seem to be a fun/tasty Christmas colored ingredient combo in my family!)
Candy gifts vary in how complicated they can be to make. Whenever I plan on doing candy, I typically buy some large chocolate bars at Sam’s Club, which are available around the holiday season. Some ideas?
If you don’t have much time to bake, this is a great solution. Just buy some mason jars and make layered baked goods mixes so those you gift these to can bake at their convenience!
So, as you can see, the possibilities are endless here. And of course, edible gifts won’t be considered junk, so they will most likely be appreciated and gobbled up! 🙂