The holidays often find gift givers searching for low cost gift ideas-or something quick and easy for a last minute gift basket or care package. Food gifts are a great, low cost way to offer a creative, personal gift that can be customized to fit a recipient’s tastes or needs. What are some budget friendly, food gift ideas for the holiday season?
Homemade cookies are an old standby for food gift givers. Holiday bakery cookies are expensive and not very original-but, you can create your own festive cookie baskets and gifts by filling discount store containers and trays with your own cookie specialties.
Fill a holiday tin or decorative jar or gift basket with a variety of handmade candies. While candy making can be time consuming, many recipes require only basic supplies and few ingredients to make tasty treats. Pick up a few gourmet chocolates to supplement other low cost candies such as “hard tack” or peanut brittle in your gift creations.
Create personal fruit baskets. Skip the mail order fruit gift baskets and create your own specific to your recipient. Check out discount stores for baskets and holiday themed cellophane wrap-then check out seasonal and sale fruit selections at your local supermarket and build a basket of your recipient’s favorite fruits.
Design a soup mix gift basket for a cold weather gift. Winter holidays are accompanied by bone chilling, “soup weather”. Have a great soup recipe? Package up all of the non-perishable ingredients, such as noodles, spices, rice or beans along with a detailed recipe card, and maybe soup bowls, spoons for a personalized food gift.
Skip the coffee shop’s creations and make your own specialty tea or coffee gifts. Pick up sampler packs of specialty teas or coffees and fill a teapot or coffee mug from a discount or antique shop.
Create containers of cookie mixes. As with soup mixes, package the non-perishable cookie dough ingredients along with a detailed recipe so that the recipient can quickly make a batch of homemade cookies. Get creative with the packaging, using cookie jars or clear canisters with decorative ribbons.
Make your own specialty popcorn tins. Forget the commercial tins of popcorn! Drag out your old popcorn popper and season some fresh popcorn with a variety of flavors and ingredients to suit the gift’s theme and the recipient’s taste.
Homemade pet treats keep the family pets on the list. If the family pets are not in your gift giving budget, you can create a quick batch of homemade treats from common ingredients in your own pantry. Look at pet food and treat recipes for inspiration.
Themed food gift baskets are fun and can be adapted to a number of price ranges. Whether your food gift recipient is a movie buff or a Buckeye fan-you can create a food gift with a fun theme just for them. From simply filling an OSU coffee mug with some homemade buckeyes to creating a large movie themed gift basket loaded with concession candies, with a little imagination food can fit nearly any theme.
Make your own food of the month club. Skip expensive “of the month” style clubs and create your own promise to deliver a specialty dessert or casserole to a nearby family member or friend each month.