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I love the holidays, and since becoming a parent, it gives me an excuse to begin shopping on a budget for holiday gifts. The holiday season is all about goodwill, good friends, family, and love. Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the best way to show these feelings is through elaborate gifts.
If you’re strapped for cash this year but don’t want to give up the giving aspect of the season, look no further!
Here are some great gift ideas for when you’re pinching pennies during the holiday season:
- Gourmet tea and coffee. Create a gourmet tea or coffee basket combining a hand-picked mug with a favorite flavor or two of coffee or tea. Add in other items as desired, such as honey, sweetener sticks, specialty creamers, and marshmallows to suit the gift recipient.
- Homemade cocoa mix. Create a homemade cocoa mix by combining powdered sugar, cocoa, powdered milk, and other desired ingredients. Layer the mix in a jar to create a unique gift and include instructions for making the hot cocoa on the gift tag.
- Homemade baking mix. Follow the same idea as the homemade cocoa mix, but this time with cookie or brownie mix. Layer the individual ingredients like flour, sugar, and chocolate chips in the jar to create a unique gift. Include clear instructions so the recipient can recreate your favorite cookie recipes.
- Gourmet gift baskets. Combine gourmet cheeses, meats, crackers, mustards, jams, and other ingredients to create your own gourmet gift baskets. Buy the individual items yourself and save a great deal of cash compared to buying pre-built gift baskets from specialty stores.
- Gardening gift basket. Combine flower seeds, vegetable seeds, and other gardening goodies – like trowels and hand shovels – to create a gift basket for someone who enjoys gardening. Add other goodies as desired, like plant markers, pretty containers, and homemade soil mix. Shopping on a budget for the items is super easy and super fun.
Here are some of my favorite affordable gifts
- Home movie basket. Combine a gift card for movie rentals with popcorn and butter spray or seasoning and a box of movie theater-style candy to create a gift basket for enjoying movies at home with the family. Shopping on a budget for these items is the best, and you can use everyday items you have at home.
- Breakfast gift basket. Combine pancake or waffle mix with a bottle of real maple syrup and any other gifts that you think would suit a “breakfast in bed” theme, such as a relaxing CD or a nice book.
- Muffin baking basket. Combine muffin tins with a couple of different store-bought or homemade muffin mixes and some fresh berries or chocolate chips. Include the recipe for each muffin mix.
- Recipe box and cards. Put together a handmade recipe box with some of your favorite recipes inside. Put the recipe cards together yourself, decorate them to suit the recipient, and add extra cards for their own recipes. Use stickers, colored pens, and calligraphy to create unique recipe cards or dividers for the recipe box.
- Favorite candy jar. Buy and decorate a glass jar and fill it with some of the recipient’s favorite candies. Layer different colored candies to create a colorful effect. For example, separate gummy fish by color, layer them from bottom to top and then hand paint an aquarium scene outside the jar.
You can customize all of these gift ideas to suit the recipient, and each gift is meaningful because you put it together yourself. To give gifts that truly matter, make them yourself, and put your heart into them. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save when you create homemade gifts yourself!