Don't waste money on expensive gifts - Make them yourself!

Simple and Sophisticated Gifts from the Kitchen Can be Made on a Budget

During tight financial times, buying gifts can be stressful, even disheartening. The desire to give often exceeds the ability to buy, and those who do not have the money are left vulnerable to feelings of depression and failure. Many people pray for the holidays to end so they do not have to face their inadequacies in gift-giving. But it doesn't have to be that way.

With holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other special occasions, it's important to evaluate the seemingly endless gift list and determine how big of a gift to give and if a gift is necessary. Most people understand that not everyone can buy a gift for everyone on their Christmas list, though some die trying. So when it comes to gift-giving, don't be afraid to be selective. During the holidays, choose to give gifts to close friends and family, the pastor and his wife, and even an extra-special boss or co-worker. The key is to determine a safe and wise budget for gifts, and then stick to it. And the best way that an individual can show that they care, while avoiding the spending spree of society, is to give a homemade food gift. The age-old saying is true, “it's the thought that counts.”

Though not everyone has a knack for elaborate cooking or baking, most people can handle even basic food gifts like fruit baskets and flavored popcorn. Those who are masters in the kitchen can take their abilities and run with it when it comes to homemade food gifts, spoiling everyone with homemade candies and fancy cookies.

With a little extra time and effort, both practical and beautiful gifts can be put together that not only look great but taste great, too. And most of them are budget-friendly, especially if made in larger batches or bought in bulk.

The following are some ideas, from simple to sophisticated, that bring instant smiles and tease the taste buds:

  • Cookies- chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, rice crispy treats, sugar cookies, the possibilities are endless!
  • Fruit and Nut Baskets- good quality apples, oranges, pears, bananas, pomegranates, along with mixed nuts in the shell.
  • Movie Night snack baskets- packets of microwave popcorn, sodas, candy bars, and a low-cost movie or $5 movie rental gift card, all in a reusable container. Simply Yummy
  • Cakes- carrot, chocolate, pineapple upside-down cake, to name a few.
  • Pies- pumpkin, chocolate cream, apple, cherry, and others.
  • Dessert breads- pumpkin, zucchini, banana nut, pineapple, apple, or other favorites. Eye-Catchers and Crowd Pleasers
  • Homemade Jams and Jellies- strawberry, blackberry, plum, apple, pear, grape, whatever was harvested or purchased.
  • Homemade candies- chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint bark, fudge, peanut brittle, chocolate peanut butter balls, chocolate covered almonds, taffy, divinity and more.

  • There are other homemade food gifts that are sure to please, that are even easier to assemble. Recipes in a jar like soup mix, cookie mix, and even hot cocoa mix are all fun and creative gifts that make beautiful presentations. Simply follow the recipes that can be found on the Internet, seal the jar, and include a handmade card with instructions. Attach a holiday ribbon, and the gift is ready to go!

    Whatever the occasion is, homemade foods are always a great budget-saver, and are fun to both give and receive.

    Written by: Amy Miller