Frugal Holiday Gift Baskets - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-15-2007, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know a couple others are doing this as well this year. Can we start a thread on this? Share what we are working on / planning on doing / ideas?

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-16-2007, 12:40 AM
 
MissMommyNiceNice's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the grass is greener
Posts: 4,859
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, last year, my baskets had:

3 to 4 canned items
homemade coffee mocha mix
chocolate dipped candy canes (homemade)
chocolate dipped pretzels (hm)
$1 Store Christmas music CD (appropriate to family)
$1 Store magnetic shopping list pad
Soy Candle Votive
Chinese YoYo (75 cents, Pier One)
Mini/small Book appropriate to family (flower identification, rib cookbook, mini bartending guide) found either in bargain bin section of borders, ollies, or tj maxx
Picture ornament of new baby

This year, I don't think I'm doing baskets. We're making scarves & calendars instead.
MissMommyNiceNice is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 01:44 AM
 
mamoma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 73
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been thinking about these, too... I've found that since I've started (in a very low key way) to clip coupons and watch sales, I can get beauty / personal care stuff really inexpensively. For a woman or an older girl, you could round up a bunch of useful toiletries, cheap candles, etc. and then use them to fill out a basket and make a small present seem a lot grander!
mamoma is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 03:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was thinking it would be nice to make a homemade blend of mulling spices - get the spices bulk, etc. But I'm wondering whether that would just end up costing too much. Has anyone done this? I know cinnamon sticks can be pretty pricey.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 09:49 AM
 
DiannaK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
for our nieces and nephews, I'm giving art supply buckets
$1 red/green Christmas buckets
crayons, coloring pencils, markers, etc .. all bought at the back to school sales dirt cheap.
I will be making age appropriate file folder games to go in each, and they will get a small gift of chocolate covered pretzels

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

DiannaK is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 11:01 AM
 
MissMommyNiceNice's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the grass is greener
Posts: 4,859
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I was thinking it would be nice to make a homemade blend of mulling spices - get the spices bulk, etc. But I'm wondering whether that would just end up costing too much. Has anyone done this? I know cinnamon sticks can be pretty pricey.
Do you think that people would actually use it? I am cutting way back this year on edible gifts for people because I have a sneaking suspicion some (not everyone, but in particular fil & mil) don't eat the jams, jellies, & pickles anyway because they would rather buy a poor imitation store made "gourmet" version for $8 than eat my award winning homemade recipes. And I want more for me this year. But, that's besides the point.

I made the mocha mixes, and that was really cheap. It was sugar, instant coffee, some spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, whatever) and cocoa. I could look the recipe up when I get home and post it, if you like. I got little jars from the dollar store that had the rubber gasket & hinge, filled them, made stickers (which I can PDF & email to you if you want - they fit the avery 8 ct mailing labels) and all they needed to do was add hot water. I think I made about 2 dozen packets (some in jars, some in celophane candy bags) for less than $10.

Mulling spices you could maybe make cheap, but you would have to find a good source of bulk cinnamon sticks. Plus, that's work for the end user. I fear that it would be an expense you took and then it sat in a drawer getting stale for a year. : kwim?
MissMommyNiceNice is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 11:05 AM
 
fenwickmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Star City
Posts: 1,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
MMNN please post recipe!

Kelly, :Mama to Kevin, 10/1/05 & Seth, 7/7/06. ::
fenwickmama is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMommyNiceNice View Post
Mulling spices you could maybe make cheap, but you would have to find a good source of bulk cinnamon sticks. Plus, that's work for the end user. I fear that it would be an expense you took and then it sat in a drawer getting stale for a year. : kwim?
Well there is always that risk, but in general my family does mull cider pretty frequently - it gets cold here in New england! Also, it seemed to me that its something that doesn't need to really be used right away - I mean sure maybe the spices aren't as fresh after a while, but they don't go bad, kwim?

It seems like you run the risk of the stuff going unusused no matter what. I think my main goal behind the baskets is really more to have a large gift to give someone without spending a lot of money - A way of filling in the 'gift gap' - because I find if I try to only spend a small amount on each person, I just end up buying inferior stuff or the present seems like way too little in comparison to what they get me. I figure if I put togehter gift baskets, it really fleshes out things without costing me a ton. And I can give them to less immediate family and friends that I don't know what to buy for. We have these family friends who are very well off and they get us a gift every year - always something waterford or coach or pottery barn. I've tried telling them we don't have money and are cutting back - they still get us a gift, etc. They don't care that we didn't get them one, but I can't sit there and get a gift from them and not give them something, kwim?

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One of the things I definitely plan to make is toffee dipped pretzels. I ran across these at a craft fair ages ago - they were selling them for $5 for a tiny bag. I thought to myself 'That can't be that hard to make' so I looked up a toffee recipe and did it. Really fairly easy and extremely cheap and sooooo good. The combination of sugar and salt is delicious.

Toffee is just butter and sugar cooked to the right temp. With toffee the right temp is pretty easy cuz it turns a nice toffee color - but I did have a few mishaps, burned a few batches, made the mistake of using a plastic spoon before I got the hang of it. But then I just got the small round shaped pretzels and dipped about half the pretzel in, just throw it on wax paper to cool.

For an even yummier version, dip the toffee part in chocolate after it cools. Mmmm.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 12:01 PM
 
MissMommyNiceNice's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the grass is greener
Posts: 4,859
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, that's what I thought when I did chocolate coating. Just chocolate chips and shortening, huh? I could coat anything in chocolate! : Of course, I was 9 mos pregnant at the time, so chocolate coated everything was wonderful! I bought some of those little round cookie sprinkles and dipped the pretzels in them after the chocolate. very pretty & professional looking. If you think they'll use it, do it! I know our market has an herb momma that takes special orders and gives bulk discount. Maybe yours does too?
MissMommyNiceNice is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 12:48 PM
 
goldfinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: At home
Posts: 838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you have an indian market nearby, it is certain to have cloves, cinnamon sticks, coriander, and other spices in nice big packages for cheap.

Decluttering SAHM of three. Going for 2011 items in 2011.
goldfinch is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 12:58 PM
 
Scribe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Probably at the thrift store
Posts: 3,806
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm going to try to go this direction this year with at least some of my gifts, and one thing I'm planning to include is homemade truffles. I'm thinking of doing Earl Gray tea infused ones--I had some from a fancy chocolate company recently, and they were amazing.
Scribe is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:27 PM
 
bellabear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: blowing in the wind
Posts: 734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I was thinking it would be nice to make a homemade blend of mulling spices - get the spices bulk, etc. But I'm wondering whether that would just end up costing too much. Has anyone done this? I know cinnamon sticks can be pretty pricey.

That's a good idea, it might be pricey...need to figure out the math
bellabear is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:30 PM
 
bellabear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: blowing in the wind
Posts: 734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I made food baskets last year. They had truffles, chocolate dipped pretzels, mint chocolate bark, and hot chocolate mix. I don't know if the stuff was eaten, though My dad is a picky eater, only SAD diet, and I used quality ingredients, so I don't think he even touched the stuff cause the containers were **** there months later. At least throw it out
bellabear is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:32 PM
 
bellabear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: blowing in the wind
Posts: 734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMommyNiceNice View Post
Do you think that people would actually use it? I am cutting way back this year on edible gifts for people because I have a sneaking suspicion some (not everyone, but in particular fil & mil) don't eat the jams, jellies, & pickles anyway because they would rather buy a poor imitation store made "gourmet" version for $8 than eat my award winning homemade recipes. And I want more for me this year. But, that's besides the point.

I made the mocha mixes, and that was really cheap. It was sugar, instant coffee, some spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, whatever) and cocoa. I could look the recipe up when I get home and post it, if you like. I got little jars from the dollar store that had the rubber gasket & hinge, filled them, made stickers (which I can PDF & email to you if you want - they fit the avery 8 ct mailing labels) and all they needed to do was add hot water. I think I made about 2 dozen packets (some in jars, some in celophane candy bags) for less than $10.

Mulling spices you could maybe make cheap, but you would have to find a good source of bulk cinnamon sticks. Plus, that's work for the end user. I fear that it would be an expense you took and then it sat in a drawer getting stale for a year. : kwim?
You can send me some:
bellabear is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:39 PM
 
greengirl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: So Cal
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We've had luck with homemade candies life butter toffee and peanut brittle. I picked up some really inexpensive decorative tins at the dollar store and lined them with parchment paper. Mostly family got the candy, but I also gave them to co-workers and thet definitely seemed to appreciate it.

I think this year we're going to try candy popcon too (like cracker jack).

Mama to Paisley (3/07) & Violet (12/10) and wife to my Piggy-love. 
greengirl_ is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:42 PM
 
celestialdreamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I usually get Christmas tins or baskets on clearance the year before. I've always done baked goods like mini loaves of pumpkin gingerbread and/or zucchini bread wrapped in a piece of Christmas fabric and tied with raffia, homemade variety of truffles, peppermint bark, etc.

I'm not doing that this year because I don't really want all the sugar around me I always end up eating a bunch while making it and then we end up with some for the weeks after Christmas too. I'm really trying to avoid sugar during my pregnancy and have decided to make other stuff instead. So far my ideas are those hot pack rice bags (with the Christmas fabric I bought last year on clearance to wrap bread) and homemade soap (I'm thinking small bar each of vanilla spice and peppermint). The rice I can get super cheap rice from Costco and I have a ton of dried peppermint and lemon balm to put inside. I also think the homemade soap will give up lots of extras for ourselves for the year anyway s: I'm thinking I will just get an extra pan for cooking the soap at the thrift store and I already have extra bread pans (big or small) from making bread gifts before.

I'm hoping that a hot pack and homemade soap are things that most people would use. I think the gifts will be about $6-7 each including the stuff bought last year.

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

celestialdreamer is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:57 PM
 
Starr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's some creative ideas we have done. I tend to gravitate to more practical stuff that I know they will use and forgo the dollar store.

New laundry basket, cause honestly couldn't we all use at least one more, filled with laundry detergent, fabric softener, fabric softener sheets, dish soap, new kitchen towels, some scrubby sponges... basically household stuff

For my sister one year I knew she wanted to redo her bath but just didn't know where to start so I bought her 2 gallons of paint, new bath rugs that would go nicely. And my mom bought her other stuff to go as well. We spent an entire Saturday helping her paint, patch nail holes, hang curtains.. but once it was over she had a gorgeous bathroom. Easy to do for a mom and dad and have siblings help, just pick a room if you know what they like.

Movie gift certificates and a gift certificate out to eat at a restaurant nearby

Buy family DVD(s), ice cream, chocolate syrup, toppings, popcorn, and vintage rootbeer with a fleece blanket. This works great with a large family instead of buying individual gifts. Also could substitute junk food for pizza or something similar.

Or for a large family rent them a hotel room at a hotel with a pool. Free swimming for the kids and a chance to get away.

Cake pan with a nice spatula, mixing bowl, and a box of brownies. Wrap everything seperate and have the brownies be the last package. This was a huge hit. Can also do muffin pan with muffin mix.
Starr is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 03:35 PM
 
lucyem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
-Soap. Glycerin soap, molds, scents & coloring. Its a hobby of mine and at the very least even if people think its ugly they still use the soap. Plus it gets my kids involved
-homemade lip gloss
-Cookies & candy, some homemade and some store bought unique candy
-Homemade dvd of the kids over the year
-kids drawings
-random re-gifting added to the tins/baskets thanks to my mothers insane amount of gifts from $1 stores that we never use.
lucyem is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 07:31 PM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're doing Mead and Marmalade and jam for general gifts with just the three things done up in pretty paper with nice printed labels.

I'm making candy as a work gift... one batch of white chocolate peppermint brittle and one batch of toffee. I'll put them in chinese take-away containers and tie pretty fluffy ribbons to the top.

I'm seriously pondering buying some rebasing soap and concentrated castille shampoo base and diluting/scenting/coloring and doing organic bath baskets for the remaining people on my list. I haven't priced this out, or thought out the effort involved... I just decided that I was sick of scary chemical bath products and then I have an excuse to do the same for me. But if I did it all in a nice, matching scent... perhaps with a bath bomb or a nice towel? What do you think?

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
Belleweather is offline  
Old 10-16-2007, 07:32 PM
 
Scribe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Probably at the thrift store
Posts: 3,806
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Personally I'd love that type of gift. I'm a big sucker for bath products, though.
Scribe is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off