The holidays can get expensive for even the most frugal shopper. When you’re faced with buying gifts for children, spouses, teachers, neighbors, service workers, co-workers and more, how can you afford to buy something for everyone on your list?
The solution could be right in your own pantry — or at least inspired by it! You may already have many of the items needed to make your own gifts, and if not, you can take a quick trip to the grocery store. Read on for gift ideas to suit everyone from your child’s piano teacher to your neighborhood postal carrier.
Mason Jar Gifts
Mason jar gifts are always a hit among anyone who likes to cook. Recipients will enjoy not only making the recipes, but also saving the jars for reuse.
Here are a few ideas for fun mason jar gifts you can make. Simply layer the ingredients in the jar, attach a printed recipe on a nice card, add a bow, and voila! You’ve got a simple, inexpensive gift that needs no gift bag or box. The jar itself is presentation enough!
• Hot chocolate mix with cocoa, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and peppermint (tutorial here)
• Quick bread, cookie or brownie ingredients (here’s one for chocolate chip oatmeal quick bread)
• Sauce, dip or soup ingredients (bean soup mix, anyone?)
• And of course, for the foodie who works with her hands so often, how about a manicure kit with polish, nail art and manicure tools?
Similar to mason jar gifts, lunchbox kits allow you to include the ingredients for all kinds of recipes and DIY projects. The larger size of a lunchbox lets you squeeze in more items than you could fit in a jar. A few ideas for lunchbox kits include:
• Cupcake kit for friends who love to bake, with baking cups, sprinkles, icing, a frosting spatula and a small recipe booklet
• S’mores kit for outdoorsy types
• Martini kit for your bartender friends, with mini alcohol bottles, olives and a martini class
• Set of homemade seasonings for foodies
You’ll find more food-themed gift ideas here.
Whether it’s cookies, jam, sauces or preserves, you can’t go wrong with anything delicious you prepare in the kitchen yourself. This one is great in a pinch, too, when you think you’ve checked off every person on your list and suddenly remember your neighbor three doors down.
Whip up your favorite recipe, and present it in a nice bag, jar, bottle, gift box, basket or tin dressed up with a ribbon and a homemade card. If you want to get fancy, you can make your own label using chalkboard stickers, or simply print one from your computer.
And remember, next time you’re canning peaches or making your famous spaghetti sauce, store away a few extra jars. You’ll be glad you did the next time you need to give a gift! For even more pantry-inspired gift ideas, click here.
Once you’ve decided which gifts you’d like to make, take a peek inside your pantry. Can you easily find the ingredients you need? Now is a good time to get organized so your gift-making process goes smoothly. From there, make a grocery list with any items you need.
If you find yourself in need of a custom solution to organize your pantry, please contact us to schedule a free in-home design consultation. We’ll be happy to recommend the best systems to help you ring in the new year with an orderly kitchen.