Monday, November 9, 2009

Mystery Monday: Inexpensive Gift Ideas

In an effort to make the holidays more affordable, I am sure that you are looking for inexpensive gift ideas just as we are. Here are some fun ideas that are easy and don’t cost much. These are great for neighbors, teachers, the lady down the street who helps you by watering your flower beds, whatever.

Recently I had to do some thank you gifts for some community people who came and helped out at the kids school. I had a budget of $20 to do 10 gifts. I didn’t want to do a small plant or something like that, as they ranged in age from college kids to retirees. I came up with this simple idea, it was about $28, so they were just shy of $3 each. You could do them for a little less if you changed what you put in them. I bought a variety pack of Ghiridelli chocolate squares to fancy them up and then I bought decorative pens and packs of peanuts from the dollar store. I bought the “takeout” containers from Michael’s using a 40% off coupon, and the ribbon was on sale for 1/2 price. I then printed a small thank you note on a shipping label to seal them with.

October 2009 130-1 October 2009 132-1

Another easy and inexpensive idea is the old standby jar gifts


Here is one of our favorite recipes to use as a jar gift:

Sandcastle Brownies:

1/3 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup flaked coconut

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Additional ingredients:

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a one quart glass container, layer the first seven ingredients in order listed, packing well between each layer. Cover and store in a cool dry place up to six months. Yield: 1 batch

To prepare brownies: In a bowl, combine eggs, oil, vanilla and brownie mix; mix well. Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350ยบ for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: about two dozen.

*This recipe is from Quick Cooking Collector’s Edition

For more inexpensive gift ideas head over to Just a Girl



Jane said...

As a teacher I love the little take out container with snacks. So handy to have a few snacks in the desk for the long staff meeting etc...

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

The best part - everyone LOVES Bownies!

Dede Warren said...

Love this idea for the cookies-in-a-jar! I've seen these before but love this reminder of an old favorite!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

I love those little take out boxes, what a fabulous way to package a gift! thanks for sharing.

jenjen said...

Love that idea. So wonderful - great gift idea!


Jennifer Juniper said...

What a great idea! Thanks!

George S said...

Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often.
from Gift Ideas.

Natalie said...

thanks for stopping by our blog!! i am sure we would be up for a blog swap in the near future but my crazy little 2 year old just broke my camera!!! ugh. i have yet to figure out all thats in the blog swapping world but when we get kicked into gear we'll give you a holler! hope you check back often and we'll do the same!