Shopping for Christmas gifts can be a daunting task when you have a budget to keep, but these homemade gifts are both inexpensive and delicious!
- Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Virginia Cravens
Budget-Friendly Food GiftsHomemade food gifts packaged in colorful and creative containers are always appreciated and a great way to stay within your holiday budget. Each one of these tasty food gifts comes in at less than $3 per gift.
Cran-Almond BarkOnly 3 ingredients are needed to create this decadent, crunchy chocolate bark. Clear cellophane gift bags topped with holiday ribbon are the perfect package for showcasing your gift.
Cost per gift: $0.69
Total recipe cost: $9.66
Recipe yields: 14 gifts
Nine Bean Soup MixDried beans and legumes are a welcome addition to any winter pantry, particularly when they're packaged in colorful, flavorful assortments. Be sure to attach copies of a favorite bean soup recipe to make the gift more special.
Cost per gift: $1.80
Total recipe cost: $16.21
Recipe yields: 9 gifts
GingersnapsSweeten the holidays for coworkers and teachers by leaving a surprise treat on their desks. Stack the cookies then tie with colorful string and serve on festive napkins.
Cost per gift: $0.65
Total recipe cost: $7.80
Recipe yields: 12 gifts (5 cookies per gift)
Fudge SauceChocolate lovers will go wild over this dessert sauce made with just one 12-ounce bar of chocolate, a cup of cream, vanilla, and a splash of corn syrup. Fill decorative half-pint jam jars with the sauce and tie with chocolate-colored raffia or fancy ribbon.
Cost per gift: $2.64
Total recipe cost: $5.28
Recipe yields: 2 gifts (1 cup per jar)
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal CookiesCookies are always a welcome gift, but do you go with chocolate chip, oatmeal, or peanut butter? This winning recipe wraps all those favorites into one amazingly delicious cookie. For the packaging: scout out colorful Chinese take-out boxes or tins at the local craft store.
Cost per gift: $1.54
Total recipe cost: $7.72
Recipe yields: 5 gifts (6 cookies per package)
Hazelnut TrufflesChocolate truffles are a luxury item, sometimes costing several dollars per piece. But buy your own chocolate and these upscale sweets are deceptively easy, and inexpensive, to pull off. Dust them in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or toffee bits.
Cost per gift: $2.04
Total recipe cost: $8.16
Recipe yields yields: 4 gifts (6 truffles per gift)
Cranberry Orange MarmaladeSeasonal ingredients such as cranberries and oranges make this marmalade an economical choice. Its sweet and tangy flavor makes it a great spread for biscuits or toast or as a topping for cheese and crackers. Spoon the marmalade into 1/2 pint jars for a "just-the-right-size" sweet gift.
Cost per gift: $1.66
Total recipe cost: $6.62
Recipe yields: 4 gifts (1 cup per jar)
Simple White BreadNothing could be simpler than a basic loaf of homemade yeast bread. Since no one has time to bake anymore, this is a gift that will be especially appreciated. And because the ingredients are so economical, your budget will also benefit from this gift. Wrap the loaf in holiday plastic wrap or brown paper and tie with thick, nubby twine.
Cost per gift: $1.54
Total recipe cost: $1.54
Recipe yields: 1 gift (1 loaf)
Pumpkin FudgeChopped pecans, pumpkin pie spices, and white chocolate are stirred into a creamy pumpkin-laced fudge to make what's sure to become a new holiday tradition. You can tweak the recipe by adding a little more spice, skipping the nuts, or using dark chocolate chips instead of white.
Cost per gift: $1.32
Total recipe cost: $10.58
Recipe yields: 8 gifts (approximately 10 pieces per package)
Fruit JelliesKids love jiggly jellies so let them help you make these adorable fruit jelly cut-outs. You only need 3 ingredients—unflavored gelatin, fruit juice (like orange or lemon or a raspberry puree), and superfine sugar. Once the mixture has become firm, cut the jellies into creative shapes with mini cookie cutters and present to guests in festive boxes or bags.
Cost per gift: $0.90
Total recipe cost: $3.24
Recipe yields: about 4 (10 jellies per gift
Mini Chocolate-Chip CupcakesPerfect for the family with little ones, these mini cupcakes studded with chocolate chips are a sweet ending to any meal. Make the cupcakes in holiday-colored wrappers and present in a cute box lined with colorful raffia.
Cost per gift: $0.85
Total recipe cost: $7.14
Recipe yields: about 8 gifts (5 cupcakes per gift)