The holidays are right around the corner.
If your time, budget and energy are already stretched to their maximum fret not!!
Here are some wonderfully easy,
fun and frugal last minute gifts you can put together with minimal time, effort and funds.
Helpful Hint: Before going out to buy any of these goodies, we suggest that you first take a look around your house and into your pantry. You might be surprised to find that you already have everything you need to put together several of these gifts…without spending a cent!
o Give Breakfast in a Bag: Line a small gift bag with tissue paper then put in a store bought (or, homemade) pancake mix, a bottle of maple syrup, jam, or honey and perhaps a small box of tea bags or a bag of coffee beans. If your budget and time permit, perhaps include a spatula, mixing bowl and/or apron. Tie the bag handles together with ribbon or raffia and include a handwritten or computer made tag reading “Breakfast in a Bag”.
o Vintage Money Savers: A wonderful last minute gift for a child is to fill a pretty a metal tea or cookie tin/canister with pennies, nickels, dimes and few quarters at the top! The children enjoy counting and recounting the money while the tin offers a place for them to continue saving. (This is much more creative and fun than stuffing money or a gift card into an envelope.)
o A Baker’s Delight: Use vintage and new pie pans and cookie sheets as the basis for these simple gifts. To package, line the pan or sheet with a kitchen towel (new or vintage) then add a recipe for your favorite recipe pie or cookies along with some of the ingredients: Flour, sugar; a jar or can of fruit or pie filling to name a few. Let the
recipient add the "wet" ingredients (eggs, butter, milk,
vanilla). Wrap it all up with cellophane and a simple raffia bow; or nestle it inside a tissue lined gift bag.
o Treasures in a Jar: Another charming last minute gift is to fill a new or vintage jar with candies, cookies, fudge, caramel popcorn and the like. Wrap a round of brown paper or fabric across the lid, tie with ribbon or raffia for a charming presentation. We collect apothecary and mason jars throughout the year to have on hand for putting together just such gifts. Dollar Store candy (or even a bag of peppermint or candy canes found quickly at the grocery store) transform into wonderful, inexpensive inserts for your gift jars.
o Give A Dinner In a Basket: Fill a basket with a small assortment of clear glass jars with a variety of pasta shapes. Add a wooden spoon tied at the top with a festive ribbon, a shaker of mixed Italian spices and another of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Let your budget and time determine if you want to also include a set of potholders; a favorite jar of store-bought marinara in a jar; apron; and a bottle of Merlot or Chianti along with a few simple wine glasses (perhaps culled from past yard sales or thrift shopping).
"Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons," Bantam Books, NY, NY, Copyright 2000.