Inexpensive Food Gifts for the Holidays

Related Articles

Frugal Holiday Baking and Recipes

Holiday Treats Made Simple

Make-Ahead Recipes to Freeze for the Holidays

Christmas Food Gifts: Recipes, Please

With the holidays approaching, I would be interested in finding easy-to-make, clever, cost efficient, food-related gift ideas. Thanks!
Karin O.

Christmas Food Gifts: Attractive Cookie Mix

As a stay-at-home Mom, I often seem to have more time to bake that the teachers in my children's schools. I pick my favorites and put together a gift basket of brownies in different flavors and jars of spiced tea or my homemade cocoa mix. I always put a basket together for the gals in the office as they are often forgotten. This year, I plan to add a cookie mix in a jar. They can bake at their leisure during the holidays. The teachers have always loved this gift. I am sure not to bake ahead and freeze so that they have the option to freeze the goodies if they need to. Several have commented to me on how nice it was to have something ready to serve their drop in holiday guests.
Karen P

Christmas Food Gifts: Candy Pretzels

Roll pretzel rods in melted almond bark. Then roll covered rods in small broken bits of hard peppermint candy. Or roll in crushed candy canes. Let harden. Easy and pretty!

Christmas Food Gifts: Sugar Cookie Dough

Try sugar cookie dough. Sounds simple and somewhat over done, but as a mother of four small kids, I would love to receive this. Here's how to prepare it Use your regular recipe. Instead of rolling out the dough, form it into a log like the slice and bake cookies at the store. Wrap with colored Saran wrap and tie the ends with festive ribbons. Keeps in the fridge for a few days. All the chef has to do is slice and bake! Voila! For a special touch, you can roll the logs in your favorite sprinkles!
Teresa M

Christmas Food Gifts: Soup in a Jar

This is a great gift idea. I've used this many times. Collect used quart jars. Fill each jar with a mixture of dried beans and a baggie with powdered ham flavor (2tbs.) and some cajun spice (1 or 2 Tbs.). If you have some scrap material around, cut a large enough circle to cover lid, hold with rubber band and tie with gold ribbon. I painted holly leaves on top of lid. This makes a nice meal for a cold winters night.

Christmas Food Gifts: Tins and Oils

Home Made Cookie Tins

  • Make a few dozen of several kinds of homemade cookies

  • Decorate saved coffee cans with Christmas wrap

  • Decorate the lid with a bow or a handmade bow with curling ribbon.

  • Add white or colored tissue paper to the can, then pile in the cookies! (kids can help too!)

Cooking Oils

  • Empty bottles like you can get from Big Lots of local outlet for $1

  • Peanut or Canola Oil

  • Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, etc.

  • Put larger spice twigs into the bottle.

  • Add oil halfway and then add smaller spices and finish adding oil.

  • Cap with cork or lid and add ribbons.

This will make a great stir fry or sautee oil great for beef, fish, or chicken! (It is also pretty to look at on the counter!)
Lesile S

Christmas Food Gifts: Bulk Spiced Tea and Hot Chocolate

This is for making bulk hot spiced tea and bulk hot chocolate.

Spiced Tea

2 26oz. Tang
1 3oz. bottle Instant Tea Unsweet
2 8 1/2 oz Red hots
1 6oz. Pkg. Lemonade (Wylers)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. alspice

Mix all ingredients together well. I put in a sealed container until ready to assemble the gift. You can put into a small plastic bag, then insert into a small muslin bag, tie with a pretty piece of Christmas fabric. With each gift make sure you add a note that states one tablespoon plus one teaspoon per cup of hot water. I also look for pretty cups and saucers, at garage sales, flea markets, etc and then you can package with the ingredients. Makes a great gift for neighbors, the elderly, school teachers, etc.

Bulk Hot Chocolate

3 cups powered Sugar
8 ounces non-fat dry milk
1 16 oz. Instant Chocolate Milk (I use Nestle's)
1 6 oz. Creamora ( or any non-dairy creamer)

Again as before mix well and store in air tight container. With each gift add a tag that says 3tablespoons per cup of hot water. This is wonderful hot chocolate, we get raves from it every year from grand-children. They seem to think this is the Best!

Christmas Food Gifts: Coffees and More Coffees

My husband is a coffee lover and for Christmas this year I am making him a bunch of flavored coffees and coffee spoons. If you have someone who doesn't like coffee you can make flavored hot cocoa, too.

Cafe' Mocha

2/3 cup instant coffee, 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 cup non-dairy creamer, 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk, 3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa Mix in food processor or blender until you have a fine powder. Use 1 to 2 spoonfuls to one mug of hot water (to desired taste)

Swiss Mocha

1 cup instant coffee, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups nonfat dry milk, 4 tsp. cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients together. Store in airtight container. Use 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water. Relax and enjoy!

Cafe' Vienna Mix

1 cup instant coffee, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups non-dairy creamer, 1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk, 4 TBSP cocoa, 2 tsp. Cinnamon Mix in food processor or blender until you have a fine powder. Use 1 to 2 spoonfuls to one mug of hot water (to desired taste)

Bavarian Mint Coffee

1/3 cup instant coffee, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup non-dairy coffee creamer, 2 tbsp. Cocoa, 5 hard peppermint candies, crushed Combine all ingredients together. Store in airtight container. Use 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water. Relax and enjoy!

Amaretto Coffee

3/4 cup non-dairy coffee creamer, 1 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, Combine all ingredients together. Store in airtight container. Use 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons per cup of fresh brewed coffee. Relax and enjoy!

Coconut Coffee

2 cups half-and-half, 15 oz. coconut cream, 4 cups hot brewed coffee, Sweetened whipped cream Bring half-and-half and cream of coconut to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in coffee. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Cafe' Au Lait

1 11oz jar non-dairy creamer, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup instant coffee, dash of salt. Use 1/4 cup mix to 2/3 cup hot water.

Night Cap Coffee

2/3 cup nondairy powdered coffee creamer, 1/3 cup instant coffee, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp ground cardamom (I've made this - I'd use less), 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon Mix in food processor or blender until you have a fine powder. Use one heaping TBSP to 1 cup hot water.

Chocolate Malt Coffee Creamer

2 cups instant hot cocoa mix, 2/3 cup nondairy powdered coffee creamer, 2/3 cup malted milk mix, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I've made this one - I like less hot cocoa powder and more malted milk powder) Mix in food processor or blender until you have a fine powder. Use to desired taste.
Melissa F

Take the Next Step

True or False

We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!

Stay Connected with TDS

It's tough raising kids today!

Dollar Stretcher for Parents is a weekly newsletter designed just for parents that will help save your family both time and money.

Little Luxuries

And get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt