Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy and Cheap Homemade Gifts

Do you think you don't have time to make homemade gifts with less than a week to go before Christmas? You might think you don't, but homemade gifts say you took the time to make them something from the heart. This year for many is pretty tough financially and a lot of families can't afford to buy everyone a gift. Here are some creative ideas for you that won't take too much time...or moolah to make.
Idea #1) Caramel Dipped Pretzels
You need:
2 cups caramel candies
package of rod pretzels
On low heat in a pan, melt 1 tbsp butter, brush sides of pan with melted butter. Turn heat up to med-high. Place unwrapped caramel candies in the pan a few at a time, letting them melt before adding more. This will prevent burning. Stir frequently, scraping bottom of pan, for about 10-15 minutes and all candy is melted. Dip pretzels in caramel and place on wax paper. Allow to cool at room temperature until caramel is stiff. Wrap individually or group them in bags. Tie with a pretty bow.
*One alternative is to melt white chocolate or milk chocolate and dip set caramel pretzels into the chocolate for a double layer of yummieness!

Idea #2) Bake cookies and place into cute chinese take out containers (often available at dollar stores). This is a great idea for families with kids since kids can help bake and they can decorate the containers too!

Idea #3) Fudge is so incredibly easy to make. Find a great recipe here from Martha Stewart.

Idea #4) Make your own spice rubs and seasonings then put in empty, clean ale bottles. Use the cardboard carrying case to put the bottles in. Buying the spices and herbs in bulk can save you money. Don't go out and buy bottles at your grocery store unless you can get them for really cheap! Sometimes you can get them in the Latino section of your store for a lot less. Here's some ideas for you from blogher.com.
Included are Sea Salt mixtures (I found sea salt at my Dollar Tree), Copycat Montreal Grill Seasoning, Tuscan Spiced Salt, and Jerry's Texas Barbecue Rub Recipe.

Idea #5) For a cute idea for couples, get two aprons in the craft section of a store. Wal-mart has them for about $5.00, but you might be able to find them for less at a craft store. Personalize with iron-on appliques. If you wish, present with a bbq tool set or similar utensil set.

Do you have a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to show people you care about them for the holidays? Share it here! Share your thoughts on these ideas!

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