UACES Facebook Fun Budget Savvy DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Fun Budget Savvy DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Gift Mixes In A Jar

Benton, Ark. –  

Fun Budget Savvy DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are left at a loss for gifts to give friends and coworkers. In this Living Well Tips you will have healthy and creative gift idea that won’t break the bank.

When the holiday season rolls around, many family budgets become strained. With a long list of family and friends, finding enough money to go around may be challenging. To help reduce the stress of your next holiday season, try making gifts instead of purchasing them. Consider these fun and economical gift ideas:

  • Create gift baskets. For the family member who loves movies, make a “night-in” basket. Get a large bowl for popcorn to use as the container. Add packaged popcorn and a coupon for a free movie rental. Gardening, sports or any other themed baskets also work.
  • For parents with young children, provide a homemade coupon good for free baby-sitting. Other ideas include coupons for helping walk the dog, painting or cleaning.
  • Create a recipe booklet with favorite holiday recipes. Copy the recipes onto festive recipe cards, punch a hole in the corner of the cards and tie them together with a red ribbon. Holiday photo albums also can be used to hold recipes.
  • Fill a holiday mug with packets of flavored tea, hot cocoa or coffee for those who enjoy warm beverages. Or tie a packet of soup mix to a large wooden spoon. Include a bowl and package of biscuit mix for a complete gift.
  • If you are computer savvy, create homemade calendars for family members. These could include highlighted birthday and anniversary dates. Try adding family photos for a personal touch.
  • Repurpose old tins, filling them with cookies, muffins or other holiday goodies. A gift like this will be a delight to anybody who has little time for baking.
  • Make homemade mixes in a jar. Mixes for soups and cookies are popular gift items that are fairly inexpensive to make. The gift recipient will appreciate the attractive and thoughtful gift and also will value the convenience. Try any of these four tasty and inexpensive recipes during this holiday season. You can decorate the jar with fabric and a ribbon. Either photocopy and cut out the provided recipes or hand-print each recipe on a card and attach it to the jar. 

*Try this recipe for a Master Mix idea:

Country Chili Mix

1 lb. kidney beans

3 Tbsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. dehydrated onions

1 Tbsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. oregano

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

*To reduce sodium, substitute garlic powder for some of the garlic salt.

Pour the kidney beans into a clean quart-sized jar. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into a clear sandwich bag and place it on top of the beans. Cover the jar tightly with a lid, decorate and attach a copy of the recipe card. 

Select this link for several Gifts in a Jar Master Mix Recipes and Gift Cards.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food & Nutrition Specialist

Kendra Otto, Program Assistant

NDSU Extension Service


By Kris Boulton
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Kris Boulton
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
1605 Edison Ave Benton AR 72015
(501) 303-5672

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