Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Cheap christmas gift ideas for friends & family

Posted by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM
  • 11 Replies

Did you know that $50 can buy gifts for your entire office (Given that there's around 25 people or so), extended family, or friends?  Or all of the above. 

The catch?  You have to spend a little bit of time to make them.  And possibly get a pinterest account to expand on my little ideas. 

Almond Bark is around $2.50 a block.  $10 gets you 4 lbs of chocolate to work with.  You can make bowls by using balloons ($1.50)  to serve your gifts in, you can use it as coating, decoration, making candies....You get the idea.  It's great. 
 Bowls from Almond bark- Blow up the balloons plus extras.  line your counters or table with wax paper.  Use 2 bowls (Or just one), and take half a block of milk chocolate almond bark, and half block or white almond bark & put them in separate bowls.  Heat them at the same time in the microwave until they are completely melted & ready to work with.  Then you have to make sure it's not too hot so that the balloons don't pop.  Use the other half of the almond bark as needed.  I would suggest using a new bowl for more white chocolate so it doesn't turn grey-ish while stirring if you drizzle milk chocolate in the first bowl.  Pour it into the first bowl & keep going. 

You can drizzle some of the milk chocolate into the white chocolate (do NOT mix) & then dip a balloon straight in, then back out and move it to your wax paper.  Once the chocolate is hard again, cut a hole near where you tied the balloon and then let the air out slowly.  pull it free from the chocolate bowl.  Now to fill those bowls. 

Chocolate chip cookies.  The big ass bag of chocolate chips costs a little under $5 for name brand.  Butter, flour, sugar, brown sugar eggs and vanilla usually adds up to around $15-20 depending on what brands you buy. Measure the dough out and make each cookie with one tablespoon of dough and you should get 6-7 dozen cookies per batch.  This $25 worth of supplies should get you 12-14 dozen cookies if you aren't stingy with the chocolate chips. 

Candy cane star candies.  Buy a bag or two of those individually wrapped MINI candy canes.  $3-6.  and you already have that almond bark you bought earlier.  You are going to use 10 candy canes for each candy.  open and arrange the mini candy canes into a star shape.  Make 5 hearts, then overlap the head of the hearts to form a star.  Line a cookie pan with parchment paper when you do this.  fit as many as you can on one cookie sheet while still leaving an inch between all.  Bake at 300*F for about 5 minutes, or until they start to melt.  Watch them closely.  Take them out & let them harden.

Once hardened, remove from parchment paper & dip in melted almond park.  you can sprinkle them with crushed candy cane to add a little more fun to it.  And to warn people they're eating peppermint. 

Chocolate covered pretzels.  $5 more bucks.  You don't need instructions, it's super easy. 

Chocolate covered oreos.  $2.50 per pack of oreos.  Again, super easy.

People puppy chow from the chex website.  About $15 for a big ol batch.  See Chex website for the recipe.

Peppermint popcorn.  popped popcorn, melted white chocolate, and crushed candy canes all mixed together.  $10 goes a LONG way here. 

Cake balls/pops.  Take your favorite cake recipe or box mix, make it according to directions.  Once it has cooled enough to handle, crumble it up into a big bowl.  Then dump a container of icing, or gradually add homemade icing until you reach a moist crumbled cake texture.  the cake will be all stuck together.  Roll into balls, freeze for a bit, then dip in melted almond bark.  Drizzle with alternate colored chocolate or sprinkles or whatever your little heart desires.  Have fun with it.  You can add the sticks before dipping in chocolate, but They're such a PITA that I just make cake balls. 


Obviously ALL of these add up to more than $50.  So pick and choose.  Use less than $50 or more.  But a little goes a LONG way.  And you still have 8 weeks till Christmas, so buy one or two things every time you go grocery shopping and you won't even notice the cost. 

Now the kicker.  We got into the discussion with my family of "Do you even remember any of the gifts you received as a child?"  I floored my mom when I said "Nope.  But I do remember making goody bowls for everyone and you actually talking to me.  Best time of year ever."  The priceless things about making these gifts are the memories you will have of doing so. 


by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Barb10
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:04 PM
1 mom liked this

My dd and I love making cookies and candy and my kids deliver them to neighbors on Xmas Eve.Im already making my list of stuff I need to get and what things we're gonna make.Im getting hungry:)

CreziaMommyTo2
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

we dont make homemade gifts... honestly we dont like them and we dont know anyone PERSONALLY who likes them.

do i remember what i got for christmas as a kid.. absolutely.

kitchen set, washer and dryer, guitar, drum set, clothes, bike, skis, vacations, disney world every year, operation.. i could go on and on..

i remember shopping at Bloomingdale, bamberger's (macy's now) lord and taylors, saks fifth ave, shopping for gifts for family and friends.  rockefeller christmas tree, the rocketts (my friends mom was a rockette for many years, so we always got to backstage) going to see the nutcracker.

so i guess it depends on how you grew up and the things you received.

oh yea the best gifts were as i got older 4th & 5th grade the vacations to colorado to go skiing.

Thewife06
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM

You live in an entirely different world than I do.  Toys r Us is about as expensive as it got growing up.  My mom did a lot of 'little things' shopping for us.  Making the stuff and spending time with my mom is what I remember.  And I get asked starting around mid November "You're making the goddie baskets this year, right? Can you make XYZ for me PLEASE?!" 

We only buy gifts for those who live under our roof, and home made gifts for everyone else.  It's better than spending an obnoxious amount of money & possibly cutting ourselves short the rest of the year. 

Quoting CreziaMommyTo2:

we dont make homemade gifts... honestly we dont like them and we dont know anyone PERSONALLY who likes them.

do i remember what i got for christmas as a kid.. absolutely.

kitchen set, washer and dryer, guitar, drum set, clothes, bike, skis, vacations, disney world every year, operation.. i could go on and on..

i remember shopping at Bloomingdale, bamberger's (macy's now) lord and taylors, saks fifth ave, shopping for gifts for family and friends.  rockefeller christmas tree, the rocketts (my friends mom was a rockette for many years, so we always got to backstage) going to see the nutcracker.

so i guess it depends on how you grew up and the things you received.

oh yea the best gifts were as i got older 4th & 5th grade the vacations to colorado to go skiing.


Thewife06
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

My list is mostly made as well.  I'm decorating cupcakes for my husband's co workers this year as well.  :)  Although people keep bugging me for the cake balls.... Guess I'll just make a bunch of those also. 

Quoting Barb10:

My dd and I love making cookies and candy and my kids deliver them to neighbors on Xmas Eve.Im already making my list of stuff I need to get and what things we're gonna make.Im getting hungry:)


Barb10
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:30 PM

My neighbors love our candy/cookie trays.The one said we should start a business.lol.We were gonna skip one yr cause I was on a diet that yr but my next door neighbors complained.They dont have any family really and dont get any cookies or anything from anyone else.It is a lil work but worth it,we have to make a lot cause we want some for our Xmas celebration with family too.every yr,we find someone else we want to add to the list.My son is already asking when we are gonna make the snow balls lol.

Quoting Thewife06:

You live in an entirely different world than I do.  Toys r Us is about as expensive as it got growing up.  My mom did a lot of 'little things' shopping for us.  Making the stuff and spending time with my mom is what I remember.  And I get asked starting around mid November "You're making the goddie baskets this year, right? Can you make XYZ for me PLEASE?!" 

We only buy gifts for those who live under our roof, and home made gifts for everyone else.  It's better than spending an obnoxious amount of money & possibly cutting ourselves short the rest of the year. 

Quoting CreziaMommyTo2:

we dont make homemade gifts... honestly we dont like them and we dont know anyone PERSONALLY who likes them.

do i remember what i got for christmas as a kid.. absolutely.

kitchen set, washer and dryer, guitar, drum set, clothes, bike, skis, vacations, disney world every year, operation.. i could go on and on..

i remember shopping at Bloomingdale, bamberger's (macy's now) lord and taylors, saks fifth ave, shopping for gifts for family and friends.  rockefeller christmas tree, the rocketts (my friends mom was a rockette for many years, so we always got to backstage) going to see the nutcracker.

so i guess it depends on how you grew up and the things you received.

oh yea the best gifts were as i got older 4th & 5th grade the vacations to colorado to go skiing.

 


Barb10
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I wanna try the cake balls one yr.They sound yummy.Do you make the pretzel hugs with waffle pretzel and hug kisses?Everyone loves them and I have to hide them here!

Quoting Thewife06:

My list is mostly made as well.  I'm decorating cupcakes for my husband's co workers this year as well.  :)  Although people keep bugging me for the cake balls.... Guess I'll just make a bunch of those also. 

Quoting Barb10:

My dd and I love making cookies and candy and my kids deliver them to neighbors on Xmas Eve.Im already making my list of stuff I need to get and what things we're gonna make.Im getting hungry:)

 


CreziaMommyTo2
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:50 PM

we dont spend an obnoxious amount nor do we leave ourselves short, but i clearly remember spending time with my mother shopping, and going to eat, and spending weekends looking for just the right chirstmas gift(s) for someone.  she used to start black friday and we continued until Christmas Eve, and spend the night wrapping.

Quoting Thewife06:

You live in an entirely different world than I do.  Toys r Us is about as expensive as it got growing up.  My mom did a lot of 'little things' shopping for us.  Making the stuff and spending time with my mom is what I remember.  And I get asked starting around mid November "You're making the goddie baskets this year, right? Can you make XYZ for me PLEASE?!" 

We only buy gifts for those who live under our roof, and home made gifts for everyone else.  It's better than spending an obnoxious amount of money & possibly cutting ourselves short the rest of the year. 

Quoting CreziaMommyTo2:

we dont make homemade gifts... honestly we dont like them and we dont know anyone PERSONALLY who likes them.

do i remember what i got for christmas as a kid.. absolutely.

kitchen set, washer and dryer, guitar, drum set, clothes, bike, skis, vacations, disney world every year, operation.. i could go on and on..

i remember shopping at Bloomingdale, bamberger's (macy's now) lord and taylors, saks fifth ave, shopping for gifts for family and friends.  rockefeller christmas tree, the rocketts (my friends mom was a rockette for many years, so we always got to backstage) going to see the nutcracker.

so i guess it depends on how you grew up and the things you received.

oh yea the best gifts were as i got older 4th & 5th grade the vacations to colorado to go skiing.



Thewife06
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Awww, I bet your neighbors love you.  We had a neighbor a few years back that suffered from cronic headaches.  We brought her a cookie bowl along with 2 rice hot/cold packs that she could put on her head when one hit.  3 years later she told me one fo them had finally had it....due to her dog chewing on it.  I knew what to make her for christmas that year.  ;) 

We find new people to add to our list every year as well.  ever 3-5 years we get a whole new list due to the military moving us. 

Quoting Barb10:

My neighbors love our candy/cookie trays.The one said we should start a business.lol.We were gonna skip one yr cause I was on a diet that yr but my next door neighbors complained.They dont have any family really and dont get any cookies or anything from anyone else.It is a lil work but worth it,we have to make a lot cause we want some for our Xmas celebration with family too.every yr,we find someone else we want to add to the list.My son is already asking when we are gonna make the snow balls lol.

Thewife06
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I'm not sure what the hug kisses are.... We DO make turtles though.  the waffle pretzles + rolos + a pecan on top.  baked in the over at 350 just long enough to make the rolo melty, then we pull them out of the over & push the pecan down to flatten it out.  Ta-da, turtles!   

Are they pretty much the same thing?

Quoting Barb10:

I wanna try the cake balls one yr.They sound yummy.Do you make the pretzel hugs with waffle pretzel and hug kisses?Everyone loves them and I have to hide them here!

Quoting Thewife06:

My list is mostly made as well.  I'm decorating cupcakes for my husband's co workers this year as well.  :)  Although people keep bugging me for the cake balls.... Guess I'll just make a bunch of those also. 

Quoting Barb10:

My dd and I love making cookies and candy and my kids deliver them to neighbors on Xmas Eve.Im already making my list of stuff I need to get and what things we're gonna make.Im getting hungry:)




Barb10
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Is it hard to get attached and then have to move? We have friends in the coast guard and even though we know they move every 3 yrs,its still hard knowing they have 1 more yr and we prob wont see them again.We get attached easy!

Quoting Thewife06:

Awww, I bet your neighbors love you.  We had a neighbor a few years back that suffered from cronic headaches.  We brought her a cookie bowl along with 2 rice hot/cold packs that she could put on her head when one hit.  3 years later she told me one fo them had finally had it....due to her dog chewing on it.  I knew what to make her for christmas that year.  ;) 

We find new people to add to our list every year as well.  ever 3-5 years we get a whole new list due to the military moving us. 

Quoting Barb10:

My neighbors love our candy/cookie trays.The one said we should start a business.lol.We were gonna skip one yr cause I was on a diet that yr but my next door neighbors complained.They dont have any family really and dont get any cookies or anything from anyone else.It is a lil work but worth it,we have to make a lot cause we want some for our Xmas celebration with family too.every yr,we find someone else we want to add to the list.My son is already asking when we are gonna make the snow balls lol.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)