Installment Four: Gifts for Food Lovers
(and really, who doesn't love food?)
Yummy Treats are Always a Great Option for Secret Santa!
Foodie Gift Idea #1: Gourmet Pasta & Sauce Combo
I found this winter-themed pasta and specialty pasta sauce at Homegoods. Together, they cost me around $7. You could display it in a cute little basket, or even a Dollar Tree colander, add some ribbon, and you've got a classy, finished look! And I don't know anyone who doesn't appreciate having some pasta essentials on hand for the nights they don't feel like cooking.
Foodie Gift #2: Harry & David Milk Chocolate Moose Munch
I happened to pick up this Harry & David snack at Homegoods, too, but almost every retailer has inexpensive pre-packaged holiday snacks at this time of year. The best part? They require hardly any gift wrapping, because they look so festive on their own! Homegoods has a lot of high-end options, so it's a great place to shop for those with particularly-discerning palates. ;)
Foodie Gifts #3 & #4: Trader Joes Cookies and Winter Tea
I can't say enough about Trader Joes for gift ideas (remember me rambling on about their lovely fresh flowers?). The prices are great, and their packaging is just so fun! Around the holidays they have so many great holiday-themed treats, and not all of them are candy, so the health-consicous giftees on your list may appreciate one of the "less caloric" choices. Below I'm showing a box of cookies and a couple varieties of their yummy holiday teas. Put them together, and your giftee will have a perfect afternoon snack!
Foodie Gift #5: A Fresh Baked Loaf in a Pretty Tea TowelIt doesn't get much better than homemade treats around the holiday season, and those of you with special recipes can easily whip up some of your favorites as a "foodie" gift. But if you feel that your baking skills aren't quite gift-worthy, grab a boxed mix, follow the easy directions, and voila! A homemade treat. Use tin loaf pans (I got my 3-pack at Michaels), and wrap it in a pretty tea towel for a custom look (I got the first towel at Ikea and the second towel on clearance after Christmas last year... probably at Target?)! And there you go: two gifts in one!
Foodie Gift #6: Restaurant.com Gift Certificate
Restaurant.com is a website where you can purchase restaurant gift certificates for LESS than face value. Here's how it works: You visit Restaurant.com and type in your zip code to see participating restaurants in your area. Then, check out the restaurants available (depending on your region, there may be many or only a few). You'll notice that you can buy a gift certificate (in many denominations) for less than the face value. For example, a $10 gift certificate may cost only $4! Just be sure you're aware that there is usually a minimum purchase required to use the gift certificate. In the example I just gave, there is a $15 minimum purchase required to use that $10 gift certificate. The minimum purchases are generally very reasonable, so even with that caveat, it's almost always a great deal. I just discovered our favorite pizza place has a $5 gift certificate for only $2 (with a $7.50 minimum); considering the fact that we average about a pizza a week from there, we really need to buy a bunch of those for ourselves!
Or, it you're not happy with Restaurant.com's selections, grab a $5 or $10 gift card at the local favorite restaurant in your town. It may not seem like a lot of money to give, but every little bit counts, and it'll give your giftee an excuse to enjoy a great meal out!
Hungry yet? :)
So while there's nothing ground-breaking about giving out yummy treats around the holidays, it's nice to think about new ways to prepare them. These options allow you to continue maintaining a conservative budget during the whole Secret Santa process.