Inexpensive Gifts

I went to an auction sale yesterday- outside in 20 degree weather and in the afternoon instead of evening.  Needless to say the bidders were of small numbers and everyone wanted things for a little bit of nothing.  I came home with a lot of stuff I didn’t want because they auctioneer would put all the unsold stuff into piles with other stuff and sell the whole pile for one money.  I came home with more than 25 old cookie tins with Christmas decorations on them and nearly a half dozen clear glass candy/peanut jars.  As I was debating on whether to leave some of the stuff there or not (not a good ethical choice to leave it there but to bring it home was not a good choice either!), someone said something about Goodwill Industries.  All of the sudden my brain began thinking about giving instead of what to do with all the junk I had acquired!  I brought  the jars and tins home with me and here is my plan:

Disinfect the glass jars, air dry completely and make rock candy and chocolate covered peanuts and peanut brittle to give a way to the neighbors (I usually make cookies instead of candy but candy will store in these jars better than cookies).  These will also make pretty containers for homemade hot cocoa mix or any “gift in a jar” recipe.

Quickly rinse the tins in soapy water (tin rusts and cleaning needs to be fast to have minimum exposure to moisture) and lay them out on towels to air dry.  Get large, non-ziploc bags (available at our local bulk foods store) to line the tins.  These will then be donated to my church to use for our annual Cookie Tray Ministry.  The ladies of the church all bring in cookies and candy and we divide it all up to give to the shut-ins, elderly, and lonely people in our community.  usuually, we use bakers boxes (like at the local donut shop) or pretty plastic plates with plastic wrap.   If you like this idea but can’t find the bags, you can line the tin with plastic wrap- have it lay over the edge while you fill the container and then just fold the overlap onto the top of the goodies when it is full.

So the inexpensive gift list from those ideas are:

  1. rock candy
  2. peanut brittle
  3. hot cocoa mix or other instant drink mix
  4. cookies
  5. chocolate covered peanuts
  6. gifts in a jar

Some other ideas are:

  1. fudge
  2. peppermint bark
  3. bread
  4. jar of home preserved fruit or relish or salsa
  5. coupons for free babysitting
  6. coupons for other “work” a person would appreciate help with.
  7. coupons for a dozen cookies each month for a year
  8. a pretty picture in an inexpensive frame
  9. homemade christmas ornament
  10. lip gloss or a hot wheel car stuffed into a miniature stocking.

What can my readers think of?  I’d love to make this list huge!!

I will put recipes for simple fudge and simple chocolate covered candy in my “recipes” category.  The Hillbilly Housewife has excellent drink mix recipes (  btw- I am not associated in any way with that site, I truly love that site and find it helpful with so many things!)  You can also try another wonderful site for candy, cookies, and other holiday recipes:  This site also has many wonderful activities for the kids to do !  For gifts in a jar, I don’t know of  any specific site for just those recipes but I like  and


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