Welcome back to the collaboration between Mint and Brewing Happiness. I’m Haley, the girl behind Brewing Happiness – a blog about celebrating the small healthy choices we make in our lives, complete with recipes for everybody! I’m here to give you tips on living a healthy, happy life on a budget.
The holidays are full of gift giving, which is a beautiful yet expensive tradition. Even on a budget, I want to be able to give special gifts to the ones I love. That is why in the past few years I have turned to homemade presents and wrapping. It feels very special and allows me to keep costs down.
Making baked goods for gifts is a great way to save money. Once your pantry is stocked with the essentials (ie. flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, etc.) they are very inexpensive to make. I like to tailor my gifts to each person’s preferences – so everyone gets their own batch. This makes the gift feel even more personal and special.
It’s not just the physical gift that makes the holidays expensive; it’s everything else too – including little things like the wrapping. So I wanted to also provide a fun, inexpensive way to wrap your gifts beautifully. It is probably much easier to DIY wrapping than you imagine it is.
Here is a quick guide for making healthy, happy, and delicious gifts for all of your friends and family this year.
Gifts for your pumpkin-obsessed friend: Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies, Pumpkin Ginger Breakfast Cookies, Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Caramelized Apple Chunks
Gifts for your chai-obsessed friend: Healthy Chai Truffles, Chai Spiced Pear Muffin with Strudel Topping
Gifts for those chocolate lovers in your life: No-Bake Chocolate Love Crunch Cereal Cookies, Mint Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Gifts for your vegan/health-conscious friends: Healthier Pecan Pie Bars, Trail Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut Sugar Molasses Cookies
Gifts for the breakfast-lovers you know: Honey & Bee Pollen Granola, Mega-Clump Granola, No-Bake Blueberry Crisp Granola Bars
Gifts for people who prefer savory over sweet: Healthy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, Coconut Oil Cornbread, Whole Wheat Muesli Bread
Now that you know what you are baking your friends and family, let’s talk about how to make a beautiful, cost-effective wrapping. I have several tips that will cut down on how much you spend on wrapping paper, bows, boxes, etc. Most of this stuff you can find around the house already!
#1 Reuse boxes.
I often save the boxes year after year from holidays past. This way, I almost always have a box lying around that I can wrap a gift in. If you haven’t saved any boxes though, try reusing Amazon boxes or shoe boxes if you have some of those. If none of those are options, I suggest buying some plain white boxes, and skipping out on the third step (wrapping them in newspaper.) A white gift box with twine and flowers is beautiful enough as is!
#2 Stuff it with tinfoil or parchment paper.
Use whatever you have in your kitchen already to line the boxes and to help keep the baked good fresh. This will allow you to forego buying tissue paper.
#3 Wrap it with newspaper.
Grab a copy of the Wall Street Journal or use a page of any newspaper you have lying around the house. (Just try to pick a page with lots of words and few pictures or headlines.) This is an amazingly cheap and cute way to wrap your gifts.
#4 Buy some twine.
I usually buy a roll of twine that costs me about $4-$5 dollars, and I use it to wrap my gifts, make bows, and later I use it in the kitchen all year long. It’s multipurpose that way and feels worth the money!
#5 Use flowers to add a fresh touch.
The best way to finish off this method of wrapping is to add fresh flowers and leaves as a garnish. It provides a personal touch and makes it look super festive instead of cheap. I normally grab a bundle of eucalyptus and baby’s breath. Each bundle costs me about $3 and I use them to top EVERYONE’S gift. Plus I’ll have a bouquet left over for myself! I use those specific flowers because they both last a while outside of water and look pretty when they dry. However, you can use any you want.
Hopefully this gave you some gift ideas for this holiday season and made you realize it’s easier than you think to make customized gifts for your loved ones on a budget. There’s no need to drain your bank account in order to give beautiful gifts. You got this. Have a beautiful holiday season, ya’ll!
Over the next few months I’ll be covering a variety of ways to be healthy on a budget. Keep an eye out for those and head over to Brewing Happiness for healthy recipe inspiration in the meantime!