Tag Archives: gift giving

A Welcome Home Basket

Recently, we had some friends from church that had an out of town funeral and would be home for about half a week before heading out for a scheduled family vacation. The traveling was exhausting, not to mention emotional, and the last thing we wanted them to have to do between the funeral trip and getting ready for a much needed vacation was to have to go grocery shopping. So, we put together a quick basket for a few days of fast meals. They really enjoyed it! And it was a lot of fun putting it together. The fruit and vegetables were from our Milk & Honey Organics basket for that week.

What’s in the Box:

  • Loaf of English Muffin Bread (from Publix)
  • Florida’s Natural Orange Juice
  • Organic Milk
  • All-Natural Sliced Cheese
  • Mixed Baby Greens
  • Jar of Homemade Potato Corn Chowder (enough for 2)
  • All-Natural Sliced Turkey
  • Container of Homemade Guacamole
  • Homemade Cheese Quesadillas (wrapped in foil for a fast reheat)
  • Organic Onion
  • All-Natural Sour Cream
  • Organic Yogurt Cups
  • Organic Broccoli Head
  • Organic French Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  • 1 dozen Eggs
  • Organic Apples and Plums

Ideas for Meals:

  • Quesadillas + Guac + Sour Cream + Onion + Salad
  • Soup + Sandwich
  • Sandwich + Salad
  • Eggs + Toast + Juice
  • Yogurt + Fruit
  • Sandwich + Broccoli
  • Coffee + Milk (not a meal, but very important!)
I’m posting this as much for myself as for you all. I want to remember what we put in the basket, so we can do this again, maybe for a new mom, a sick friend or a special break for someone. It’s a great way to get your children involved in serving others too. Be creative and see how many variations you can create in one small box on a budget. This whole box cost us just less than $30.

Gift Giving on a Budget

Christmas is rapidly approaching. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe it’s December already! This year we’re living (and giving) on a single income. So, we’re being creative and giving gift baskets. After all, Christmas isn’t about how much someone spends on you (or how much you spend on someone). We give gifts as a reminder of God’s greatest gift, His Son Jesus, to us on that first Christmas!

I came across this page on the Whole Foods Market website and can’t wait to try some of these ideas out! The majority are simple and contain budget-friendly ingredients, so you can customize each package. You could do themed gifts, like BBQ rubs and sauces for the guys on the list, home spa package for the ladies (see bath salts and oils recipes, or search for a homemade soap recipe), and “visions of sugarplums” package for the kids (check out the Mexican Hot Chocolate Buttons and Candied Cranberries recipes on the site).

Visit your local flea market, consignment shop, or Goodwill for baskets or containers to put your jars in (or just dig around in your closet or basement). Make sure to sanitize them, and maybe even line them with a pretty piece of fabric. If you sew the edges, the cloth can be used as a centerpiece napkin later on! Add a handmade piece of jewelry or a pretty ornament to brighten it up. And let your kids get involved, if you have them. Lots of these recipes are just mixing ingredients and require little to no heating elements.

The possibilities are endless. Start planning now (if you haven’t already). Many of these recipes can be made weeks ahead, so you can relax and work at your own pace without having to feel the holiday hustle and bustle.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Candied Lemon Peels, Orange Peels, or Cranberries
  • Infused Oils and Infused Vinegars
  • Seasoned Salts and Sugars
  • Chocolate-Dipped Figs or other fruits
  • Biscotti, Cookies, and other Baked Goods
  • Pancake Mixes or  Cookie Mixes
  • Barbeque Sauces and Rubs
  • Jellies, Jams, and Marmalades
  • Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
  • Marinated Olives
  • Mulling Spice Sachets

For more ideas, search the “Gift” Category on the Whole Foods Market website or check out this page on the Country Living website (picture above from Country Living site).

Happy Giving! And Merry Christmas!

~Melissa