Whether you are thinking about the holidays, teacher appreciation week, birthdays, just because, thank-you gifts and more, I wanted to share some healthier gift ideas that you could give to teachers, neighbors, co-workers, friends, family, and really, anyone in general.
A number of years ago I started giving food as gifts for birthdays. I found myself wanting to give my friends something quasi-healthy amidst all of the sugary birthday treats, so I started giving them a little gift bag of homemade granola bars sweetened with honey.
Then my daughters started getting invited to birthday parties. Usually the birthday kid would get an abundance of toys, and I thought that granola bars might be a nice treat for them, too.
A few years ago my husband gave homemade trail mix to his co-workers.
Of course breads work really well especially banana and zucchini bread. Next year (yes, I am already thinking about next year:) I was thinking about making loaves of sourdough bread as gifts, with special ingredients. Recently I have been experimenting with garlic cloves and rosemary sourdough bread, and my friend Erica, mentioned today she found a recipe for, I think, cranberry and pecan sourdough bread. I have a whole year to experiment:)
I thought about giving these 2 or 3 ingredient nut clusters out as gifts, but this year, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I guess I did make one set for someone who wanted them with strictly peanuts.
Besides sharing whole food with my friends, I love that these food gifts are consumable and won’t leave a whole bunch of clutter. Sometimes it even inspires healthier eating, or it introduces people to food they normally wouldn’t know about.
This Christmas I finally got on the ball and made a homemade gift for all of my piano student families and my childrens’ teachers. I took my homemade granola and put it in quart-size mason jars. I wanted to do a cost analysis to see how much the ingredients and everything really cost together, and my friend was curious, too. I have already given most of the jars away, so I didn’t count the detailed cost as I was purchasing these ingredients; I typically don’t tell someone how much I spent on them, you know, and now here it is for the whole world to read. So if you are reading this, and I gave you this, pretend you don’t know how much I spent on you:) Remember it’s the thought that counts! As an aside, I do have to say, I have great joy in telling my husband what I spend on him, since I can speak freely with him.
Now I will share with you my cost breakdown of 1 batch of homemade granola. I omitted the sea salt and used less cranberries. I made 7 batches and it made more than 12 quarts of granola. I am estimating 12 quarts take a little over 5 batches of granola. My husband was happy to have the extra, and the extra was gone in less than a week!
- 4 cups of organic oats=$0.71
- 1/2 cup honey=$0.72
- 1/2 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil=$1.10
- 1/2 cup pecans=$0.81
- 1/2 cup almonds=$0.67
- 1/2 cup walnuts=$0.63
- wheat germ=$0.01
- wheat bran=$0.01
- oat bran=$0.02
So here is the tally:
- One batch of granola costs me about $5.67.
- If I made 5.5 batches for 12 1-quart jars, each quart costs approximately $2.60. The mason jars costs $9.88/12=$0.82 each.
- So 1 quart-sized jar of granola with the mason jar costs approximately =$3.42 each.
- This means I spent about $41.04 for twelve 1 quart gifts of granola.
When you are giving out multiple gifts for many people you want to bless, I don’t think that is too shabby. What about you? I know I could have done something even more frugal, but that wasn’t my complete intention (to be cheap). I could have even put the granola in plastic bags which would have brought the costs way down. I wanted to give something that we regularly enjoy and something that I hoped others might enjoy. What kind of homemade gifts do you make?
Have you read…?
- Re-thinking Gift-Giving: Part One, Kids & Gift-Giving?
- Re-thinking Gift-Giving: Part Two, New, Homemade & Used Gifts & Intentions
We would love to hear from you! Get free e-mail updates by subscribing here. Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV). Thanks for visiting!