We recently held two workshops at our office called “Gifts From Your Kitchen”. We had a great turn out and I hope that everyone had as much fun as we did putting it on. I wanted to share some great points from the workshop that I think everyone can use this Holiday season.
Did you know that every year American’s spend on average between $600-$1200 on presents. This is simply money spent on presents and does not include extra holiday expenses. It’s easy to see how the Holiday times can be tight on anyone’s budget. Making gifts at home can give you the opportunity to show you care for others without pushing your budget past it’s limit. Of course you can give homemade gifts to anyone but I think the people they are especially great for are teachers, bus drivers, hair dressers, co-workers, etc. The extra people in your life that you are grateful for but are not as close as relatives.
The most important thing to remember when making gifts from your kitchen is food safety. Always start with clean utensils and a clean work space. If using jars make sure to always clean them out before putting food in them. You do not have to use just canning jars, there are great jars in a variety of sizes at many hobby stores. Just make sure the sticker on the bottoms says “Food Safe”. Also, use fresh ingredients. How long have those ingredients already been sitting in your pantry? If your recipient does not use them for 6 more months the gift may not be a fresh quality.
Another great tip is to plan ahead. If you know ahead of time what ingredients and how much you will be needing you can start collecting coupons for those items. Also many hobby stores put items like ribbon, jars, and various Christmas items on sale 50% off before the holiday season. Taking advantage of these sale’s can cut your cost drastically.
Lastly, be aware of any special dietary needs your recipient may have. Are they diabetic, have a food allergy, or a gluten intolerance? These are all needs you want to be aware of before making your homemade gift. If you can make substitutions for those ingredients that are harmful. For instance you can substitute sugar with Splenda or Sweet-in-Low if you know the recipient is diabetic. If you are unsure try making a gift that is not food like a sugar scrub or milk bath.
If you have more questions or need more tips feel free to call our office and ask! (713-1125) We also have one last session of Gifts From Your Kitchen being offered at Northwest Library on December 21, 2012. You can check out their website for more information.