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budget friendly christmas treats

Last post Nov 27, 2008 7:54 AM by Torkelson . 22 replies.

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  • budget friendly christmas treats

    I know we will all be in the baking mood soon. But we also have to stick to our grocery budget. What do you make that is budget friendly for the Holidays coming up?


    My DH does the grocery shopping and he is finding me some good deals on baking supplies such as chips (chocolate, peanutbutter, even mint) I've got one bag of coconut flakes and enough flour and sugar.


    So please post your yummy recipes.

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    Our holidays are about family getting together more that the presents.  The adults do homemade gifts (mixes, woodwork items etc) and the kids trade names at Thanksgiving so all get something.  We also organize simple crafts for the kids - last year I made ornaments out of card stock that they could color and fold along lines I lightly scored (w/exacto knife very lightly on back side) & taped and hang with ribbon - they were cone shaped with 4 sides (+ a small tab to tape) and a square at top.  Ribbon threaded thru slits on opposite sides.  These had nativity themes and angels on them.  Virtually no cost.

    We also treat dinner as a pot luck since there are 22 people.  My husband and I always host so we cook a large Sirloin Tip roast that we get at Sams - 10 lbs usually around $23 and feeds all and it is wonderful with homemade gravy - Someone brings augratin potatoes, others appetizer & chips, someone else drinks, veggies dishes etc.  Everyone brings a tray of cookies!

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    man i wish my family was more like yours. im only 24 and i dread christmass every year.christmas used to be a favorite time of year for me, the decorateing, baking wrapping, even the snow, now that i have gotten older and have realized what everyone is more worried about, its not enjoyable anymore. i have a very complicated family i guess i could say.....my parents have both been divorced twice,lots of siblings, older and younger, neices and nephews, parents, step parents, brother in laws, which i have to shop for every year. thank goodness on my dads side we pick names so i only have to buy for only one cousin. both my sisters families are.....i wont say wealthy but well on there way. it is impossible to shop for their families. one year my niece and three nephews all got theyre own snowmobiles!how do you compare to that when they expect to get gifts like that. this year i have been collecting recipes for home made soups, cookies, gravies, rice a roni, hamburger helper, you name it..to make gift baskets. i would love to make all hoe made gifts but that would never be acceptable with the kids. i imagine i will be spending about 5-600$ dollars this year which stresses me out so much. thats probably more tthan i have spent on myself all year! in fact i know it is. argh im venting again.lol our society has become too materialistic in my opinion. i have forgotten the topic in all my ranting......oh budget friendly food. a friend used to make these potato candies around christmas that were sooooo good. i dont have a recipe but i think they were just mashed potatoes, butter and powdered sugar mixed together, rooled into balls, and then dipped into chocolate. sounds weird but they kinda just melt in your mouth. most expensive part m=would be the chocolate. what about a beer cheese dip? or just something as simple as lunch meat spread with cream cheese and wrapped areoound a pickle, then sliced? one of my favorites.

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    my DH has 3 nieces and 3 nephews (we have no kids) and everyone buys for everyone in his family. we were obviously spending the most because everyone bought us two gifts but we had to buy 4-6 for each family! a few years ago, we started doing stockings or treat bags for the kids. i watch the sales for the weeks leading up to Christmas and pick up candies, gum, stickers, snack cakes, etc. and they love it! they get so many other toys and things anyways that they don't miss getting an additional gift and are excited for all the sweets. 2 of the boys are pre-teens so this year, instead of the stockings, we found 2 tackle boxes on clearance at Wal-Mart and filled them with fishing lures and swedish fish candies.

    my side of the family does a grab bag and every year we pick a theme. last year we had an ugly Christmas sweater party and everyone had a blast hitting up the thrift stores for the brighest, flashiest, most bejeweled holiday sweaters out there. we wore them all night and the pictures are hillarious. in the past we have also had a Mexican-themed Christmas (sombreros galore!). it's those things that my cousins and i look forward to every year.....not the $$$.

    Visit Me! http://afewofmyfavethings.blogspot.com/
  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    I dread Christmas every year. Christmas used to be a favorite time of year for me


    I really felt your pain.  Would you ever dare to tell everyone in the family that you will not be giving presents and would they please not give you anything?  You could claim that you want to celebrate a simple Christmas and since economic times aren't that great for most people, you'd rather skip the gift exchange.  I'm sure it wouldn't go over with the materialistic part of the family, but you'd be so much better off....if they love you less for not giving them Christmas presents, what do you have to lose???  I say...Be brave and do it!!!

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    I agree w/JerseyGal.  If it is going to put you in a bind for the rest of the year and into next year why do it?  Honestly do the kids really remember what you got them say a month or so down the road?! Probably not! 

    You could always make them something.  What about like big cookies that you put their names on?   A blanket/quilt?  You don't have to go elaborate-they have fleece in Wal-Mart even.  What about a kid friendly cookbook?  I think a kid cookbook and an apron that would fit them is a cute idea.  Just me talking here.   Cookies in a tin?   Getting their own container of cookies rocks!!!  You could do the no bake cookies......it'd be even easier to make!  Plus oats aren't out of this sight just yet. LOL 


    I say if  you have to give something give them something you made.  This way you gave them something but it's not going to cost you an absolute fortune. 


    I'll be making my niece and nephew the cookies and putting them in a tin.  They love my Chocolate No Bakes!!!   They have tons of other things so I never know what to get them.  I get an oh, Thank you then it's pushed to the side.  I did spend $30 last year on my nephew a Toby Kieth cowboy hat.  He did like it but I hated spending that.  My DH would have choked me if he knew I spent that much!  I can't do it this year w/5 kids.  It's just too much.  We have a lot going out right now and I just can't hurt us like that.  So.....cookies it is.


    Hugs, Be strong and Good Luck.  Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.  It's a time of enjoying......not stressing yourself out.  We love ya here no matter if you're spending or not.  So, just know that.  :0)     Big Hug!

    Hugs, Angie Visit my blog http://5kidsmyhusbandandme.blogspot.com/
  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    i do feel alot better now fafter venting and getting the responses formall of you. thankyou! i do fear that "oh thankyou" and being pushed aside. thats happened before. but your all right in every way, they wont remember what i got them and it is the memories that are the most important. i like the stocking idea, and the tackle box. thank you again. ill post what i end up buying and spending. we'll see if i can do it under budget. maybe if im really conservative i could do it for $200, doubt it though. thanks again everyolne

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    Mistycolleen, please know it takes work to get your family to the point where we got mine.  We used to trade gifts with everyone.  It took basically all night with 20+ people.  I drew the line the year my son received 25 toys!  The kids focused only on gifts, which was not how I grew up - my parents didn't have much money and had 5 kids - Christmas was maybe $50 per kid total - Santa, them and all.  And I don't remember a bad Christmas - we decorated the whole house and tree together.  We baked and decorated dozens of cookies.  My dad made a gingerbread house and we got to invite the neighborhood kids over to eat it.  As I thoujght about it I decided we needed a change - to focus on what Christmas was about - I try to make all the kid's crafts budget friendly and about the meaning of the holiday.  It was hard to convince all because they wanted to give their kids what they "didn't have" - the family is filled with doctors, CPA's, computer and electrical engineers - so again it is no easy task when someones income is well over $100,000 - that simple is better!  But my logic prevailed and their scepticism went away as they all enjoyed it my way - the kid's are calmer and the pace is relaxed - dinner is great - most of the shopping stress is gone too!  I just make sure to decorate my house like a kid would love - music and decorations everywhere - I even have one small tree solely decorated with small candy canes and chocolate ornaments for the kids to sneak :) - it can be magical without so many gifts.  Just tell them you want to focus on the joy of the season - the kid's are so proud of what they create - a good starter craft is to have them decorate a cheap wood frame w/ foam holiday stickers - take a picture of all the cousins together, print out that night & have them take it home for their room.  Good luck for your happiest holdiay ever.

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    Years ago when my children were little I read the book "Unplugging the Christmas Machine" and it literally changed my life.  Please get yourself a copy and see for yourself.  Not only does it explain how to do a non-materalistic Christmas, it has excellent ideas for gifts that don't involve money but time.  During one of the exercises it asks for you to remember some of the gifts you received in the past.  Then it asks you to remember memories - such as hot chocolate, looking at Christmas lights, singing carols, baking cookies, etc.  It also recommends that you ask your children specifically what memories are important to them, and then see that your holiday includes those important activities.  A wonderful book that I recommend highly.



  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    Another little gift that I learned from a HomeEc major that came to our library to speak on simple gifts/craft ideas:  buy some teaspoons at a rummage and/or garage sale, resale shop - some place cheap...pour a dollop of fudge in each one....over wrap them w/cellophane, tie a ribbon and/or sprig of holly/tiny ornament/pine coat (however 'cute' you want to be) you can also top the fudge w/a nut or candied cherry....give them a little gifts or favors.  If it's for your co-workers...everyone gets a spoon to stir their coffee, tea or hot chocolate plus a piece of fudge!  The speaker's theory was 'nobody needs the whlle batch of fudge'.  The fudge recipe will fill a lot of spoons. 

    mistycolleen...I wouldn't let anyone 'guilt' me into overspending at Christmas....you're not going to top the expensives gifts...just give what you can afford & enjoy the family gathering. 

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    we don't really have much family around, but when I did I used to give families those big tins of popcorn (wich I have noticed are now smaller)..........


    However I am looking for RECIPES. please......... that are good for budgets.


    cookies, candies and such.

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    One of my greatest accomplishments with my in-laws is to get them to exchange names for Christmas.  It cut down on overspending considerably.


    "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    They love my Chocolate No Bakes!!! 



    Angie, Please share this recipe with us- it sounds easy and good. 

  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    I took an idea from a Jello box and ran with it. It was a BIG hit at our historical society volunteer dinner. Cake mixes are on sale in our area and Jello Pumpkin pudding & pie mix is available for the season. I used the Splenda brown sugar to help a bit with calories and it was delicious.

    Pumpkin Pecan Trifle 

    1 box caramel (Duncan Hines) or butter yellow cake mix

    2 boxes Jello pumpkin pudding mix (available in the fall)

    3 Tbsp. butter or margarine

    ½ cup brown sugar, packed OR

    ¼ cup Spenda brown sugar substitute

    ¾ cup chopped pecans


    Make cake according to package directions in 9”x13” pan. When cool, but into 1” cubes. While cake is cooling, make pudding according to package directions. Refrigerate until set. Melt butter in small saucepan, stir in brown sugar or Spenda until dissolved, add pecans and stir until all are moistened. Layer cake cubes in clear glass bowl, top with half the pudding and half the pecan mix. Repeat layers ending with pecan streusel. This feeds a crowd.


  • Re: budget friendly christmas treats

    I will post a few lower cost T & T recipes- no expensive specialty ingredients that always break the budget. Something that I have been doing for years is to start stocking up on non-perishable items during the summer. Things like chocolate chips, sugars, flour etc. are tucked away in my pantry so that my Christmas baking isn't such a huge drain on the budget. A trip to Costco for butter and eggs and I am ready to bake! I will post more as I think of them and go through my recipes...




    Annie's Famous Pumpkin Bread


    1/3 c. soft shortening

    2 eggs

    1/2 can (1 c.) pumpkin

    1 1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp. flour

    1/4 tsp. baking powder

    1/2 tsp. ground cloves

    1 1/3 c. sugar

    1/3 c. water

    1 tsp. baking soda

    3/4 tsp. salt

    1/2 tsp. cinnamon

    1/3 c. chopped walnuts or pecans


    Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, pumpkin and water. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Blend into shortening mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into a well greased loaf pan. ( I use 3 of the mini pans) Bake at 350 for 1 hour until bread tests clean with toothpick. When using the mini pans, I start checking for doneness at about 35-40 minutes. Can be doubled and freezes well.


    Lemon Pecan Refrigerator Cookies


    1/2 c. shortening

    1 c. sugar

    1 beaten egg

    1 Tbsp. lemon juice

    1 Tbsp. lemon rind, grated

    2 c. flour

    1/8 tsp. salt

    1 tsp. baking powder

     1 c. chopped pecans


    Cream shortening, add sugar, egg, lemon juice and rind, beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients, blend well. Stir in pecans. Shape into rolls about 1 1/2 inches across; cover in plastic wrap and chill well, these need to be firm. Slice thin, bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden around edges.


    Russian Tea Cookies


    1 c. butter, softened

    1/2 c. powdered sugar

    2 c. flour

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1/4 tsp. salt

    1 c. chopped nuts

    extra powdered sugar


    Beat butter and sugar til fluffy. Gradually mix in flour and salt. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Shape dough by teaspoon into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, but not brown. When completly cooled, roll in extra powdered sugar.

    Yield: about 4 dozen