Finding affordable Christmas gifts can be really difficult especially when you are a teenager. There are so many people that I would like to buy gifts for but I just don’t have a large budget. I do have a Christmas envelope and I managed to put away some money from my Paparazzi business in order to make a few purchases this Christmas. Just for fun I have a few ideas for you on ways that you can find affordable gifts and save money during the holidays.
One of the best things to do is to reduce the number of people you buy for. I don’t mean to sound like the Grinch but you are going to have to carefully choose who is actually going to get a gift. You don’t have to make an expensive (or any) purchase in order to let people know you love them and they are special to you. I buy something for my parents, my brother, grandparents, and a few of my closest friends.
Mom and I make gifts almost every year and know a lot of people who do the same. Mom found an amazing recipe a few years back for candied pecans. We had been trying to come up with a plan to have something to give to friends and family because there was no money in our budget for gifts that year. After thinking about it for some time we decided that we had to come up with a way to use up all of the pecans from my grandparents pecan tree. We literally had a freezer full of pecans. After quite a few tries we found a great recipe for candied pecans that are delicious. We make them every year now. Here’s the recipe:
Charlotte’s Candied Pecans
1 egg white
1 Tbl water
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups pecan halves
1 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven – 250 degrees. Line large cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix egg white, water and vanilla until frothy. In a separate bowl mix sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add pecans to liquid and continue to toss until all liquid is evenly coating the pecans. Pour sugar mixture over pecans and stir to coat the pecans evenly. Spread the pecans over the lined cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Don’t have a free source for pecans? Don’t worry, you can do all sorts of crafts and such in addition to baked goods at Christmas. Try and think about things you already have or can get easily in the way of supplies and use those as the main ‘ingredients’ for your project. Maybe your mom has a stash of fabric she is never going to use or you can make home made bird feeders out of all the pinecones in your back yard.
If doing something home made is just not going to work for you then consider a simple twist on a gift card. I love to get a $5 gift card from Starbucks along with a Venti size clear cup, dome lid, and straw to give as a gift. Just crumple up or shred some brown paper (a lunch sack or grocery bag work just fine) and place in the body of the cup along with the gift card. Then crumple up or shred some white paper to put at the top. Cut the straw into a piece just a couple of inches long and place into the white paper. It looks like a frappucino and is a really cute gift for just $5!
What are your best ideas for homemade/affordable presents this year?