Inexpensive Gift Baskets

Have you ever received a gift basket full of goodies? They are wonderful gifts and some can even seem quite elaborate.

When I was pregnant, a friend of mine gave me a big wicker basket full of baby care items and even a few special Mommy care items. It was the best gift I had ever received.

Gift baskets are easy to put together and can really be quite personal if you take the time to pick the right items. The best thing about gift baskets is they don’t need to be wildly expensive to make a huge impact. Whether you are planning for a birthday, baby shower, wedding shower or Christmas gift, I guarantee there are ideas here that you’ll be able to use. The most important things about making your own gift baskets are that they are inexpensive, personal and fun.

Here are a few tips for putting together your own gift baskets:

The Basket

An elaborate, decorative wicker basket isn’t necessary. Baskets are always inexpensive at dollar stores, especially after Easter, but there are many other things you can use just as well.

I buy my laundry detergent in bulk and save the boxes. These big flip-top boxes can be dressed up by covering them with wrapping paper or fabric remnants. A hot clue gun keeps the fabric or paper on securely so that nobody has to know it is a laundry detergent box! Just remember to line the box with paper, fabric or tissue paper. Adding a little ribbon bow clasp to tie it closed makes using the handle a great feature too!

Cans can make great gift baskets as well. A small or large coffee can or even a baby formula can provides a sturdy container with a resealable top. Cover the can with wrapping paper or fabric and then cover the top with the same or use some inexpensive curling ribbon to make a big bundle of festive curls to cover the top.

A great tip for lining your gift baskets, boxes, or cans is using shredded paper from your own home shredder!

The Goodies

There are so many choices here that it really depends upon who you are giving the basket to and what the occasion is.

Start at your local dollar store for inexpensive gifts or check out the sample sized items available at your drugstore. A trip through the gourmet aise at your local supermarket can make for a wonderful gift basket for any gourmand.

One of my favorites is homemade goodies. Homemade candies, cookies and cakes are always a big hit around the holidays. Wrap up your homemade specialties in colored plastic wrap and then add a nice bag of gourmet coffee or cocoa.

Another great idea for the do-it-yourselfer is canned goods. Do you do your own canning? Homemade jam, salsa, apple butter or canned, homegrown fruits make perfect gifts and can be very inexpensive.

Why not recycle the wax from burned out candles? Melt down the wax, add a new wick to an old jar and voila! You have an instant scented candle and nobody has to know you didn’t do it from scratch!

Lastly, consider using samples sized items that you get for free. For some current free items, visit the Families.com Deals, Coupons and Freebies Blog.

The possibilities for gift baskets are truly endless. For even more ideas on what to stuff in a gift basket, see this blog by Sherry Holetzky on great gift ideas (http://frugal.families.com/blog/15-simple-low-cost-gift-ideas).

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