When buying gifts on a budget your anxiety levels can easily go through the roof! A major problem we have is equating the amount spent on a gift to the importance of the relationship with the recipient, Follow the mantra of small and perfectly thought out when it comes to gift buying on a shoestring budget. A gift doesn’t need to be over top extravagant if you have put some thought into it. A selection of favourite childhood books can be found for very low cost at charity shops, add an inscription to each book to give it a personal and meaningful touch. While we are on the topic of meaningful messages, remember that a genuine and considered note about your relationship or future hopes for the recipient can be more valued that any gift you could buy.
Do it yourself gifts
There is no end of tutorials to be found online about making homemade gifts. Culinary gifts are especially simple to put together. Follow our recipe below to make an infused olive oil set that any foodie will adore.
You will need
- 4 matching bottles for the final oils to be presented in.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Rosemary sprigs
- Dried chillis
- Zest of a lemon
- Dried garlic
- Find out how much oil will fit in each bottle, you will want the oil line to be an inch or two below the bottle opening
- Put the flavouring (Dried chillies, lemon zest etc,) into the empty bottles
- Gently heat the correct amount of oil in a pan until small bubbles form (if it starts to smoke remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes), allow to cool for 8 minutes
- Pour the cooled oil into the bottles and stopper
As with any food product you will want to be sure to follow good hygiene when making your oils, Make sure everything you are using, including your own hands, has been thoroughly washed and dried before starting. The safest oil infusions are made with completely dried ingredients e.g dried rosemary sprigs. If you are making oils with fresh ingredients, such as lemon zest, the finished product should be stored in the fridge and disposed of after 1 month.
IOU’s for all manner of services can be a great gift option when your bank balance is looking grim. Busy parents always appreciate dishwashing or laundry services, not to mention babysitting so they can enjoy a night out together. If you have a relative who just adores your home baking why not present them with a coupon for 10 of their favourite treats, to be redeemed at the time of their choosing?