|You'll find some great affordable gifts |
in your local neighborhood stores.
If you are still looking for some thoughtful yet inexpensive gifts for Chanukah or Christmas, you may only need to look as far as your local bookstore, hardware store or food coop. Here are 10 gift ideas under $25 for people who love to eat, cook, learn and garden.
#1 Locally Roasted Coffee
I was in Oliver's market yesterday and noticed their lovely coffee selection. Most food coops and high-end grocery stores have a nice selection too. There's been lots of press lately touting coffee's health benefits. Coffee has an extremely high antioxidant content and is linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and more. So if you are buying a gift for someone who enjoys a cup of Joe, pick out a nice pound of coffee. Make sure to find out if they enjoy caffeinated or decaf.
|Finding locally roasted coffee is a nice touch.|
#2 A Selection of Teas
There are so many delicious teas available. And tea, like coffee, contain substances linked to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer - especially green tea. Although loose leaf tea is a nice gift, most people would rather use a tea bag for convenience. There are some products that come in impressive little fabric tea pouches that make a great gift. Mighty Leaf is one to consider and is available in markets such as Whole Foods and in many food coops. Find out if your tea drinker prefers herbal, non-caffeinated teas or those that contain caffeine, such as black or green tea preparations.
|Notice the cute fabric pouch!|
#3 Gourmet Vinegars and Oils
My mother used to make a salad every night with a red wine vinegar and olive oil. Nothing fancy. But today their are too many types of exotic vinegars and oils to count - each with their own unique flavors and health benefits. They make wonderful gifts and there's a huge selection under $25.
#4 Beans and a Recipe
Many years ago someone gave me a beautiful jar layered with different beans and a recipe for Harvest Bean Soup. It was one of the coolest gifts I ever received. You may not be inclined to go through the trouble of layering different beans in a jar, but you can go pick up a few pounds of different beans and print out your favorite recipes to go along with them. This is a fun and very affordable gift, especially for your friends that have Instant Pot Pressure cookers!
Why did I wait so long to mention chocolate? Yes, we now all know how good dark chocolate is for us but most of all, it's delicious! And don't feel like you have to go out and buy a box of expensive, gourmet chocolates. It's fun to buy an assortment of bars and wrap them with holiday tissue paper and tie them in a bow. Or jus drop them in Christmas stockings!
# 6 Heirloom Seeds
For the gardener on your list, go to your hardware or garden shop and pick out a nice assortment of organic, heirloom seeds. Pay attention to the size of the garden these are going into. For example, don't buy corn seeds if the person has a tiny garden. An heirloom lettuce or some herbs would be more appropriate. Select a few packets of seeds and a garden trowel. Place the seeds in the base of the trowel and hold them in place with ribbon and a bow.
#7 Gardening Gloves
All gardeners can use a new pair of gardening gloves and you can get a really nice pair for under $25 in your local hardware store. Longer ones are needed for roses, but most gardeners just need the kind that come an inch or so above your wrist. Washable ones are a big plus!
#8 "How To" Books
What's more fun than learning a new hobby or perfecting your skills even further! I have a few books on my own wish list this year that will teach me how to work with medicinal herbs, and one on how to make soap, and another on how to make my own herbal shampoos and cleansers. Just think about a topic that will interest the person you are buying a gift for and find a well-rated book on the subject. Perhaps they want to learn how to make a quilt, refinish furniture, play the ukulele, or how to paint. Read through the reviews on Amazon and you'll get first-hand feedback.
#9 Assortment of Raw Nuts
Over a 30 year period, 119,000 men and women were tracked. People who ate a handful of nuts each day were 20% less likely to die from any cause, had a 29% reduction in deaths from heart disease and had an 11% reduction in deaths from cancer. So why not give someone this wonderful longevity food, assuming they don't have a nut allergy. Go to your local coop or health food store and buy a nice assortment of raw nuts - walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc. Throw in some dark chocolate covered raisins for good measure and fill up a pretty glass quart jar. Top with a bow and you're all set!
#10 Bath Soap
A nice bath soap is a real treat. Especially when it is natural and contains lovely essential oils. I particularly like exfoliating soaps with oatmeal like the one from my daughter's company, Lulu Organics. The reason bath soaps are a real treat is that most people won't spend $5 or $6 on a bar of soap for themselves but getting a few bars as a gift is a real luxury.
I hope I've given you some ideas. For more posts on this topic, see my 2013 Great Christmas Gifts for Healthy Cooking or my 2014 Gift Ideas for Health-Conscious Cooks.