Monday, December 15, 2008

Apple Muffin Baking Gift Basket

I've finished my baskets for the neighbors, and I'm planning to deliver them today, if the weather isn't too bitter and rainy. Here's a quick run down of how I put them together, in case anyone's looking for some quick, inexpensive gifts to make.

First find a recipe you like and have success with. I used an Applesauce Muffin recipe that I got from my big sister that she got from a friend.

Gather up your dry ingredients and layer them into a jar or treat bag. I used whole wheat flour, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
Tamp each layer down and even it out after it's been measured into the jar. (Julie, I actually had to talk myself into using the Waibel's honey jars, even though they worked perfectly, because I hated to give them away. I know, I'm crazy.)

Gather up any extras you'll want to include for the muffins, like raisins, or dried cherries. In this case, I chopped some of our dried apples and put them into little treat bags.

Package each component, label it and make an instruction card. I used scrapbooking stuff because I had it all on hand for card making, but you can use what you have available, like sticky labels, or recipe cards. Be sure to include all pertinent information, like oven temp and time.

Put all the components into a basket for gift giving. In this case, I have the muffin mix, the apple chips, and the half-pint of applesauce. I used hard candies for the filler in the basket, and I was finished. If you'd like to use the same idea to make a higher value gift, you could package everything in a mixing bowl instead of a basket, and include nice mixing spoons, a muffin scoop, pretty seasonal muffin papers, an apron, and even the muffin tin.

This is just a little something to say Merry Christmas to the neighbors, so I kept it as inexpensive as possible, and only used ingredients and our own home canned applesauce and home dried apple chips.

After your basket is packed, use basket wrap or cellophane to wrap it up, and decorate with ribbons and a pretty card. You could also tie cute measuring spoons or a mixing spoon into the ribbon as a decoration.

Here is the cost breakdown, if anyone else is as cheap as I am and is just dying to know, lol.

Wheat Flour: 1 cup @ $.12 (I figured $.50 a pound, but I don't really remember if I paid that much, I'm just rounding up.)
Rolled Oats: 1 cup @ $.15
Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon and Nutmeg: It actually hurts my head to figure these, lol, so I'm willing to make a stab and overestimat at $.05 for all.
Brown Sugar: $.06
Total for Muffin Mix: $.34

Home Canned Applesauce: 1 cup @ $.07
Home Dried Apples: 1/2 cup @ $.o4 (This is pretty much a guess because it's hard to tell how many pounds of pre-dried that equals, but it's an okay estimate, I think.)
Total for Extras: $.11

The wrapping and jars were leftovers, recycled, or reused from what I've got around already. The only jar I might consider adding the cost of would be the half-pint canning jars, because I don't know if I'll get them back. So I think I'll put in a quarter for all the wrapping, and paper scraps and that jar.
Total for Wrapping and Jars: $.25

The baskets were a dollar from the Goodwill, which will be the most expensive part of the gift. If I hadn't wanted to spend that, I could easily have just wrapped a box in festive paper, or re-used packaging from something else.
The candy was from a CVS deal, and Ben and I weren't ever going to eat it, so I'm going to call that free. If you don't have free candy around, just use shredded junk mail as filler in the basket.
Total for Basket and Filler: $1.00

Grand Total for each Gift:

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CastoCreations said...

Wow...what great gifts! I love frugal gifts like this.

I just tagged you with an award. Hope you like!

Leslie said...

You did a great job, they look wonderful. Thats a cool idea too.

Blue Castle said...

Now that's a great Christmas gift! And much more inexpensive than I would've thought. Thank you for sharing!

Julie said...


Bethany said...

I'm glad you all think these are nice. I hope the neighbors like them!

Megan, thanks so much for the award! That is so very sweet of you!

Celestial Charms said...

Lovely Christmas basket gift and oh so reasonably priced. Great idea.

Bethany said...

Thank you, glad you like the idea and the price breakdown. Sometimes I just can't resist doing that so I can remind myself that I really do save lots of money when I do things myself.

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