Frugal Gifts

I often give food gifts at Christmastime–sometimes pumpkin bread, sometimes granola. Once I did a five-bean soup mix that was really fun.

I discovered the other day that our Concord grape vine still has bunches more grapes on it. I decided this year that homemade grape jelly would make a nice gift. (Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wasn’t canning again til 2007. But I guess I hate wasting food more than I hate canning.)

I’m out of jars, so I checked out the thrift store and was delighted to find 20 jars at 5/$1. $5 for canning lids, and $1 for sugar, and I have 16 sweet little made-with-love gifts for $10. Click here for more Frugal Friday ideas and Kisses Of Sunshine for some awesome gift ideas.


  1. dragon-mum says:

    I have a sillyish question to ask. Do you have any idea how to prepare mulberries for a mulberry pie? And also how to prepare them for freezing to use at a later date or canning?

    I have never done anything like this before.

    However after drooling over my neighbours fence for 4 weeks at their huge tree LOADED with fruit… I caved. I HAD to go and ask if maybe I could have enough berries to make jam. (Jam I can do!)

    They laughingly pointed out they hate mulberries and I can have the whole tree if I like. If only you could see the idiotic grin I am wearing. I have not had mulberries since I was about 9.

    I just can’t bear seeing the fruit going to waste. And I also love to give home made presents each year. Mulberry jam or canned mulberries to have with ice cream will help fill up the baskets nicely.

    Thank you so much 🙂


  2. Yum! I love homemade jams and jellies and there isn’t a better gift in my mind! Have you ever read The Tightwad Gazette? Amy’s husband makes “Wild Jim Jam” for Christmas for their friends and family!

  3. I’d love to be able to can and make gifts like that for people. I pretty sure my canning would turn out good tough. :-/ I have to give it a try!

  4. Here’s a website I found in a quick mulberry search


  5. Sounds like a great deal to me! I wish I knew had to can stuff. It would be so awesome to give gifts like that!

  6. I like your blog. Thanks for the granola bar recipe! Looks yummy!


  7. I like your blog and the granola bar recipe. Thanks!

  8. LOL…I’ve already thought about caving in next week and making some salsa to give for gifts along with some of the fruits I’ve done already for family. (Since I too am not wanting to waste the many ripening tomatoes.)

    Thanks for the bean soup idea too… I love homemade gifts especially ones that are so frugal!

  9. Oh yum!! I wish I had a friend like you to make me some homemade jelly!! I’m amazed at all the gardening and canning you do. We have very little yard and what we do have is all shaded (honestly, we’re struggling to get the grass to grow) so I can’t even think about having a garden, although I would love to. So I’ll just pretend that if we did it would flourish and that my thumb is bright green rather than the faded brown I think it probably is. 🙂