Lamb Superleaderboard

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Subscriber Services | 928 Media Lab | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Obits | Yellow Pages | TV Listings | Contact Us
The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : modern times August 28, 2014

9/27/2013 6:00:00 AM
PRACTICAL SAVER: Consumable gifts are a win-win for giver, recipient
Courier Columnist

With Christmas just a few months away, our family is rethinking the way we give gifts. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed making all of our presents and having a "homemade" Christmas. But this season, we will be traveling over the holidays, as well as having some family members in the process of downsizing (who really don't want any more "stuff"!). So, we are searching for an alternative.

One of the possibilities is a "consumable Christmas." The gifts given with this theme would be items that can be consumed or used up, such as food or services. This can be a fun, economical and thoughtful way to approach holiday gift-giving. Below are some ideas for a "consumable Christmas."

The first thought is a gift of a prepared meal. Simply place all the items necessary for the meal in a basket or bag, including the recipe. Then, add a few decorations and deliver the final masterpiece as your gift. Resale and thrift stores are an excellent source for quality, economical baskets. Fajitas are our favorite "meal in a bag." In the basket we place a jar of turkey that we canned (store bought canned chicken also works well), fresh bell peppers, an onion, tortillas, a baggie of taco seasoning, and of course, the recipe.

Another idea that would fall into this theme is giving multiple freezer meals. A helpful book that teaches how to make and freeze multiple meals is, "Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer," by Susie Martinez. By shopping the sales and using coupons, this can be an economical gift that will be a treat for months to come for the lucky recipient.

A bowl of items to accompany a movie would also make a creative, consumable gift. In a large popcorn bowl, attractively arrange a couple of boxes of microwave popcorn, popcorn seasonings, and individual packets of hot chocolate mix. Delicious!

Gift cards to restaurants also make "appetizing" gifts. There are a couple of tricks, however, to stretching the budget with this idea. One would be to use credit card reward points to acquire gift cards. Another option is to watch for Fry's or Safeway when they offer bonus fuel points when gift cards are purchased. When a total of $100 in gift cards is purchased during a 4x reward point promotion, a $.40 off per gallon discount can be earned. The reward is typically for a maximum of 25 to 35 gallons, but that can save you $14 on a full fill-up.

Teenagers love iTunes. An iTunes gift card would be an appropriate consumable gift for the teens on your list, as well as fuel cards (parents also benefit from this one), eBay or Amazon gift cards, bowling gift certificates, or a Harkins popcorn T-shirt and/or soda cup (shirts provide free popcorn all year long and the cups make soda refills $1.50).

Several weeks of delivered hot meals would also be a thoughtful gift. Ask the recipient what kinds of meals they enjoy, don't care for, as well as any food allergies they might have. Prepare a calendar with dates when the meals will be delivered, then in a cute card, explain that for the next six weeks you will be delivering a home-cooked meal.

Another option is to make your "signature" delicacy. My sister-in-law is nearly famous for her amazing caramel popcorn. Receiving a bag of her caramel corn is a huge treat. Years ago, my Grandma Murphy would provide coffee cans full of homemade noodles. There was nothing that the family members looked forward to more than seeing the can of noodles under the tree.

Stepping away from the food theme, greeting cards are useful for everyone and are a unique consumable gift. You can purchase them or make them yourself. There are easy instructions for making adorable greeting cards on the website under the menu heading, "Tips & Ideas."

I believe a consumable Christmas will fit in well with our budget; it can be creative, the gifts will be thoughtful, and the time invested will be manageable. I am excited to develop the theme as ideas continue to formulate. I would love to hear your ideas; email me at

Kara Rozendaal, a financial planner, wife and homeschool mother of three has lived in Prescott Valley for 16 years. Learn more about her classes and ways to save money at

Related Stories:
• PRACTICAL SAVER: Can you really earn extra money from home?
• PRACTICAL SAVER: Easy ways to save money on meat - without haggling
• Practical Saver: Are discount grocery stores a good value?
• Practical Saver: Harvest savings from your garden with zucchini
• PRACTICAL SAVER: Save big by learning a skill or hiring a student
• PRACTICAL SAVER: Swap out meal ingredients with what's on sale

    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Letter: Restoring AHCCCS saves all of us money (2 comments)
Prescott Fire Department report: Consolidate wildland, prevention divisions (6 comments)
Column: Birds and beyond - Encounters with local wildlife (2 comments)
Column: Common law, sharia not compatible (5 comments)
County gets election tallies on state site after glitch (1 comment)

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - Circulation Costco Memebership offer
HSE- Rants&Raves
Find more about Weather in Prescott, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Quick Links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

 •  Submit your milestone notice

 •  Submit your letter to the editor

 •  Submit a news tip or story idea

 •  Place a classified ad online now

 •  Browse the Yellow Pages

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Links
Classifieds | Subscriber Services | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Find Prescott Jobs | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Contact Us
Yavapai Gaming - August 2014

© Copyright 2014 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Daily Courier is the information source for Prescott area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved