Gourmet Gifts on the Cheap

Here are a few great gift ideas for the gourmand in your life. These culinary offerings won’t break the bank [most retail for under $20 total], but they will score you major points if the recipient is a foodie.

  • A bottle of wine in a wine bag, with a corkscrew attached to the tie strings. Another clever attachment might be a foil cutter.
    When to use: This gift is perfect anytime, but I especially like to use it around the holiday season, when parties abound, and bring a nice red or a crisp white as a gift for the host/hostess.
  • A sweet or savory jam with a recipe for a dip or sauce attached with ribbon.
    When to use: This makes a great host/hostess gift.
  • A set of appetizer spreaders with a dip recipe attached with ribbon.
    When to use: I like to give these as a host/hostess gift or as a small housewarming gift.
  • A cookbook with a personalized message on the inside cover.
    When to use: This gift is my personal favorite, and it is appropriate for any occasion or milestone. I think the key with this gift is to pick the right topic and to personalize your message inside the book. Some made-up examples:
  1. “101 Things to Make With Ramen Noodles.” For a new college student.
  2. “Our First Cookbook.” For newlyweds.
  3. “Best BBQ Recipes.” For the grill aficionado.
  4. “Exotic Asian Dishes.” For your worldly friend.
  5. “One Pot Suppers” or “Crock Pot Cooking.” For the culinary newbie.
  • A cake pan, pie tin, or set of cookie cutters with a favorite recipe.
    When to use: This is a good gift when the winter holiday season is in full swing. Whether you’re visiting dear family or new friends, this gift is a simple way to say thanks.
  • An herb plant in a decorative pot or a herb garden kit.
    When to use: This gift is great because it works for anyone, anytime. It may be a bit harder to find fresh herb plants in the winter, though.
  • A cute teacup filled with a few bags of the recipient’s favorite blend of tea or a coffee mug filled with the recipient’s favorite brew (or even chocolate covered coffee beans).
    When to use: This gift is great for teachers, bosses, and for a host or hostess at a winter party when a little warming up may be needed the next morning!