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Dollar Stores to the Rescue: 10 Holiday Baskets Costing Just $10

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Most parents face the holiday gift-giving season with a mix of both anticipation and dread. Giving is fun, but it sometimes busts the bank and leaves families hurting financially for months.

Don’t fear -- dollar stores can “bail you out” when in financial jail during the holidays. It’s easier than you might think to put together a dollar store gift basket on the cheap. To help, here’s ten suggestions costing $10. All are for adults -- teachers, relatives, neighbors -- as we know you need no help buying for the kids! 

These baskets are comprised of items available in most dollar stores or Wal-Mart, Target, or other discount retailers.
 
The “basket” will consist of either a small basket from the craft section or, for larger items, a bigger plastic container (think creatively: large bowl, popcorn bin, even an attractive wastepaper bin). Items should be arranged with a foundation of tissue paper underneath and also surrounding them this makes it “fancier.” The wrapping can either be clear shrink wrap that is heated with a hairdryer to seal it, clear wrapping paper, or a large see-thru gift bag (one or all will be available at your dollar store).
 
Of course, for the most “upscale” look, try to color-coordinate your items as much as possible.
 
Basket #1 The Pampered Chef

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap 

3) Tissue paper

4) Potholder (this will dictate your colors--try to coordinate the other items to your potholder)

5) Kitchen towel

6) Wooden serving spoon(s)

7) Small chopping block

8) Set of small salsa bowls, or one larger salsa bowl

9) Garlic press

10) Cheese grater.

 
Basket #2 Day at the Spa

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper 

4) Bath “fizzies,” bath oil, or Epsom salts

5) Face mask 

6) Scented soap (may be removed from box if it’s unattractive, and wrapped with a piece of clear plastic or tissue paper)

7) Sea sponge or bath sponge

8) Lotion 

9) Powder

10) Scented candle with a “spa” scent.

 
Basket #3 Grandma Gift

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper

4) Winter gloves

5) Winter hat

6) If granny wears glasses, include an eyeglass leash; if not, a necklace.

7) Lotion

8) “Grandma” coffee mug 

9) Box or tin of teabags

10) A book (cookbook; Bible or other devotional; crosswords, etc.) 

 

Basket #4 Grandpa Gift

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper

4) Winter gloves

5) Winter hat

6) Sunglasses

7) Pack of “manly” chap sticks

8) Pack of “hand-warmers” used in cold weather (often found in health/medicine aisle) 

9) “Grandpa” coffee mug and instant hot chocolate

10) A book (home repair, crosswords, etc.)

 
Basket #5 An Apple for Teacher

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper 

4) “Teacher” coffee mug, with apple theme or at least red in color

5) Pack of red pens

6) Instant apple cider

7) Apple-scented candle or apple incense

8) Apple-scented hand lotion, or another hand lotion in a red or “granny smith” green bottle 

9) Apple-scented air freshener of any kind.
 

Basket #6 Crafter’s Delight

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper

4) Pair of scissors

5) Pack of beads

6) Beading or stringing thread or wire

7) Craft glue

8) Bunch of dried flowers

9) Ball of yarn or ribbon

10) Extra item from the craft section of your choice (what does this person enjoy doing?)
 

Basket #7 Handyman Supplies

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper

4) Duct tape

5) Box cutter or wire cutters

6) Bungee cords

7) Gardening or shop gloves

8) Mini-tarp

9) Electrical Tape

10) Protective eye gear/shop glasses.
 

Basket #8 “Cool” for a Young Adult

1) Basket

2) Shrink Wrap

3) Tissue paper 

4) Earbuds

5) Cell phone case (make sure it’s compatible with the person’s phone before buying) 

6) Incense

7) Fun, colorful candy (Skittles, Lemon Heads, Starburst, etc.)

8) Cool sunglasses (Raybans, aviators, oversized--consider the person’s taste) 

9) Colorful patterned socks (they’re a fashion statement!)

10) A Cool-looking candle
 
Basket #9 It’s Tea Time

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper

4) Teacup (coffee mug would work in a pinch)

5) Another matching teacup

6) Tea infuser ball

7) Dainty kitchen towel

8) Box or tin of pretty teabags

9) Another box or tin of teabags

10) Sugar (buy a pretty glass jar with a lid for $1 and just add some white sugar from your kitchen pantry to the jar).
 

Basket #10 Movie Night

1) Basket

2) Shrink wrap

3) Tissue paper

4) Plastic single-serving popcorn containers (they’re sometimes sold in sets of two)

5) Another set of containers (enough for a family of four to have a serving!)

6) Popcorn (either microwave or kernel-style, but kernel-style looks nicer)

7) Popcorn seasoning salt or oil

8) Candy (think of what’s popular in theaters Sno-Caps, Junior Mints, etc.)

9) A DVD (great flicks are hard to find for $1, but you CAN find classic family-friendly TV shows. Thankfully during Christmas, you can often find animated holiday classics on DVD)

10) Another DVD.
 
These are just a few ideas for your affordable baskets. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild Even though (let’s be honest) these baskets won’t make the recipient jump up and down with joy, they make very nice and thoughtful tokens that are sure to be appreciated.
 

Kara Martinez Bachman is author of the humorous essay collection for moms, “Kissing the Crisis: Field Notes on Foul-Mouthed Babies, Disenchanted Women, and Careening into Middle Age.” Find out more at KaraMartinezBachman.com.

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