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Affordable Holiday Gift Basket Ideas & Seasonal Shopping Tips

A woman holding an affordable holiday gift basket filled with wine, crackers, bread, jams and pine cones
A customizable and affordable holiday gift basket makes a great gift.

This time of year, shoppers are eager to cross items off their lists without the hassle of crowded checkout lines and parking lots. Folks can cut their to-do list in half, save money and send a thoughtful message with an affordable holiday gift basket.

Some of the greatest gifts come in food form, especially when they’re handpicked by someone who knows the best flavors for each friend or family member. (Even better? It’s easy to scale gift basket budgets up or down, depending on exactly how much you want to spend, or to add something extra personal with step-by-step recipes or pre-made spice and sauce blends.)

Of course, knowing the benefits of holiday gift baskets doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know where to start. Read on for tips to help you create a gift basket they’re sure to love, and advice to help you save on grocery shopping during the kitchen-heavy holiday season!

Sweet and Savory Gift Baskets
You can show your loved ones how much you care by customizing a holiday gift basket with homemade goodies or seasonal treats. With their favorite snacks and seasonings in mind, customize their basket with recipes or mixes that make this year something special. We have a few traditional gift basket ideas to help you get started, but make sure to check Food Town’s seasonal picks before heading to the store for more savings!

  • Savory Snacks and Fruit — Dried fruit and nuts go with every basket combination. For those who enjoy cracking almonds, chestnuts or pecans during the holidays, why not include a handheld nutcracker set? Fresh cranberries with sugar or apple cider mix can get anyone in the holiday spirit. Food Town also offers prepackaged cloves and spices to make any household smell delightful.
  • Chocolate Lovers — If you’re looking for some extra goodies that go well with any gift basket, consider adding a hot chocolate kit with marshmallows and candy cane sticks for dipping. This is a perfect addition to excite the hot cocoa drinkers and chocolate lovers in your life. Chocolate-dipped pretzels, Christmas-themed M&Ms and Hershey’s Kisses are ideal for filling in some extra space in your basket or making a holiday trail mix.
  • Jam-Packed Gift Baskets — Jams and jellies are always a household favorite around this time of year. Between jellies served with Philadelphia cream cheese or jams paired with an array of cheese and crackers, folks are sure to appreciate a selection of sweet or spicy spreads.
  • Hot Sauce Gifts — Folks can really turn up the heat with a DIY hot sauce gift basket. Spicy gift baskets can be a group activity for families, or an interactive challenge among friends. Choose from a variety of household brands and include a favorite appetizer recipe for each sauce or spice. A friendly warning: Hot sauce baskets are not for the faint of heart (or palate)!

Wine and Cheese Gift Baskets
Wine and cheese gift baskets are a tried-and-true favorite that can go any one of a number of ways. Whether you’re catering to wine lovers or creating a spicy meat and cheese bundle, your neighborhood grocery has everything you need to make the perfect holiday gift basket.

  • Charcuterie Board — A DIY charcuterie board is always a crowd-pleaser among coworkers, relatives and friends. Include a cutting board and cheese knife to make it an all-inclusive DIY holiday gift basket. Of course, no board is complete without wine. Food Town’s wine shelves are stocked with brands like Robert Mondavi, Cupcake and Apothic, to name a few.
    Be sure to check out our Ways to Save page for discounts on popular food and drink items. (And if your friends prefer an ice-cold beer over bottled wine? Go that route instead! The beauty of the holiday gift basket is that you can tailor it to be exactly what you want it to be!)
  • Meat Lovers — Sausage, jerky and cured meats are perfect for satisfying the carnivores in your life. Add some smokiness and heat to your basket with Kountry Boys gourmet dry jalapeño pork and beef sausage. Summer sausage and salami are holiday favorites, but make sure to check the directions for temperature instructions beforehand. Pair your meat selection with sharp cheddar cheese, jalapeño cornbread mix and some roasted nuts.
  • Hispanic Cheese Board — This is a great option for households that can never get enough queso fresco. You can also surprise relatives who miss authentic homemade recipes by adding a jar of homemade salsa to the mix. Pre-packaged bean dips and corn salsas are a great addition to any cheese and meat combination. Don’t forget to top off your basket with flavorful snacks such as dried chili mangoes, Mexican candies, churro bites, and chili and lime-coated peanuts.

3 Tips to Make Holiday Shopping More Affordable
Supermarkets can get hectic during the holidays. Not only that, but with so many cooking-heavy holidays this time of year, it’s common to feel like grocery bills are going through the roof. Luckily, there are a few ways you can spend less on the items you need to fuel your family through the busy season.

  1. Do your research before setting foot in the store. Scope out discounts from Food Town’s weekly ads and in-app coupons for extra savings on stocking stuffers, gift basket components, seasonal produce and ingredients for holiday feasts.
  2. Keep an eye out once you’re in your Food Town, too. We offer managers’ specials that are unique to every Food Town location. You never know what you might find on sale!
  3. Avoid last-minute shopping whenever possible. Not only does this allow you to get the best prices available, but it also helps you avoid falling victim to low seasonal inventory. By shopping early, you’re able to ensure you’re snapping up the items you want — not simply the only ones in stock.

With so many ways to save money on groceries, you can plan ahead and get in-store savings without braving the holiday crowd. Food Town also offers curbside pickup at select locations and delivery services, so you can schedule a hassle-free grocery haul.

We hope these seasonal shopping tips will help you save some green during the holiday season — and that our affordable holiday gift basket guide gave you some ideas to help make this year’s gifts great. If you’re looking for even more great gift basket inspiration, check out this previous blog post, which goes back to basics on the topic.

Our Stocking Stuffer Ideas and Ideas for Last-Minute Gifts blog posts are other quick reads you can use to make gift-giving a little easier. Of course, it’s never a true celebration without great food, right? Our Holiday Party Ideas and Holiday Pies blogs both offer insights into incredible festive eats

We hope your holidays are happy, neighbor — and we look forward to seeing you soon at your Food Town!

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