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Budget-Friendly Gift Basket Options

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Christmas gift baskets are expensive. To keep costs low, use these tips to put a DIY spin on your holiday present and save while showing loved ones you care.

Did You Know: Budget Friendly Gifts
Holiday gift baskets are an easy way to cater to your friend or coworker's tastes, but they can come with a high price tag. Here's how to get similar gifts for less than a quarter of the cost.

For example, Starbucks' Cocoa Kit is comprised of eight packs of hot cocoa mix, eight marshmallows, eight peppermint sticks and shaved chocolate curls, but it costs $18.

That's not bad if you're only buying the gift for one person, but if you're looking to spread holiday cheer to multiple people -- coworkers, teachers, neighbors -- it can get pricey. To save, try making your own, equally delicious hot chocolate kit.

What you'll need:
- Twelve 1-quart mason jars ($9.99)
- Five 20-ounce cans of generic hot cocoa mix ($3.95 each or $15.95)
- Two bags of mini marshmallows ($1 each or $2)
- One 12-ounce bag of generic chocolate chips ($2)
- Four boxes of 12 count candy canes ($1.29 each or $5.16)

Simply layer each jar with 1 cup of cocoa, 1.6 oz of marshmallows, a thin layer of chocolate chips and four candy canes broken into little pieces. Twist the lid on and secure a gift tag using red and green ribbon. Make a bow around the top of the jar. For a total cost of $35.10 you'll have 12 gift-worthy cocoa kits.

That's just $2.93 each, which is 84 percent cheaper than the original Starbucks kit. So, if you're looking for a sweet present to give to your friends, try making these DIY hot chocolate kits. You'll be able to save while adding a personal touch to your holiday gifts.

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